Our first assignment was to create a musical instrument out of any material and then create a one-minute performance. With the idea in mind that I want to create a fun, danceable performance through this class, I immediately thought of one of my favorite things: roller skates. I spent days pondering how to make roller skates not only musical but to produce a similar musical feeling to roller skating music. What is roller skating music? Ahem:
I had also placed a restriction on myself to not use technology in this experiment to allow me to do some really creative exploration. This proved to make my task more difficult because it felt like it limited my options sound-wise. After much frustration with finding objects to attach to the wheels of the roller skates and then deconstructing cymbals and attaching them to my shoes and several other experiments, I realized everything I was creating produced an ambient sound. Instead of trying to force this ambient sound into my project, I changed my focus and thought of my most favorite ambient sound: water.
I researched water instruments and came across a couple of pieces of inspiration. One was the Wave Organ at the San Fransisco Bay. Another, interestingly enough also in San Francisco, was this water gong sculpture. I decided to create a similar sculpture that could be manipulated and played by an individual.
The blue drum is metal, so the water resonates and echoes inside of it. Pouring water through the aluminum plates at the top also creates a louder, crashing sound layered with the water pouring and dripping.