September 19th, 2008

All my friends

When I applied for a public arts opportunity last summer, I suddenly needed to document, document, document.  Fortunately, on a beautiful Indian Summer Sunday in NE Portland, my dear friend Seamus agreed to come over and shoot some pictures of some of the crazy monsters in my basement.

The upright bass was built from an old drawer with solid fir panels, a banister, and some bicycle parts.  It’s got pickups that lead into the small red amp at right.

That amplifier, aka the Two Hour Breathing Apparatus, is maybe the most practical instrument I’ve built; it’s battery powered and can play on the street for two or three hours.  The case is a beautiful old airtight box that one held an emergency oxygen supply for miners.  It was given to me by Tim Cook of ENVI Construction.

The drums

This is the drum kit I play in the Golden Greats; it’s much more beat up than the other instruments because it actually gets taken to gigs regularly.  It would take pages and pages to catalog all the miscellaneous bits of this, not to mention the evolution it’s been through.  But it has held up amazingly.

Death Star -- detail

Death Star -- detail

This is the Death Star — it’s a multi-player music toy.  The large white panel is actually an interesting flat-panel speaker, designed for in-wall use.  It lacks bass, so there’s a sub-woofer below, but the actual detail of the speaker is remarkably good.  There’s a jack for guitar, a circuit-bent synthesizer, and a trash-can lid that serves as both percussion instrument and plate reverb.   The large gold thing on the right works as a microphone if you’re willing to stick your face in it.

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