It is the beginning of a working residence in my workshop with cameroonian sculptor Dieudonné Fokou (visit his page facebook.com/dieudonnefokou, he does a great job, even without me!), Our missions: building a more than 3 meters high sculpture with integrated musical instruments, and making a few smaller pieces by combining our specialties.
Dieudonné uses metal and welding, so we will do it all on scrap.
First combination, military jerrican and desk pieces, we will work on two similar instruments:
hard to frame us both, size problem…
The object’s shape brings me to the lyre, and more precisely to a lyre I love: the Ethiopian krar.
10mm bolts as pegs, drilled to pass the rope before winding it (small trick to drill a thread: first grind to flatten the surface, then a needle stroke and you can drill!) ,
installation of a piezo microphone to amplify the instrument, see my tutorial Piezo microphone for 3 € to make your own one!
I try several tunings, several tensions, several ranges, to end with a special scale:
I play the four bass notes with the krar technique, muting the strings with the left hand fingers, and strumming with the right hand (I prefer without plectrum), the two remaining strings allow me to play a kind of chord to extend a little bit the solo playing, here are the very first tests (with the sound of the welding machine in the back):