Brendon Bussy

Gourmet Sound – The Chopstick and Sardine Kora

Posted in Design, Invention, New Old Old New by Brendon Bussy on February 16, 2011

I have a very nice mandolin made from very nice materials and made by a very nice mandolin builder. What more could I want?

Well recently I came across the quirky instruments made by Stewart Port.  Many people make instruments out of odd objects (don’t ask), but few match the elegance of these instruments.  I particularly like his Crutch Banjo, and his Water Jug Kora.  I love the thought of this guitar builder contemplating mundane objects and imagining new possibilities.

I also love the fact that he treats these as serious contenders and not as jokey objects (read what he says) . And I especially like the relationship to traditional African instruments (and other ‘ethnic’ instruments i.e. instruments not to be found in music chain stores) which are often made of things that happen to be around.

In fact I love these thoughts so much that I decided to try it myself.

So a new game.  Find things to make instruments out of.  In that order.  And the result,  a few odd instruments with surprisingly useful qualities.

The sardine harp, a birthday present for the inimitable Manfred Zyla:

And a close up of the chopstick kora, currently my axe of choice:

And this is what it sounds like:

So… what next object to turn into something more useful 🙂

8 Responses

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  1. […] He played the Chopstick Kora and what I think would be called a “Bottle Bow”,  instruments made out of everyday household objects like sardine tins, water bottles and (of course) chopsticks.  You can read more about Brendon’s Gourmet Instruments here. […]

    • brendon said, on February 18, 2011 at 2:35 pm

      thank you stranger 🙂

  2. Stewart Port said, on February 19, 2011 at 12:42 am

    Thanks for the notes! And keep stringing up those cans; your stuff looks great.

    BTW: please note newer, better website.

  3. Stewart Port said, on February 19, 2011 at 12:45 am

    Oops; I see you already have.

    • brendon said, on February 21, 2011 at 10:01 am

      hi Stewart

      Thanks for responding here. Yes, you’ve inspired me to make instruments. I’m going to try my hand at building the equivalent of african instruments using waste materials and found objects. I hope to make use of these materials, many of which are strong and durable. It also links nicely to my project:

      Keep up the good work!

  4. […] For each scene I created a basic sound mix which I was able to augment with live samples and EQ adjustment to add drama keeping one eye always on the action. I also added the live rhythmic pattern using one of my new home made harps. […]

  5. […] that soon, with some adaptions,  and the addition of a few recordings made with my diy  ‘Gourmet Instruments‘,  the soundtrack was complete in record […]

  6. […] show you a few of the musical instruments I’ve made and you’ll also be able to make yourself a personalised set of Kone Phones […]

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