Brendon Bussy

Workshop: Making Useful Instruments

Posted in Design, Invention, Materials, Music, New Old Old New, Research, Workshops by Brendon Bussy on June 25, 2011

I’m going to be running a workshop focusing on building and playing stringed instruments made from found objects.

Based on traditional (and not so traditional) African instruments such as harps, fiddles, lutes – made from tins, cardboard tubes, boxes, and any suitable odd but useful object.

seriously playing a cardboard kora in district 6

In the first session we’ll explore (more…)

The Possibility of Self Adjustable Spectacle Lenses

Posted in Design, Invention, Materials by Brendon Bussy on June 6, 2011

Having worn glasses forever and heavily dependent on them – I can’t see what I’m typing now if I remove my specs, I’ve always wondered what I would do if I didn’t have access to an optometrist. Or worse, access to any of the technology required to have 20/20 vision.

So I find the initiative to make self adjustable lenses quite inspiring. And also to discover that someone’s been working on it for a while already. The innovator of note is Joshua Silver and the organisation of note is the Centre for Vision in the Developing World.

Have a look at the various approaches here which range from lens kits to fluid filled lenses which can be adjusted by increasing or decreasing fluid pressure.

Here’s the man himself wearing a pair of the fluid adjustable types. Note the (removable) syringes for lens adjustment.

Here’s a close-up: (more…)

How to Build a Harp in the Ground

Posted in Invention, Materials, Music, New Old Old New by Brendon Bussy on June 2, 2011

Last week Nicola Visser and I decided to make a Ground Harp.

So we met at Cape Town’s Constantia Nek and headed into the pine plantation equipped with spade and Angel the dog – the essential ground harp equipment.

We placed a soundboard over a hole which Nicky had dug amongst the roots of a tree. Then one foot on the board, we tensioned a length of nylon gut which had been attached to the centre of the board.