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…)

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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.

Twang!

(more…)