It's no new concept to alter an instrument these days, and utilizing obsolete instrumentation has made its way into many a genre but no matter what you say, building a working replica of Benjamin Franklin' Armonica from thrift store glasses is a quite a feat if not an overwhelming labor of love. Zach Wallace (also of Sun Circle) collected an array of glasses and built them into a working armonica an instrument invented by Franklin and at the time banned because it was thought to drive players insane. The instrument works in much the same way as dragging your finger along the top of glasses filled with various amounts of liquid. In the armonica's case the glasses are just built in different sizes to affect the pitch instead of being filled with liquid. Wallace utilizes the ghostly natural drone of his homemade version of the classical instrument winding out long eerie pieces that while strangely beautiful, do tend to cause the unnerving quality that made this instrument frowned upon in the first place. However that's kind of the point as Wallace drives the instrument's function to its logical extreme, most players would use shorter notes but instead Wallace exploits the armonica's ability to sustain tone for great lengths of time, and as such the tones begin to waver and hypnotize the listening into an enveloped drone. Possibly not for everyone but Glass Armonica is a nonetheless interesting listen and a must for drone fans.
[MP3] Zach Wallace - Untitled (3)
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