Wednesday, 5 October 2016

The Drone Ensemble attempt to come up with a new way of playing the pipes

The Drone Ensemble currently store all of the instruments in Joe's office, and it is gradually becoming harder to move around without knocking into or treading on one of the sound making machines. It is also quite a cumbersome challenge to set up the instruments and is not very time effective when we are only able to meet once a week for a few hours. When we have performed outside of the University, transporting the instruments has been another mammoth task requiring several trips, so any way we could reduce the clunckiness and size of the instruments would be a huge help.

We therefore decided to amend the design of the tubes so that they do not need to be attached to a base. We wanted to be able to have a wheel that we could each keep and move around with, playing the wheel on the various different tubes.

Achieveing the right design to make this happen is tricky, and we spent the whole session trying different options and testing out the results. Joe had sourced some felt for the rim of the wheel, and this seems to work when on the largest wheel but not so well on the smaller wheels.

Joe manages to make it look really easy to play, but there is quite a skill to balancing the wheel on the tube with just the right amount of pressure to make a sound.

This is how it is done:

video

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