Saturday, January 11, 2014

Could Not Find an Instrument...

It happens around here. Some piece of musical gear you don't use real often can't be found. No that's not true because I can always find the bass guitar wah-wah pedal. Anyway on some of the recent quirky gigs we did such as the drum and tuba Christmas and the KTRE news story it seemed like my turtle shell shaker would go just perfect with that kind of music. It could not be found. I was sad because it was one of the oldesf instruments I had made.

Here's a photo of a bunch of percussion instruments of the type I used to make. They are stuck in some kind of decorative pot and draped with Mardi Gras beads but the short story of it is you get a forked stick, string a wire between the forks and thread beads, baubles and bone on the wire so you have something that clanks together to make noise. Lots of stuff I have makes noise. I would guess these date to the days when we had a kid in the old Jr. High East Pep squad because some are in the orange and white team colors. You remember those days. You could bring a sharp stick to a public gathering and no one thought anything about it.

It was not long I begun to explore the possibilities of forked stick shakers a little deeper. I'll give away a secret here. If you build one thing and everyone thought it was cool make the next thing you build upside down. It will seem brand new. That's what I did with this shaker and I stuck a turtle shell on it. The shell really does nothing but it does have a good flat bottom that sets the instrument up right if you put it down to sip a beverage, listen to some one else's ride or something like that.  I take it to the harp gigs I get. Face it folks the harp is not like the tuba. It does not sound good on every song so at these shows when the harp was not right, I played the turtle shaker. 
I even played it at the jazz fest.
So you can imagine how troubled when I could not find this instrument. Cathy came to my rescue and located it for me this past week It was hanging on the wall in the record room. That's bad. I go in the record room everyday and I make a good living tell people, among other things, to look up when they walk. You know I think events like this where I can't find something are going to start happening more often.  

Here's where it hung. The old turtle is a little in disarray but we will fix it up before it makes a public appearance again.  

By the way, no turtles were harmed making this instrument. 


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