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Monday, July 11, 2005

MP3 Monday - One Ring Zero

What are some of the unusual instruments used by One Ring Zero?

Claviola: This focal point of One Ring Zero was designed by Ernst Zacharias in the 1960’s. Similar to a melodica, air is blown into a mouthpiece and then directed toward the reeds by pressing on piano-like keys. Pipe lenghts then shape the pitch. Read more about the claviola.

Theremin: An instrument designed in the 1920’s by Russian scientist Leon Theremin. Sound is created by waving your hands across an electro-magnetic field, but never actually touching the instrument; thus creating a series of notes tied together in a portamento fashion. Voodoo! To learn more about the theremin and where you can get one, check out
http://www.bigbriar.com or http://www/paia.com.

Toy Piano: Dont be fooled by the recent digital versions. Not the same. You can find these gems on occasion at yard sales and thrift stores.

Melodica: A small keyboard that you blow into to create a sound. It uses free reeds just like a harmonica.

Bass Melodica: Smaller in range, but and an octave lower than the regular melodica.

Metallophone: A series of electrical conduit pipes laid out side by side like a xylophone. An idea taken from “Making Simple Musical Instruments” by Bart Hopkin. See http://www.windworld.com.

Jones-O-Phone: Named for inventor Chip Jones. The Jones-O-Phone is similar to an electric guitar, but weighs more than a small elephant. This eight-stringed-instrument is tuned in octaves and sounds extra dandy when played with a distortion pedal and a slide.

Megamouth: A small plastic megaphone found at toy stores for about $2.50. Relies on the basic principal of a vocoder.

Power Drill: Duh!

Bread Machine: The sound of the blade making a single stir of the dough, recorded and then looped to make a rhythm track.

Cajón: A percussion instrument of Afro-Peruvian descent, most commonly used in Cuban and Peruvian music. The performer sits on top of the cajón and uses his/her hands to hit the sides. One side sounds more like a snare drum, while the other more like a bass drum. The word cajón means box. The word cojones means testicles.

Kitty Litter: Take your most expensive microphone and stick it as close as you can get to a box of kitty litter. Now stoke the litter with the scooper. Add a little reverb for flavor. Check out the song "Clock" from Tranz Party.

Thomas Solid State Organ: This was a hand down from Michael’s father. It's an old 1970’s furniture organ equipt with foot petals, a drum machine and lighted keys. It was the heart and soul for the first couple ORZ albums. It has an actual leslie built in. And yes… it boasts on its name tag “Solid State.”

Links from One Ring Zero's site:
Urban Geek Records is the label behind several ORZ releases.
Barbès is One Ring Zero's favorite bar and music venue.
Experimental Musical Instruments will teach you how to make your own looney instruments.
Starr Foster / Dance Project holds strong in Richmond, VA... plus she lets us write some of the music occasionally.
Ryan McGinness' art will take over the world eventually.
Parenthetical Note has some great postings. You should read more!
Perceval Press is a press for the otherwise unknown.
Planetary Records released our first CD. Check out the local music of Richmond, VA.
Michael Hearst also writes. You can read some of his work here.
The Rare Bird Rumba Ranch is led by Greg Stare, One Ring Zero's percussionist.
Overheard In New York allows you to eavesdrop on some of NY's more brilliant conversations.
Sophie Auster is seventeen, has an amazing voice, and is beautiful. Oh yeah, she's also Paul Auster's daughter.
Chris Smith / Photography has taken lots of pictures of us. Hire him for your next bar mitzva.
Vinnie's Tampon Cases are made by a guy named Vinnie, who is Sarah Sockit's (see below) husband.
Lindsay Blatt has been known to tour manage ORZ on occasion, however, she's actually a professional photographer.
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