An Instrument a Day

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Squeaky Stick, “Instrument-a-Day” For almost 10 years, one month each year, sound artist Ranjit Bhatnagar has produced a musical instrument each day. Each unique object can rattle, tinker, squeak, or chime while others venture into more unique sound making. Materials can range from thermometers and tofu to household objects. Because …

emotionally-durable-design-01
Squeaky Stick, “Instrument-a-Day”

For almost 10 years, one month each year, sound artist Ranjit Bhatnagar has produced a musical instrument each day. Each unique object can rattle, tinker, squeak, or chime while others venture into more unique sound making. Materials can range from thermometers and tofu to household objects. Because of the ephemeral nature of these instruments, only a few still exist at the moment.

Although the ritual is deliberately unsophisticated, it allows room for fresh experimentation and whimsy. Each step along the way offers a unique perspective of what sound can be. The project is then documented and posted on Bhatnagar’s blog. The instrument’s development, material, sonic possibility, interaction with its environment and performance all create surprises from the ordinary, no matter how small.

At a monthly sound symposium, Bhatnagar invited people to open bags of dried seaweed and then munch on them as a snack. The crunching and crinkling became an amplified soundscape, with additional beats from Bhatnagar by heating up and popping the included silica gel packs.

 

instrument-a-day 10: carousel

Many of us participate in daily drawing challenges and exercises, and it can be a great way to build skills. What’s interesting about Bhatnagar’s practice is the unique nature of each instrument and sound. It seems as if he’s pushing the boundaries of what a sound can be; new instruments can create new types of sound and music. It would be as if a new type of drawing tool or image making process was created each day. In February, Bhatnagar finally concluded the “Instrument-a-Day” project. The artist instituted “Collab Feb,” a project trying to make as many collaborations as possible.

Videos courtesy of Ranjit Bhatnagar.

instrument-a-day 24: vegan egg bass

instrument-a-day 16: floor harpsichord prototype

instrument-a-day 23: tiny fizz

instrument-a-day 28: Ten Years of Instrument-a-day

instrument-a-day 7: Bottle Imp 1

instrument-a-day 1: Joe Strummer

instrument-a-day 4: thermometer drum

instrument-a-day 13: squeaky stick

instrument-a-day 25: wooden synth, special WFMU edition

instrument-a-day 20: window wiper