Fun with hammers

After posting yesterday about the “found percussion” I’m using in my new middle school piece, I came across this article in today’s Chicago Sun Times.  The article is about Vadim Karpinos, who plays timpani and assorted percussion in the Chicago Symphony.  The story speaks specifically to this idea that just about anything can be percussion:

For one Symphony Center concert, Karpinos bought some “instruments” at the Home Depot and local thrift stores. His job during a performance of chamber music by Hungarian composer Gyorgy Ligeti was to smash stuff on stage — glasses, dishes and a wooden box. “I enjoyed that quite a bit. It’s great stress relief.”
That performance was a return to his musical roots. “I just loved banging on things — pots and pans and old LP records,” he said. “My parents saw that my interest wasn’t going away, so my father made me a drum set out of an ironing board and some old tin cans.”

Don’t worry. I won’t be asking students to smash glasses. A trip to Home Depot is probably not out of the question, though…


Tony says

Home depot is a great place for finding percussion equipment! In various compositions I have used PVC pipe cut to various lengths either for specific pitches or for a set of relative pitches (ie 8 inches, 12 inches, 16 inches and 32 inches), metal siding cut into various size squares, 4 inch squares of wood (all different thicknesses), precut lengths of metal pipe, flower pots of different sizes/materials (hit with RUBBER mallets). You can even fit drum heads from marching tenor drums on lengths of PVC pipe for a "space drum" effect.

Last time I needed something like this I got together with a percussionist and spent an afternoon wander the hardware isles of home depot.

Hope some of this helps!

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