The chance to play DIY and unusual instruments was totally irresistible, and I arrived at Machines Room in East London to find a pretty unique jam taking place.
Featuring a handmade Dronitar, Scrapitar and other unusual DIY gear, some people had also brought along rare instruments such as Hang, and Gamelan.
The friendly folk thrust a Dronitar into my hand and pretty soon I was making bass type sounds through this amazing piece of wood and electronics with three strings.
It’s designed by Vulpes Instruments who make hand crafted instruments from recycled, reused and readily available parts.
I was then shown how to play the Hang with hands and fingers, and pretty soon was off and away making warm percussive sounds. I’d been dying to get my hands on one since seeing a Hang in action at a Music Tech Fest Paris jam. They are a form of percussion that is hand made from steel by PANArt Hang in Bern and each one is tuned harmonically.
Someone had brought along the first Gubal in the UK. This is also made by PANArt and has a different shape, greater volume, wider range and lower tone pitch than the Hang.
Gamelan too was on the menu and it was great to have the chance to play this kind of traditional percussion.
Machines Room have a host of marvellous machines including 3D printers, laser and vinyl cutters and CNC, that you can use either by booking or under a membership scheme. They’ve got more musical instrument events and workshops coming up, including one this weekend.
- On Saturday, 21st March, you can join Vulpes Instruments for a 4-hour workshop where you will learn how to build your own 3-stringed, fretted instrument from scratch, from scraps. With the application of very basic woodwork and a simple bit of electronics take home your very own, Scrapitar. The workshop is suitable for ages 12+ - under 16s welcome if accompanied by an adult.