Archive for the ‘Ehru’ Category

The McMurdo Session – Xenharmonic Gang of Five

Saturday, July 30th, 2016

xenharmonic_gang_of_five Left to Right Andrew Heathwaite, Aaron Krister Johnson, Jacob Barton, Dan Stearns and myself

These recordings are totally unrehearsed improvisations that took place at my home. As a consequence there is wandering and going down paths that were discarded. I attempted to curate the best parts of an all day session. Much of the music wouldn’t make sense without enduring the development before something jelled. Two pieces of this session were previously released and are included here to complete the session. Instruments – voice, trombone, udderbot, clarinet, 15 edo, 17 edo, 19 edo, 20 edo, 22edo guitars and fretless banjo, guitar and bass, gongs, Tibetan singing bowls, DIY erhu, 31 edo bouzuki, various electronics and percussion. We freely mixed tunings and our compositional goal was to have a good time! We hope you enjoy these recordings.

The Gift of Structure

I Forgot Your Hat

Racetrack Playa

vacuum energy jello

La Mystique des Quinze

Carry On

The One True Tuning

To Craunch the Marmoset

Friday, September 20th, 2013


To Craunch the Marmoset is an electronic ambient poly-tuned piece – Albino in 16 edo, Z3TA+ 2.1 in 8 edo, Absynth in 43 harmonics series segment reduced to an octave, Cameleon 5000 in 22 edo, and DIY Erhu in roughly just intonation on D about middle and harmonics thereof. Phrases from “English as She is Spoke” by Pedro Carolino are read by Google (who sounds a bit like Siri actually.)

Electron Flows (16 edo)

Sunday, September 15th, 2013


Electron Flows is a composition for albino, Z3TA+ 2.1, DIY Erhu, Pianoteq, and Christiane Offenbar’s heavily manipulated vocal. Electronic ambient would be a good classification I think.


Erhu Duet

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

erhu_duet click to make big and see the captured “score” thanks to FFT math.

I used my newly made Erhu to play a decidedly non-Chinese drone duet. I marked out a scale I made up by ear with a marker and used a capo to clamp a $5 piezo pickup to the fingerboard. I’m assuming that its a good bet this is a just intonation something or other. I hope you like it. Now… I’m thinking of making a version that I can ebow. I have an inkling that may be pretty slick.

DIY Erhu (or do you say Ehru?)

Sunday, April 28th, 2013




This is the initial construction of my Ehru or is it Erhu? – whatever the correct spelling may be the actual Chinese instrument has a python skin for the resonator cover and two strings. What I’ve done here is used a kilogram sized coffeemate container (HDPE #2 plastic) and a single D string from an electric guitar. A small sharp wood chisel was used to cut into the plastic container. Removing the container cap makes the sound a bit brighter and louder. The bridge is a 5 string banjo bridge I saw at a local music store got $8.50. The stick came from a oak picture easel with half of its parts missing from Goodwill for $5 which included the wing nut and bolt and predrilled hole which I used to help secure the stick. Small holes in the stick that allow the string to pass through but not the ball are used to secure the string opposite the bridge. The zither pin I used is from from EMI . Right now the zither pin does double duty as a nut as well. I have two sound examples bowed
and plucked.

Click on any picture to make it bigger.