Johannes Bergmarks Musical Instrument Gallery 1
Photos © by Johannes Bergmark, except where indicated.
This page contains RealAudio files to listen to as you please. If you don't have RealAudio, you will need to go first and download the free G2 player. Of course, these sounds don't have the same quality as the full-length original recordings, which for the most part are from the cd "Johannes Bergmark's Material Music". Order it here.
Johannes Bergmark has constructed his own musical instruments since about 1990, as a result in particular, of the visit to Chicago and the instrument designer Hal Rammel. Like Rammel, Bergmarks instruments are made in order to be played by the maker in an improvised setting. The making of instruments coincides in time with Bergmarks classical education to a piano builder, and the first experiments were made in the schools workshop.
The earliest of these, the Butter Bass is simply made of a butter box (so it was told to him) and a single piano string. Drawing from the inspiration of a dream, the instrument was supposed to be played standing on one foot while the other would support the butter box resonator. For practical reasons, it is now played sitting, with both feet on the box and the thong around the neck.
Listen to the Butter Bass in Real Audio.
The Maiden Crown and the Clay Didjeridu are made of clay. The first is bowed and played percussively, while the other is played as a didjeridu.
Photo from video © by Alejandro Vega-Fredes
The Stringed Stirrups or Angel Strings has, like the butter bass, loose piano strings going through loops on a resonator, but the resonator is tied around the musicians chest. He is giving tension to the two strings standing in the lower end stirrups, thus hanging suspended from the ceiling in the strings. It is played with two bows and specially made wooden beaters. Sometimes the longitudinal vibrations of the strings are excited with rosined gloves. It is amplified with a contact microphone.
The Stringed Stirrups, a closer look. Photo from video © by Alejandro Vega-Fredes
See a large picture of Bergmark playing the Stringed Stirrups, photo © by Gudrun Edel-Rösnes.
... and take a closer look at the instrument itself!
Listen to the Stringed Stirrups in Real Audio.
Photo © by Christian Werner
The Hedgehog and the Forked Silver Tongue are both played with a bow against the edge of a table, using the table as the resonator. The first one is wooden and also has upright rods on it.
The Glass Shade Bells are simply found lamp shades of glass, all with their own pitch and timbre.
The Metal Harp is a cupper tube with triangular iron plates of different sizes molded in a circle around it. It is played with a bow, spun around in the lap, or scraped or struck percussively. It can also be played as a flute or a trumpet.
Listen to the Metal Harp in Real Audio.
Photo © by Greg Locke
The Finger Violin is made of two violin-shaped wooden plates with five piano strings through them. One of the plates is held behind the left arm to keep tension, the other, which has a contact microphone, is held under the chin just like an ordinary violin. The strings are fastened in wooden rings on the left hands finger tips.
Listen to the Finger Violin in Real Audio.