Hans Reichel’s Daxophone
From the book & CD package Gravikords, Whirlies & Pyrophones comes this picture of Hans Reichel’s Daxophone. The Daxophone consists of a thin, finely formed wooden stick secured to a heavier mounting at one end, and free to vibrate at the other. It can be sounded by plucking or bowing. A separate part of the instrument, not shown in this photo, is a specially shaped chunk of wood with two slightly curved surfaces, which can be held against the light stick as it vibrates in such a way as to alter and control the pitch and tone quality. A contact mic embedded in the mounting piece allows for amplification. The sounds that issue forth from this thing are totally unexpected: bestially comical and sometimes oddly beautiful.
You can hear an excerpt from Hans’ irresistible Daxophone piece Le Bal track by clicking the link above. Articles on Hans’ instruments have also appeared in the Experimental Musical Instruments quarterly journal. These include an article on the Daxophone (Volume 4 #3) and his extroardinary Pick-Behind-the-Bridge Guitar (Volume 5 #1). “Thinking,” a deeply meditative and otherworldly piece that Hans recorded on his Pick-Behind-the-Bridge guitar, appears on our CD collection Experimental Musical Instruments: Early Years.