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21 Ways of Looking at Things
Sound Instruments Designed by Bart Hopkin
Audio CD with 4-page booklet. Published by Experimental Musical Instruments, 2007. (EMI item #420)
This is the newer of two audio CDs featuring instruments made by EMI's founder, Bart Hopkin. The other, Instrumentarium Hopkinis, is more familiarly musical in terms of melody, harmony, rhythm, grooves. This one is more textural, soundscape-ish, atmospheric. It contains 21 pieces featuring dozens of instruments of diverse types ranging from unusual to scarcely imaginable, including gurgle flutes, plosives, flex short strings, steady-on-stainless, mild steel, string-on-tine, trillium harp, stroked zither, formant changer, and many more. Those names won't mean much to you if you haven't yet heard the instruments, so let me just say that they're fresh and surprising and flavorful throughout, with moods ranging from sweet to obnoxious. You can hear several audio samples below.