Pick of the Litter
Music for Homemade Instruments founded by Skip Laplante and Carole Weber, is an ensemble of classically trained musicians who invent, build, compose for, perform on and teach with musical instruments built from trash and found objects. More than 20 years after some abandoned kitchenware turned irrevocably into musical objects their collection has grown to over 250 instruments. Instead of forcing them to function in any fixed tradition, MFHI has forged new musical frontiers by accepting and flaunting the inherent quirks of these odd, nontraditional instruments. The members of the ensemble on this recording are: Skip Laplante, Carole Weber, David Simons, Lisa Karrer, Jody Kruskal, Sima Wolf, John Bertles, Mayumi Reinhard, with added voices of Deena Burton and Roan Laplante. Some of the instruments we used are: Just intonation monochords, string stretchers, tin can, bass drum, pots and pans, lids, metal tubes, piccolo, string gong, electrical junction box, hubcap, Javanese drum, cardboard tubes, can kora, can chimes, aluminum bells, stroke rods, tube trombone, stretch clarinet, 96 tone harp, styrocello & styrebab, concertina, mailing tube drum, soda straw oboes, legimba, refrigerator drawers, hanging metimbas, and voices. Game structures, theatrical designs, ethnomusicology, the physics of sound, and the work of music pioneer Harry Partch have provided ideas to organize and present the sounds they have unearthed. When not participating in MFHI events, the members are all active composers, often adding homemade instruments and concepts to their own projects which include creating music for dance, theater and opera, installations, film and concerts.