When it comes to Blue Man Group’s instruments, almost everything is made by hand. PVC pipes and other industrial materials are par for the course. We got to peek inside the studio to see some of the latest creations from the Blue Man team. Following is a transcript of the video.
Andrew Schneider: These PVC tube instruments, that is a three dollar piece of plastic you can buy at Lowe’s and that is part of what’s exciting about how would someone, a musical being, look at this for the first time, what would they want to do with it?
Ben Flint: The instruments come about, I think every one is a little bit different. Anybody can bring an idea to the table. Our tone mill was one of our Blue Men that drew a sketch.
Schneider: The concept of this is that you have different tubes and then the length of the tube is creating the pitch, the note. By having two, you can have a chord. Potentially, you can use a stick or you can use another tube that has its own note to create a chord.
This is another piece, another instrument that we’re working on for a piece that’s being developed about feedback. There’s a speaker on one end, there’s a microphone on the other end and you, when you put a microphone at a speaker, it causes feedback. And, with the pipe, we can tune it to be different notes. Where the struggle is, is that every day we walk in, the notes are totally different. We’re now being inspired by the challenge to try and find a way to make this actually workable and tunable every night.
So we’re trying to find an instrument that could drone in a similar way as didgeridoo but, obviously, have different playing aspects and something that was, again, theatrically something that was visual and had a lot of action to it. It’s kind of inspired by a hurdy-gurdy style instrument. You’re bowing this and then changing the note with this lever.
Flint: Similar concept, we’ve got two higher strings here, just music wire, something you have on a piano. And, this wheel that you spin, and then very sophisticated, we have zip ties cut to a little over a half an inch. And, when you rotate this, you are plucking the strings and then we have this slider which is fretting and we’ve come up with our own musical language here, the Blue Men speak in colors and shapes when reading music.
Schneider: So we basically took a vibraphone and split it apart onto a separate sort of playable platform that can be a lot more visual as an instrument. So these are actual vibraphone keys and then there’s pickups underneath each one so that we can now run it through whatever fun pedals we want to do – we want to run it through, so.
Source:: Business Insider