The Enigmatic Symphonies of Instrumentism #15 by Lewis Gesner

 SI Fifteen                               


Collect and introduce several sizes of cardboard tubes, from toilet paper rolls and
yarn tubes to cardboard cement column forms.  Introduce several sizes of paper,
from typing paper to 18x24 inch drawing paper from a pad.  Using large elastic
bands, secure the paper pieces over various tubes to form “drum” skins.  Next, take
pencils and draw simple forms on the surfaces of the paper drums; squares, circles,
spirals, rectangles and ovals.  The drums produces the faint sounds of the shapes being
draw on the skins, with interruptions at angles, specific sound qualities for circles and
spirals,  interruption rhythms for rectangles, and so forth.   


Find several four foot long dowels that are one eighth and one sixteenth inches in
diameter.   Tie a string around one end close to the tip and pull back, holding the opposite
end, so that it flexes like a bow.  Now go to a nearby wall and, pulling on the string so that
the dowel is flexed back, pull and loosen the string so that the dowel “taps” against the wall.
Also, move the string back and forth from left to right, so that the dowel is allowed to
“sway”  or “swish” against the wall from side to side.

The Rummage Trough, Introduced

Connect several cardboard boxes of approximately the same size to each other, cutting
down sides so that the finished product is a single long cardboard “trough.”  Make it as long
as the room or space will allow, even making turns and angles so it is an “L” or a “U”.  Now,
load the trough in sections with materials, uniform with the sections. For instance, fill a three
or four foot length of the trough with plastic bags, stuffed and packed together loose.
Follow this with a length of stones, followed by a length of small pieces or wood, and then,
looses pieces of crumpled paper, and so on. Each material should have its own region of
several feet in the trough.  Now, go to one end and run the fingers through the trough as
if stirring it up or “rummaging” as you walk along the length of it, slowly transitioning from
one region of material to the next, with the anticipated sonic changes  resulting.  This may
be performed several times, with improvisitory lingering and dwelling and speeding through
the various regions for spontaneously desirable effects.