15Aug>Music Man of the High Street.
Yesterday, while walking through Lincoln’s high street I came across this man and his marvellous and intricate musical contraptions. He had made a series of automated percussive instruments that were beautifully raw in appearance and yet over-complicated considering the task they were required to do. I cannot assume what this man’s motivations were, but it seemed he was interested in not only the sounds his boxes of tricks made, but also the actual making of the objects themselves. I cannot imagine that this guy sat down and designed these things, as their shapes are so unrefined and were largely made from found objects, but probably just started making them based on in idea of a noise that they might make. Either way it was fascinating, and I stood for a long time looking at the bicycle wheel that turned to make little hammers hit tin lids, and the string that was rhythmically plucked by a spinning wheel of plectrum-like pieces of plastic.
After setting these up, the guy picked up a hand held instrument that had a handle that he turned to hit tins and bottles, which he could rotate to change the sound, and began the most extraordinary performance. I’m a big fan of music, and of making things, so this performance appealed to me hugely. I haven’t in a long time seen such raw creativity. Many Lincolners stood around looking at this guy, scowling with confusion, although some were smiling too. The set seemed to consist of one song that lasted for about ten minutes, and varied only in the sounds coming from the hand held instrument. There was no particular structure to the songs and none of the percussive beats fitted together in a regular sense, but the whole thing was magnificent. I was keen to find out a little more about who this guy was, and why he was doing it, but I decided that it would only be fitting to leave having asked no questions, just appreciating what this bloke had done. I managed to film some of the set, so please have a look and enjoy. I wish more people did stuff like this, it was truly ace.
This video is an up close shot of the automated percussive machines that kept going at the same tempo during the set.