Music - Instruments

I love my gongs. Some, tray gongs, are made from IKEA dinner trays. These were hammered until the sound was good. The trick is not to go past 'the point of no return', when it doesn't sound too good. There's no real turning back then. So it's a case of stopping while the going is good.

Other gongs are often found objects, eg. A record deck, hub caps, circular saw blades, steel sheets, oil drum lids etc. Some of my gongs are made by craftspeople from China, Vietnam, Nepal and India.

I like playing scrap objects such as scaffolding clips, old fire bells and discarded metal objects such as shelf brackets. This can lead to interesting moments in IKEA and DIY stores as various objects are hit for sound testing purposes. Visits to car scrapyards too have thrown up some puzzled faces!

I like using autoharps which are then customised and prepared, using contact mikes. I love springs and they usually get incorporated into all my instruments. The sounds from all the contact mikes are often put through cheap guitar effects boxes and sometimes a loop station. I also use a foot volume pedal which tends to replace a bass drum pedal when working with drums and cymbals. I don't observe any rules really, but I'm continuously searching for new sound combinations that fire my imagination.