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Gravikords, Whirlies & Pyrophones Hardcover – June 1, 1998


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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Relaxation Co; Har/Com edition (June 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 155961482X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1559614825
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 5.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,973,436 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 24, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Gravikords, Whirlies and Pyrophones is a new CD and book celebrating 37 outrageously inventive designers and builders of new and unusual musical instruments. The package includes a 96-page book with over 90 photographs and a foreword by Tom Waits, and a 73-minute CD of entirely original performances by 18 of the artists featured in the book. All this comes packaged in a sturdy box that can also be played as an instrument (as demonstrated by Bart Hopkin on National Public Radio).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Christopher Coleman on March 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I've long had an interest in unusual musical instruments, but finding the books and CDs written and collected by Bart Hopkin has really stoked the flame of my fascination. Gravikords, Whirlies, and Pyrophones is the first of two books in this particular series; it does come with a CD full of examples of about 4 minutes each--the examples are actual pieces of music using these instruments and not just a demonstration of their sound. This book seems not to be in print, so if you do buy a used copy, make absolutely sure that the CD is included.

Of the instruments and inventors included, my absolute favorite has to be the daxophone of Hans Reichel. It's named after the unusually versitile vocal ability of the badger--Dachs is the German word for that animal--and is capable of a truly amazing and often hilarious range of sounds, from incredibly low grumbles to piercingly high shreeks. The instrument is essentially a slab of wood about the size and shape of a ruler, one end of which is fastened to a table and the other which is bowed or struck or plucked; there's a separated fretted piece that is held against the wood that manipulates the vibrations of the wood in various ways, some quite unpredictable. With many different wooden slabs, of various kinds of wood carved into various shapes and thicknesses, and often using multitracking but no other electronic manipulation; Reichel creates compositions that are endlessly fascinating and entertaining. I'm a huge fan, and I've since bought all of his CDs that I could get my hands on. When I've played Reichel's music on my radio show that airs on Hong Kong's public fine music station, I've had more response and interest than with anything else I've played.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 10, 1998
Format: Hardcover
A book-and-CD package devoted to new and unheard of musical instruments, full of magnificent photographs, informative text and great music, every page and every track overflowing with ideas and originality. Some of the world's most interesting and inventive musical instrument makers appear in the book with music from them included on the CD. This will become a collector's item.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bill Schaeffer on March 8, 2003
Format: Hardcover
What a wonderful collection of tremendous music!!! The package is beautiful and the booklet is very informative. The music is all very listenable. I've never heard of most of these artists and am impressed with their talent, genius, craftsmanship, art, and spirit. I highly recommend this collection to anyone with the least interest in music and music making!!!
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