Wednesday, March 21, 2012

"Staccato" - My Drummer Piece

This piece was a commission from a collector who owns my piano piece, "Crescendo" and my cello piece, "Intermezzo". Last spring, after he purchased "Intermezzo", I jokingly said, "Now all you need is a drummer to complete your combo." He said he was thinking the same thing.
At the beginning of the year - when I usually do commissions - I contacted him to see if he was still interested in a drummer piece. This one has been bouncing around in my head for a while and it seemed the time was right to bring him to fruition.

I didn't take as many in-progress pictures as I usually do, but I think these tell the story of how the piece was made......

His body and long legs, carved from basswood, and his brushes.

The drums are made from found objects - many small tins and a drawer pull - all mounted on a wooden handle attached to a metal cutter that acts as the base.

The cymbals and the giant cowbell, more found bits and pieces. I made the cymbal able to move naturally when struck by the brush.

Here I'm working out the position of all the instruments, and where his body needs to be in able to hit them properly. (Q-tips are standing in for the brushes.)

The pine floor. I wanted to do a pattern that looked random. The pine will naturally age down to a rich amber color over the next few years. I prefer to let nature take it's course instead of trying to do some kind of stained finish. I did distress it a bit to give it a head start.

The final shot of Staccato. I made him slightly bent over so he looks like he is really into his drumming.

Here I shot up to get a good picture of his face.

A side view.

On the other side you can see the primitive drum kick I made out of an old piano key mechanism.

A overhead shot showing the placement of the brushes on the instruments. He plays one drum and one cymbal.

A close-up of his head - made from polymer clay.

The mechanism - I tipped the piece on it's back for this picture. The rods that go to his arms are seen at the bottom, and the weight of his arms keep the followers against the cams. It's powered by a 6 rpm gearmotor.

I will post a movie of Staccato soon, as soon as I edit it........