As I read "Musical Instrument Design - Practical Information for Instrument Making by
Bart Hopkin" and scan experimental sound blogs, I'm starting to get a better sense of the people who make experimental musical instruments. There seems to be a network of individuals, making things within that community which, from my background of the Dutch design and art scenes, seems quite secluded and consequently rife with idea exchange. Sam elaborated on the unspoken code of idea exchange: makers want to see some of their ideas developed in different ways. Often, makers put a concept or experiment out there in open source because they don't have the time to complete every good idea. Makers are aware of each others' practices and each seems set on an obsessive niche of their own. At the heart of every artists' practice are the same fundamental acoustic principles. Perhaps these conditions create the bond between the makers.
Sam wryly commented that plagiarisation can't really be a concern when the creations rarely have any commercial potential. Can you imagine John Lewis trying to decide the department in which to place Sam's Mammoth Beat Organ?!