Miles Meets Sam
An internship from October 2020
Email us

Built with Indexhibit drumpet.jpg

There are lots of different ways this instrument could go, but I think this incarnation has reached a point of finish. It is a very expansive instrument, with a lot of ways to play and a good range of sounds. I have fettled the details and managed to make Sam a pretty clean version.

The playing: The most intuitive way to play the Drumpet is to start at the edge of the membrane and experiment with pressure on the end air tube and air pressure. Sounds go from very bassy to quite shrill based on membrane pressure and the lowest tones have to be reached with a gradual air pressure increase. I really like the bassy tones because they're surprisingly low given the size. That is due to the latex's supple, elastic quality and the reason we first started researching the material.
The most beautiful sounds are made when the membrane drifts in between two registers and simultaneously plays them both with a complex beating effect. This gliding of sound is probably the natural characteristic of the instrument and the aesthetic which has the most appeal to musicians and composers. It has a very cinematic quality - being in the area of droned brass, strings and pads - but I think it does have a kinship with free jazz sax and reed instruments when it is played with a quickly moving membrane and bursts of air.

To experiment with soft, drone capabilities, I took my Drumpet into nature. "Field recordings taken with an experimental musician placed somewhere in the landscape, making noise with his strange instrument, voicing his voice with those of the birds and Sunday humans.

Through the movements, you will follow a gradient of vehicle size and water presence; from a tottering tractor and a hissing pond to possibly a distant garden tool and babbling beck.

I go out into the wilderness and take a walk. The first time I stop is by an ancient motte and bailey fort. There is a tractor nearby, going about its business and a smattering of hedge birds singing their song. I wandered into the meadow and sat down to play.

Perching on a rickety wooden bridge over a gentle stream, I pause again, placing the microphone somewhere on the very same bridge. Wandering on, my next place of perch is a little higher, up with the birds; perhaps 5 or 6 meters up a lime tree on the edge of an ornamental forest."