Skatch It Up

source: youtubeInstrument maker Tom Nunn crafts these cool, twisty, electroacoustic structures that look almost like sculpture. Now he’s doing something that looks relatively easy to build yourself.

He calls it the skatchbox, and he demonstrates it in this video. It starts with a cardboard box — a Dell keyboard box is Nunn’s chosen material — atop which are glued smooth metal or wooden objects, forming bumps. You rub combs or sticks over the bumps, and voila! Sound!

And as Nunn shows in that video, it’s really cool sound. He explains how different types of combs produce different sounds, and he wields them deftly.

What’s neat about the skatchbox is that Nunn can, in a sense, mass-produce the things (apparently his day job affords him access to discarded Dell boxes) and can easily show others how to build them. I’m told that was part of his “Touch the Gear” exhibit for the recent Outsound New Music Summit*.

Nunn and David Michalak will perform on skatchboxes tonight at Flux 53, an art space in Oakland. Bob Marsh’s Emergency String (X)tet will be there, too. (Quick note about them here.)

* I managed to attend one night of the Summit but have yet to write it up. Soon, hopefully!