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Gotta hand it to 'em
January 7, 2007 6:40 AM   Subscribe

In 1933 an unassuming farmer, one Cecil Dill, was thrust into the spotlight for his 15 minutes of fame, on account of his astonishing musical talent. He played his hands. Just his hands. He was a practitioner (actually the first we know of) of the little-known art of manualism. The hands may be the most difficult "instruments" in the world to play, but there are those still putting palms together for the sake of melody. And what better accompanist for a virtuosic pair of hands than a bicycle pump? And though he really should rethink the afro wig, this guy's rendition of Purple Haze really must be heard. [note: most links go to video sites with very flatulent audio]
posted by flapjax at midnite (32 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
All the "palms" video links from the FPP are from manualist R.A. Wilson's site (lots more links there), and the "together" links are from Gaston & Purcell's Mr. Handman.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:41 AM on January 7, 2007


Ha! I remember seeing the first Cecil Dill video a year or so ago. The thing that got me was his cold, dead fish eyes. Clearly the life of a manualist is one of ceaseless horror.
posted by bifter at 6:48 AM on January 7, 2007


Crazy, love it. The amount of concentration it obviously takes contrasted with the sound is sublime.
posted by toma at 7:00 AM on January 7, 2007


the jimi handrix clip is awesome. his rendering of strat/marshall feedback at the end of voodoo chile is dead on. i laughed and laughed!
posted by quonsar at 7:33 AM on January 7, 2007


Pretty good, but where's La Campanella?
posted by washburn at 7:38 AM on January 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


Hilarious Purple Haze rendition. Right up there with the sound direction of Le Petomane (foggy video).

The amount of concentration it obviously takes contrasted with the sound is sublime.

Well said. Although I feel tenderly for Cecil Dill, so straightforward, humble and earnest.

Check out this guy, The Spoon Man, playing a whole drawer full of cutlery, his hands and his body. Or this spoon guitar.
posted by nickyskye at 7:44 AM on January 7, 2007


Whoa, that Spoon Man clip was sweet. I was expecting some hillbilly spoon playing, not a bit of gamelan and a whole buncha tabla.
posted by Bugbread at 7:57 AM on January 7, 2007


You cannot look away. Manos: The hands of love.
posted by hal9k at 8:05 AM on January 7, 2007


Yeah, Spoon Man kicked ass! Thanks, nickyskye, I really appreciate how you so often bring cool new links with your comments! That clip took me back, too, to when Night Music was running: certainly one of the very best TV shows for music to ever air. (Having to look at David Sanborn's hair wasn't the greatest, but otherwise, a damn good show that was).
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:07 AM on January 7, 2007


Jimi Handrix also does a fantastic National Anthem on Bicycle Tire Pump.
posted by Foosnark at 8:19 AM on January 7, 2007


Glad you liked that clip flapjax and bugbread. His name is Artis, The Spoonman. (and thanks for the compliment flapjax. :) Yeah, and what was David Sanborn thinking with that bouffant Brillo pad do of his?
posted by nickyskye at 8:29 AM on January 7, 2007


what was David Sanborn thinking with that bouffant Brillo pad do of his?

God only knows. Hell, I'll take Jimi Handrix's afro wig over that any day!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:34 AM on January 7, 2007


Could you play your hands and eef at the same time?
posted by randomination at 8:35 AM on January 7, 2007


Could you play your hands and eef at the same time?

That would be totally badass. Plus throw in a little of that Petomane action every now and then as an extra accent...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:40 AM on January 7, 2007


Awesome. Incredible virtuosity. My favorite post of the year so far.
posted by Peach at 9:03 AM on January 7, 2007


Then, after practicing every day for several weeks, I found I could play yankee doodle.

Rock and roll.
posted by billysumday at 9:22 AM on January 7, 2007


That's nothing. Let's see them do it with only ONE hand
posted by growabrain at 10:18 AM on January 7, 2007


I believe we can safely call this wankery with the hands.
posted by isopraxis at 11:39 AM on January 7, 2007


you know, I would NEVER in my life have heard of this if it weren't for metafilter. Why do I come here? This is why i come here.
posted by shmegegge at 11:53 AM on January 7, 2007


Shypop1 (2 hours ago)
WoW, Got to give 'em a hand for such a great performance. Luckily the lady on the piano lent him a hand to fully flesh out the piece.


Oh, YouTube commenters... you virtuosos of wit, you cunning masters of pun; where would the humour universe be without you?
posted by tehloki at 12:53 PM on January 7, 2007


Nice thread. I've been edified.
posted by dropkick at 1:33 PM on January 7, 2007


Just saw the Jimi Hendrix rendition of the national anthem on the bike pump, almost spurted my coffee. So, that guy in the afro wig calls himself Jimi Handtrix. According to his profile page on YouTube, he's 38 and from Cherry Hill, NJ. His website about manualists is called, The Four Squeezins! (warning, visually disturbing site color combos) and there's a game called the Tire Pump vs Hand Pong.

Having seens the vids, when it comes to a mano a mano, I think R.A. Wilson's manualism is, hands down, the best.

But wait, this finger snapping video rocks. Manualism goes rap?
posted by nickyskye at 1:40 PM on January 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


According to the liner notes of Superunknown, , Artis was THE spoonman in the video and song "Spoonman" by Soundgarden.

My highschool grunge years take on new meaning. Very cool!
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 2:48 PM on January 7, 2007


Ah, that "spoon guitar" link was lovely. Any idea what that song he's playing is or what that man's name is?
posted by redteam at 2:49 PM on January 7, 2007


ps Bobby Badfingers.

redteam, the spoon guitarist's name is Hannes Coetzee. He's South African. More about David Kramer's Karoo Kitaar Blues. Another video of Hannes.

Hannes Coetzee is a soft-spoken 72-year old whose job is tapping the aloes that grow around his Karoo hometown of Herberstdale for their medicinal juice. Hannes composes his own songs and learnt to play the guitar on the side of the hill when the aloes were too dry to tap and to keep himself company on long lonely evenings in the mountains of the Kamiesbeg. The only known practitioner of the ‘optel and knyp’style he must rank as one of the most unusual slide guitarists in the world. If you shut your eyes you would think that there were two people accompanying each other on guitars.
posted by nickyskye at 3:17 PM on January 7, 2007


pps, Uther Bentrazor, lyrics for Spoonman, Soundgarden's Spoonman video.
posted by nickyskye at 3:25 PM on January 7, 2007


Brillant. This kinda stuff gives me hope for the human race. (In keeping with the Hendrix theme I discovered this from the likewise bizarrely gifted in the visual arts.)
posted by Skygazer at 4:34 PM on January 7, 2007


Having seens the vids, when it comes to a mano a mano, I think R.A. Wilson's manualism is, hands down, the best.

That was not the R.A. Wilson I was expecting.
posted by flaterik at 12:44 AM on January 8, 2007


There is also armpit music. Look at this afghani guy.
posted by skepticX at 2:17 AM on January 8, 2007


Whoa, skepticX, that's great! Check out his listeners having a good chuckle: flatulent sounds are just universally funny! I have a feeling the singer's lyrics are comical, as well. Wish I knew what he was singing.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:23 AM on January 8, 2007


Oh skepticX, totally enjoyed that hilarious video! He has that mischievous look on his face that rascals have. And he was good too. Cool find.
posted by nickyskye at 7:48 AM on January 8, 2007


Armpit music makes the world go round.
posted by Skygazer at 1:16 PM on January 8, 2007


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