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I saw the light.
November 13, 2007 5:31 PM   Subscribe

Musical saw. Musical saw. Musical saw. Musical saw. Musical saw. Musical saw. Musical saw. Musical saw. Musical saw.

For those who just wanna run out now and grab a saw and start bowing it, there's lots of tutorials and info on the nets. Here's a few links:

Saw.
Saw.
Saw.
Saw.

One contemporary player of particular note is David Coulter, who has lent his creativity and master's touch on the saw to the recordings and performances of luminaries such as Damon Albarn, Tom Waits, The Pogues and many others.
posted by flapjax at midnite (17 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Hauntingly beautiful. Thanks!
posted by inconsequentialist at 6:01 PM on November 13, 2007


I think this is musical saw.

sawladys blog (nyc subway performer)



great post flap.
posted by vronsky at 6:08 PM on November 13, 2007


Thanks vronsky. I'm pretty sure that it's Sawlady we see also in the 'chorus of saws' clip (last link of the FPP). I believe she's the one who raises her bow theatrically from time to time. That was from a Queens, NY musical saw festival, and I think maybe she was leading that ensemble.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:13 PM on November 13, 2007


Musical saw. Austin's Asylum Street Spankers performing Minor Waltz.

They're complaining about audience noise at the beginning of the video because the Spankers don't use any of that Demon Electricity when they perform live.
posted by sdodd at 6:28 PM on November 13, 2007


I always relish the occasion that someone thinks they're all that, pointing out theremin in a song and I can be all "Tone it down with the futurism, playa! That be a dadgum saw, son!"
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 6:29 PM on November 13, 2007


"I see," said the blind man as he picked up his bow and saw.
posted by pmbuko at 6:36 PM on November 13, 2007


Although it is five minutes from dinnertime right now, I will bookmark this site and visit it soon. I was obsessed with this instrument, briefly, decades ago, in the sixties, and intermittently since.

Its flexibility (many meanings here!) as well as its use (originally) as one of the few indispensible tools of all time make it a unique (can't say that word very often) product of our human race.

Go, saw, go!

Its parallel doppelganger might be the glass harmonica.

Thanks!
posted by kozad at 6:36 PM on November 13, 2007


Its parallel doppelganger might be the glass harmonica.

At your service.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:42 PM on November 13, 2007


And there's more: Mussehl & Westphal, perhaps the largest musical saw manufacturer (definitely the oldest) in East Troy, WI. Toronto's Singing Saw Shadow Show (youtube), who have a stage show of shadows and saws you'll never forget. Jim "Supersaw" Leonard, who plays polka on the saw at full tempo, and is the author of the the only book on the history of the musical saw, Scratch My Back.

Somewhere I have hand-written instructions on saw playing from Julian Koster (of Neutral Milk Hotel) ...
posted by scruss at 7:26 PM on November 13, 2007


Here in Santa Cruz, there's a sculpture downtown of Tom Jefferson Scribner, musical saw busker and Wobbly agitator, playing his saw. The florist's booth next door puts a fresh bouquet in his hand daily.
posted by contraption at 8:04 PM on November 13, 2007


So theramin like, eerie and beautiful. huh. Surprised no other officially valued instrument was made to sound like that. Slide guitar also comes to mind. Cool.
posted by nickyskye at 9:44 PM on November 13, 2007


I see the light.
posted by psmealey at 6:26 AM on November 14, 2007


Great post, and bonus MeFi points for the excellent use of the hover feature.
posted by misha at 7:52 AM on November 14, 2007


Was that a saw in 'In the Aeroplane Over The Sea' by Neutral Milk Hotel?
posted by neat-o at 9:04 AM on November 14, 2007


Kev Hopper - Saurus (6 tunes for the musical saw)
posted by Dean King at 9:45 AM on November 14, 2007


I just recorded a couple of songs featuring musical saws last night. Great stuff - striking with mallets, bowing, and best of all was the bass saw! What a cool instrument.
posted by Aquaman at 9:56 AM on November 14, 2007


Musical Saw

(That's Dreamland Faces. Mostly accordion and saw, although I see that now they have enlarged their band. Excellent!)
posted by dirtdirt at 4:51 AM on November 15, 2007


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