This solo performance of "New Moon" on a Spacedrum by Yuki Koshimoto is mesmerizing, but without much context. Who is she, and what is her instrument? This blog post has a bit more on Yuki, and here is some information on Metalsounds' Spacedrum and other similar metal instruments. If you want more background on the instrument, here's a documentary on the PANArt Hang, something of the predecessor to the Spacedrum, both of which have evolved from the steelpan or steel drum. Going back further, here's Toshi and Pete Seeger, documenting the making of a steel drum, in 1956.
Pendle Poucher is a UK based composer, sound designer and lover of funny noises who has written, produced and performed soundtracks for every major UK TV station. He has devised large scale public art projects and written chart-topping dance music. However, what I find most interesting, he is also one of relatively few musicians within the UK who owns a dulcitone. Poucher claims that his Dulcitone 1884 is the world's first multi-sampled dulcitone. [more inside]
So these guys built a crazy y-shaped guitar that can produce sounds that sound like a regular guitar or a steal drum[wav]. There are more sound examples on that page. Meanwhile Mari Kimura has figured out a way to produce sub harmonics on a regular violin, extending the range down an octave, producing some [intresting[mp3] results. via]
At some point in 2001 one of my favorite bands got it's own website and I didn't notice until just now. I mention this not because it's particularly mefi worthy just because I like it, but because I have four of their albums and they never fail to cheer me up when nothing else will. It's the steel drums I'm sure. Alas, doesn't look they will be playing near me anytime soon, but there are still many other steel drum bands out there and if this one isn't coming your way either you can probably find one that is.