Hornlets and hornlings.
December 1, 2011 10:35 AM   Subscribe

Specimen products is the workshop of Ian Schneller, a Chicago-based sculptor-turned-luthier. His site is worth a look if you are interested in unusual guitars and other stringed instruments (like this electic lute), eccentric amplifiers and speakers, or extreme guitar repair. Currently Schneller is collaberating with musician Andrew Bird on Sonic Arboretum, a musical perfomance/installation piece. Here is video of a performance at the Guggenheim in 2010, and a slideshow of the preparations for an upcoming performance at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art.
posted by gamera (9 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
The Moule Bird is kind of cool. It has about the number of strings I could master.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:48 AM on December 1, 2011

(Full disclosure: I work for the MCA Chicago)

I'm quite excited for this project. All of the horns will be throughout our large atrium, where Andrew will be onsite composing music specific to each horn. The horns will all be playing throughout the month of December. Sonic Arboretum really suits the project well.

Some more information on the project.
posted by Sreiny at 11:08 AM on December 1, 2011

Those horn speakers are so pretty it hurts. I'm also deeply in lust with the aluminum electric Ukulele. Thanks gamera, very cool stuff.
posted by doctor_negative at 11:19 AM on December 1, 2011

That Baby Politic Tube Amp looks like something Philippe would have used when he ran for president, perhaps in his new car (offensive to the unfamiliar, but only slightly less so in context) that was going to cause problems in the community.
posted by chambers at 11:43 AM on December 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

Hey, I live within walking distance of this guy's workshop! I should stop by this weekend and pretend I can afford anything.
posted by theodolite at 12:08 PM on December 1, 2011

fucking maximum extremely yes. though i do wonder, grumpily, how the shit homeboy got started (financially) and where the money came/comes from.
posted by beefetish at 12:35 PM on December 1, 2011

What a craftsman that guy is. I like his story about repairing a treasured old Silvertone.
posted by w0mbat at 1:15 PM on December 1, 2011

> i do wonder, grumpily, how the shit homeboy got started (financially) and where the money came/comes from.

If you're good at woodworking and basic electronics, and have the nerve to take on other people's treasures, there's a decent income to be made in instrument repair. Collectors and musicians who understand the value of their instruments are more likely be realistic about your fees, since a couple thousand dollars of repair work on some model of old Martin or Fender or etc. can improve its resale value to many times that number, and a couple grand in repair on a working instrument will cost a fraction of replacing it with something equally good. Positive word of mouth will do the rest.
posted by ardgedee at 4:00 PM on December 1, 2011

wow it's like the exact opposite financial model for fixing old motorcycles. :(
posted by beefetish at 1:34 PM on December 2, 2011

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