Structures Sonores
January 21, 2009 4:24 PM   Subscribe

In 1952, Bernard and François BASCHET reveal a new acoustic principle. They manage to amplify the internal vibration of metal, thus founding a new acoustic instrumental family : The Sound Structures

The instruments they created - especially the Cristal family of instruments, an astonishing modernist take on the glass armonica - make a sound that is unusual, beautiful and sometimes slightly scary.

There have been virtuosi of the instrument: Jacques and Yvonne Lasry were its first masters, played today by Thomas Bloch and Michel Deneuve among others.

Ubu-Web have Chronophagie by Lasry-Baschet available for download.

The instrument was feaured on the soundtrack to Cocteau's Testament of Orpheus, but it's probably best known (to British people of a particular age, anyway), for providing the (faintly terrifying) theme to Picture Box, a schools programme of the 1980s.
posted by Grangousier (4 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
n'oubliez pas le Gaffophone!*

in all seriousness, i had no idea Franquin was referring to extant phenomona.
posted by mwhybark at 5:20 PM on January 21, 2009

Is there anything Benjamin Franklin didn't do?

(Shouldn't these be locking nuts?)
posted by StickyCarpet at 5:21 PM on January 21, 2009

This post is great, thank you.

It took longer than I thought it would to find a photo of the inflatable guitar mentioned entirely in passing on the Wikipedia page, as if it were not a detail of extreme importance, but there is one here. While looking, turns out there's more inflatable guitars, of another design, here.
posted by motty at 7:51 PM on January 21, 2009

Ah, Picture Box, with Alan Rothwell. So ... odd. Least I know know what the theme is.
posted by scruss at 8:11 PM on January 22, 2009

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