Thursday, October 05, 2006

sound sculpture two

several months ago i was fortunate enough to find a third photo of professor mcrea, ontario's musical wonder. i was stumped by the white number "2" on the image beneath the piano, thinking it might be part of a beginning of a diagram of parts of the music machine.

today in the mail i received another image of him - and what an image it is, with him sitting upon a box getting his feet at the height of the piano keys! at first i thought the white mark beneath him was a scratch on the negative, but when i placed the photos side by side i realized the connection between the mark and the "2". both were taken by swords bros. in york pa. on the same day, and i'm guessing the numbers were catalog numbers so that extra cards could be ordered at will. photo number 1 says on the back "w.l. de groff, bloomfield, ont. return in 10 days". i'm guessing de groff was mcrea's agent, and these were used for publicity as well as souvenirs...if you missed the earlier post with images of mccrea and others click here


Blogger Matterhorn1959 said...

Steve- do any of these musical contraptions still exist? Have you tried contacting a local museum to one of these guys and see if someone ever donated one. I would love to hear a recording of oen of these musical instruments.

4:59 AM  
Blogger Matterhorn1959 said...

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4:59 AM  
Blogger sroden said...

oh man, no idea. it would be amazing to see or hear one in person. i've seen some antique oddball music machines in european museums but nothing at this scale and of course, not able to hear them. there's been some beautiful musical contraptions as far back as the 1600's. i'm working with an artist in berlin named martin riches who has built a machine like this that talks using organ reeds, wood resonators shaped like the the throat, and a vacuum cleaner motor. it's pretty amazing... so the spirit is still around!

7:50 AM  

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