Instruments

Linsey has been making musical instruments since 1971 when he started making bamboo flutes. This led to making a range of renaissance flutes from wood. An Australia Council grant in 1976 enabled him to travel in Europe measuring early woodwinds in museum collections. He then set up a workshop in London for 2 years making renaissance flutes and also began making reed instruments, especially gaidas  (bagpipes) from Macedonia and Bulgaria.

On returning to Australia  in 1979 he continued exploring Eastern European folk instruments, concentrating on gaidas. In 1987 he began designing and making an instrument called a tarogatino, which eventually developed into the saxillo (a single reed conical bore instrument inspired by the Hungarian tarogato). It is like a mellow soprano saxophone (wooden, with no keys). This has gradually developed over the next 30 years.

Linsey has also since 1973 run hundreds of community workshops in instrument making. This began with flutes and panpipes. In 1988 he invented the “Humarimba” a marimba (or large xylophone) suspended from the belts of two of the three players. Since then the humarimba has become a mainstay of Linsey’s work in Community Music (the highlight being a project in 1995 called “The Big Marimba” where 400 people built 320 metres of marimbas (with 2400 tuned marimba bars) that crossed the Brisbane River attached to the Victoria Bridge as part of the Brisbane Biennial Music Festival.

Since 1980 Linsey has also specialized in making musical instruments from various house and garden objects such as the garden hose panpipes, the watering can clarinet, rubber glove bagpipes, carrot flutes and carrot clarinets, chair flutes, broom clarinets etc. These instruments have featured in many of his shows such as Out of the Frying Pan, Knocking on Kevin’s Door, Playpen, The Art of Food, Making Jam, Passing Wind, Live and Loopy and Paper, Scissors …Rock!

More recently he has designed hybrid wind instruments (see “Hybrid winds” article) such as clarinis (narrow bore clarinets) made from aluminium, wood, bamboo and glass.                                                          Read Linseys Hybrid Winds article (pdf format) 

There is also the Foonki which is a reed instrument which uses a plastic membrane (such as a garbage bag) as the reed which Linsey has been developing since 1999. Also, working with glass artisan Arnie Fuchs, Linsey has also developed glass bass clarinis such as Rosella and Mrs Curly (see below).

Most recently (since 2017 Linsey has been developing the CYLISAX (see below):

The Cylisax – now available for sale – $660AUD

The Cylisax sounds like a soprano sax and has a 2 octave range from middle C to d’ and is fully chromatic using cross fingering (similar to recorder fingering). It has a cylindrical bore (hence the name ‘Cylisax’) but behaves as though it has a conical bore due to the branch tube just below the soprano sax mouthpiece. Linsey has been working on this instrument since mid 2017 in materials ranging from wood to irrigation polypipe, paper and carrots. This branch tube concept was developed by Yamaha with their ‘Venova’ wind instrument.  Because of this the Cylisax can overblow an octave like a sax rather than an octave and a fifth like the clarinet. Linsey has developed the instrument further using a wall thickness that allows cross fingering a chromatic scale and also improving the sound with developing a bell for the branch tube.

Listen to the Cylisax playing Dospatsko Horo: https://thebalkanics.bandcamp.com/track/dospatsko-horo

 

Make Your own Mr Curly and other clarinets.

This book will show you how to make your own musical instruments. The instruments in this book are members of the clarinet family. This means that they have a cylindrical bore and a single reed. I have developed these designs and measurements over the last 25 years and include just a small selection of instruments with various tunings and materials.

Displaying 1–1 of 1

Displaying 1–1 of 1

 

2 Glass bass clarinets made together with Arnie Fuchs (glassblower) & a watering can clarinet


Rosella
Rosella

Mrs Curly

Mr Curly

Watering can clarinet

Watering Can

Instructions and measurements for making your own instruments

Humarimba
Humarimba
Make a Humarimba PDF

Foonki
Foonki
Make a Foonki PDF

Clarini
Clarini
Make a clarini PDF

 

Videos:

Humarimba and watering can clarinet                 Rubber Glove Bagpipe


Make a Rubber Glove
bagpipe chanter PDF
 

             Make your own Carrot Clarinet

Make your own Flute

Make your own Cylisax