"Stringed" Sculpture meets Music By mikel

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About "Stringed" Sculpture meets Music

Project 2017-12-11 04:34:22 UTC

"Stringed" Sculpture Meets Music, is an exhibition that is planned to be held in 2018 at Space Gallery in Whanganui. This exhibition is an interactive collection of sculptural instruments I have made over the past 3 years. The exhibition will not only showcase a number of fully functional sculptural stringed instruments but many will be interactive and recorded. The plan also is to hold at least 2 instrument making workshops during the exhibition.


This Exhibition is the halfway mark for a larger vision which may take another 3 years to complete. The overall concept is that I create 10 guitars with each guitar having an extra string compared to the previous one. So far I have made a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 stringed instruments, plus other experimental ones. When I reach the 10 Stringed instrument I will then invite 10 musicians to choose an instrument and explore its possibilities. I will then start the process of video and sound recording 3 pieces of music inspired from different themes. After which I would like to turn this concept into a stage performance.


The possibilities are unlimited and changes happen along the way. With all of the past projects within my art practice this project is the most exciting and the future opportunities within this new field of direction is a mystery. This goal has created a new journey for me that can be shared through direct interaction with my instruments or interaction through listening. As I have already experience with taking some of my instruments to Mic Night at the Petone Depot the awe and delight of the interaction puts a smile on my dial.


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The People Behind "Stringed" Sculpture meets Music

22368794 10156679779894951 795239594 o mikel Project admin

Making Music intstruments is a new passion and a slight move away from painting landscapes and making garden sculptures. I come from Whanganui and a family of Artists. This is where I went to art school Graduating in 2000 with a BFA majoring in Ceramics. 

Below is the overall concept of my very large project. It gets tweeks now and again but I have not lost sight of what I am doing. 


10 Guitars and the Interactive Monster a 6 year journey. 


Towards the middle of 2015 while teaching woodwork at Upper Hutt College an ex-tech teacher who use to work at the school inspired me with making cigar box guitars.  Although the making of cigar box anything didn’t appeal to me, making a guitar did.  After a little bit of investigation searching around the web I stumbled across Sea Sick Steve playing a single string Diddly Bow. Then I had been told about a movie with Jack White, Jimmy Page and the Edge getting together for a jam. The opening scene was Jack White making a Diddly Bow out of a piece of 4x2 a pickup, wire, a nail or two and a coke bottle.


How easy could it be I asked myself? Well, after that I went out into my studio and made a wooden 3-string guitar out of a $1 Kauri bowl with a walnut neck.  Stuck in a pickup, jack an on/off knob with help of my friend and there you have it my first 3-string guitar. It had it floors but it sounded ok. So I went of to buy my first amp from Earthlink for $30. It worked well. Next thing I knew was that I was back in the shed making a Diddly Bow. A Morris hubcap, steel neck a few car parts here and there nut and bolt bridge and nut and a piezo pickup and whammy I made my first steel guitar. And it sounded great. From that point onwards an idea popped into my head. Make 10 guitars with each proceeding guitar with an extra string. So far I have made a 1, 2 , 3, 4 and 5 string guitars all made to be electric and all made from brass, copper, steel and wood.


This was the story so far until I came up with an idea to get together with a whole lot of musicians and create a String Orchestra or something like this.

So far the instruments I have created had resulted with praise and interest from my connections with the music world.  These instruments are a labor of love and I am getting thorough enjoyment when other people interact with these.


The concept is growing. My first ideas were to invite known musicians to an exhibition space and film them playing the instruments. This may still happen in one form or another.  The latest idea is to film and record a piece of music that has structure.  The idea is that each instrument will be play and recorded only once. The instrument is the choice of the musician and it will not become a choice for the proceeding musicians.  The musicians will respond to the previous musicians recording until all ten instruments have been played it is only then the music can be pieced together.

The video setting could be an urban or country. Still working on that.  But the idea is to film the musicians playing their piece of music. Each time their part comes in during the sequence the video will project upon a wall until all musicians are finally playing together.   



The Interactive Monster is a converted piano into a percussion instrument. This instrument will allow up to 5 people to interact at one time and give them the ability to change tones or make preset adjustments. It will be robust enough to allow public interaction while in the exhibition space. …………


    5 String Fretless Bass

    11:37PM Fri 12/01/18 on "Stringed" Sculpture meets Music

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    Yaybahar Experiment

    11:28PM Fri 12/01/18 on "Stringed" Sculpture meets Music

    This is my experiment with my Yaybahar or Space Chello. I have made some changes since then and also constructed a 1 String version

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    Working away in my studio

    11:25PM Fri 12/01/18 on "Stringed" Sculpture meets Music

    Much of my journey is making the tools to construct the guitars. 

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    Yaybaha Photo Shoot

    09:29AM Tue 12/12/17 on "Stringed" Sculpture meets Music

    The Yaybaha

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      Anonymous pledger
      2018-01-11 22:23:35 UTC

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      Gina Gell
      2018-01-10 08:49:39 UTC

      Gina Gell has pledged on 2 campaigns

      Mathew Gell
      2018-01-10 08:48:04 UTC

      Mathew Gell has pledged on 2 campaigns

      “Love you work bro”

      Followers of "Stringed" Sculpture meets Music

      This project was unsuccessful and finished on 19/02/2018 at 11:00 AM.