On the first day of FON2013 a wide range of people took part in a workshop with Dirty Electronics building instruments – the Noise Shadow and Filthy Lady Bracknell. At the closing session of the festival they used their new instruments to perform a work for gigantic paper speakers with bamboo chassis, standing behind the backlit speakers casting their shadows across the makeshift screens in a wayang-like performance for the twenty-first century.
The Lady Bracknell is an invented and found instrument by British pioneer of electronic music Hugh Davies. The instrument is named after the famous character in Oscar Wilde’s play The Importance of Being Earnest. The instrument consists of an empty tin with a small hole in the centre of its base to which a nylon string is attached. By rubbing moist fingers along the length of the taught string a range of sounds are produced from moans and groans to screeches. The addition of a contact microphone to the tin resonator and Dirty Electronics noise circuit turns the instrument into an altogether different beast!