this week has been dedicated to scavenging the materials for and constructing a proppa tea chest bass for james. you see, we're working up a set of swingin' tunes for busking: in norwich's medieval downtown, empty churches and hopefully a nursing home or two [what high aspirations, eh?] after practicing with me on tenor ukulele and james on vocals and artful kazooing, we decided some fleshing out of the sound was necessary---hence, the bass.
tea chest? americans wouldn't really call it a chest; more like a crate or simply a wooden box in which tea used to arrive from distant points of the empire. thought of as a commonplace item in england, a bona fide tea chest eluded us. however, our eyes were open enough to seize some fine-looking plywood at the local dump!
well, one side was fine...the other had hideous fuzzy wallpaper [stuff that was old when i was young] stuck to it. not a problem to remove after a good scoring and soaking. another score from the dump proved the structural corners. add in some hardware [string, clamps, screws, glue, sandpaper, stain, steel corners], a broom handle and a number of hours wondering how to make it, and you get something like:
we even called, according to one blog, 'the grandaddy of musical invention' himself, bart hopkin, for advice, which he so graciously gave. i found myself grateful and giddy---almost fan-like---after hanging up. inspired. definitely check him out, soundies...especially this well produced video of him making and playing a driftwood xylophone!
oh, the bass? it sounds excellent! very deep and tonal...