I made this one quite a while ago, but hadn’t got around to getting any decent photos of it yet. These are probably decent enough…
It uses bike brake cables as strings, has dual piezo and inductive pickups. It also has some springs and strimmer wire strings added to the block with the piezo in which gives it more potential for noise making.
Ignore the thumbnail, but the vast majority of this track was made using this one instrument and a loopstation:
I am MASSIVELY excited to announce that I have been working with some great composers from the Royal College of Music to put together a concert using mostly my instruments!
Composers Christopher Schlechte-Bond and Nicholas Morrish Rarity present an extraordinary concert of works for an ensemble of newly invented string instruments created by sound artist Tom Fox, all of which are originally handcrafted from various materials found within the Royal College of Music.
The Hummingbird is usually controlled by Twitter, I fancied playing it myself so rigged up a simple switch mode using connector block and bike brake cable that runs to the other pin of each relay unit.
The noises are a result of electromagnetic interference from the motors creating a current in the pickup in the middle. The pickup is actually a transformer coil but as it uses the same principle of physics as a guitar pickup, it works just fine for noise creation. The different motors create a different tone of noise and when combined the tones mingle and mash and create slightly different tones. Also, as they all run from the same power source, as another motor is added to the circuit, it drains the other motors of current which slows them down slightly and alters their pitch.