Where sound design and music meet.
I’ve been helping a producer clear out some gear he no longer needs. The Blast Beam is the biggest (and strangest) piece in his collection. It’s one of the longest stringed instruments out there, using a number of highly tensioned wires and electric guitar pickups mounted to a heavy aluminum beam, this ‘instrument’ can be plucked, bowed, or struck.
We used this technique to add an undertone of dread or malice to the film mix for CNBC’s spinoff from American Greed called Deadly Rich. Sound design, like music, is just organized sounds. Sometimes it’s about having two organized threads (music and sfx) bang against each other.
Well, we’ve found a great new home for this Blast Beam at a graduate program in Audio Arts where students study this intersection of music, film, and experimental or pure audio; the place I’ve been exploring since my own days in school and still find fascinating. Hopefully this crazy instrument will bang its way into some soundtracks in the future.
Check out this video of Craig Huxley performing and talking about his version of the instrument and its use on a bunch of film and music projects. (Check out the outfits!)