Wooden Hut

CRISTAL BASCHETS

The Cristal Baschet is an instrument of French origin, designed in 1952 by François and Bernard Baschet. Ordinarily the instruments have large resonator cones attached to move large amounts of air to the listeners’ ears, but the ones I build in 2020 (funded by Arts SA) rely on the use of contact microphones to transmit sound. Using contact microphone was initially done in order to reduce the size and weight of the instrument for transportation, but an interesting result has been the increased range of timbres available due to the ability of the contact microphones to amplify very quiet sounds. The cristalist (person who plays a Cristal Baschet) produces sound by rubbing wet glass rods, the rods transfer energy into long tuned steel bolts which become excited and produce pitched vibrations. The Cristal Baschets I have built are a microtonal variation on the original design and are, to the best of my knowledge, the only instruments of their kind in Australia.

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