Sounds eccentric: Champion of recycled junk and castaway heirlooms, artist Monty Monty is known mostly for his magical assemblage.
The whimsy of motion -- spinning wheels, turning bicycle gears, swinging pendulums -- gives his junkyard art a hands-on kinetic energy.
And every once in awhile the pieces talk back to him. You might even call it music.
"The cool thing about sound and music versus the assemblage is that this is immediate, you know -- whack! Sound, there it is," he says. "It's spontaneous. It's right there. It's not mind-screw, plodding, where it gets very complicated in a three-dimensional way. . .. With this, it's really fun for the end result to be something that makes sound."
Wearing a worn 49ers hat, he's standing in his studio behind his Santa Rosa house, surrounded by tons of prized salvage squirreled away in nooks and hanging from the rafters. The maestro just finished sawing away at his "Bowling Ball Bass" -- an amalgam of strings and things. A clarinet gives way to a saltwater fishing reel, violin parts and a bicycle brake, all rooted in a worn black bowling ball.
When amplified, its underwater echoes conjure eerie soundtrack music at home in any David Lynch film. Nearby, "The Axe" -- literally a rusty tree feller turned six-string -- is waiting to be picked up for a lap slide session. And "Brass Strings" is a guitar with a horn for a body that reminds him of the late James Brown.
From an article by John Beck