What inspired you to do this?
I had long thought about making an instrument with the gestural qualities of this instrument. In particular, I was interested in how stroking gestures like those used in this instrument would translate into expressive qualities in the sound.
How long did it take to make it?
U was a demanding instrument to make, time-wise, because the tuning of the individual tines -- both the fundamental tuning and the overtone tuning -- was a painstaking process, and there's a huge number of tines.
How long have you been doing things like this?
How much did this cost to do?
U was not expensive to make: the steel bar, the screws that serve as the tines, the hex nuts -- none of these are costly items.
Have you done other things like this?
Yes. In particular, I've been interested in musical sounds in which many quick little percussive sounds gliss together to create the feeling of a sustained tone. You can see examples in the Instrumentarium section of my website (www.barthopkin.com), in particular the several variations on DTF or Disorderly Tumbling Forth, as well as Schmeary Glissary.
What did you wish you knew before you started this?
The process of designing and building new instruments is typically full of learnings that could fit the "If only I had known" paradigm. This particular instrument, however, unfolded pretty much as hoped.
Are there plans available to make this? Do you sell this?
No formal plans available. If anyone is interested in making one of these or something similar, I'd be happy to chat about it if that's helpful. I do make instruments on commission sometimes, but this one would be rather costly because the tuning of the tines, as described above, is so time-consuming. I can be reached at email@example.com.
The list is long.
The tools and materials for this particular instrument are commonplace and widely available. The main resource I drew on in designing and building it was many years of experience in doing this sort of thing.