"Flights of Fancy" options
One of the great joys of the hurdy-gurdy is the incredible variety of
shapes and decorations it can have. Time and money being the finite resources
they are, we have more ideas for instrument design, materials and decoration
than we can build. Here are a few that we have thought of but haven't
been able to build yet. Some of them are way over the top, admittedly,
but worse things have been done to hurdy-gurdies: check out the French
instrument so encrusted with ivory and mirrors that it's unplayable.
- Northwest Native American art: traditional dancing mask carved
on the peghead; Raven stealing the sun on the keybox top; Raven finding
the first people under a clamshell on the wheel cover; formline decoration
on the tailpiece, and formline soundholes.
- Mermaid theme hurdy-gurdy: Mermaid head carved on peghead,
inlaid design of her body on the keybox top and her tail on (appropriately
enough) the tailpiece, abalone shell binding.
"Egyptian theme" hurdy-gurdy: with the dog-headed
god Anubis on the peghead; the eagle with wings spread on the keybox
top, like Tutanhkamen's pectoral; the sun symbol on the wheel cover,
with the beetles supporting it; heiroglyphic symbols on the tailpiece
and inside the keybox, anhk-shaped soundholes.
- "Grateful Dead" hurdy-gurdy: Jerry Garcia on the
peghead (see the back of Blues for Allah for an idea of what this would
look like); the trim pieces inlaid with the dancing skeletons, with
the red/blue lighting skull on the center of the wheel cover (of course
we'd need to get permission from Grateful Dead Productions); tie-dyed
body finish and case.
All-weather hurdy-gurdy: the body material is 4041 sheet aluminum
welded to aluminum braces and sides; the trim pieces are sheet aluminum
and stainless steel, with aluminum keybox, Delrin keyshafts and resin
cast keyfronts; handle is resin cast on a Delrin bearing and stainless
steel shaft and crank, wheel is resin cast. Just let the elements
or the airlines try to bother this one! What would it sound like?
Who knows! There's only one way to find out...
The updated organized hurdy-gurdy: Tthe hurdy-gurdy with added
organ pipes was briefly popular during the late Baroque era, and then
sank into obscurity. It's a serious challenge to get the pressure
from the bellows to be smooth while making the very uneven motions
required for getting the chien to sound, as well as getting
the pipes in tune with the strings. Modern technology should be able
to help us, and while we're at it, we'd use the wonderful buzzy pipes
typically used in a regal. Now that's something you don't see every
- "See-through" hurdy-gurdy: All body parts except
the metal ones are made of acrylic or other clear plastic of appropriate
thicknesses. Everything is revealed! No more questions about where the
air comes out!
- "Generic" hurdy-gurdy: white lacquer finish, with
barcode inlaid in ebony
Of course we don't have prices set for these instruments. If you are
interested or have your own cool idea for a hurdy-gurdy you just can't
live without, please contact us. To return to the options of the instrument
you were looking at, use the "Back" button in your web browser.
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Alden and Cali Hackmann
Olympic Musical Instruments
Beati illi qui in circulum circumeunt, fient enim magnae rotae.
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