Wild Sound Recipes

Published October 15, 2014 by Third Coast Percussion      |      Share this post!

*The Following are excerpts from our new cookbook  “But Cooler….. Quick Instruments for the Active Eater”, compiled and edited by Third Coast Percussion and Glenn Kotche

*The Following are excerpts from our new cookbook  “But Cooler….. Quick Instruments for the Active Eater”, compiled and edited by Third Coast Percussion and Glenn Kotche


Bird Caller
Prep Time: 40 seconds
Cook Time: 1 minute

– 1 plastic bottle
–  5ft. length of twine

– Convince the Executive Director of a major Performing Arts Center that SOBE beverages are good.   Use enthusiastic consumption as a means to stockpile empty plastic bottles, prized for their extraordinarily thick plastic exterior that seems to produce a better sound.
– Convince presenters and stage director that using a box cutter in a performance is, in fact, a really good idea.
– Cut a long, rectangular piece out of the bottle, vertically from the top to base, ca. 3 inches long and 1/2 inches wide.
– fasten one end of the twine to the neck of the bottle
– swing the bottle from the other end of the twine in a circular motion until a) the desired sound is achieved or b) the bottle flies off and strikes an audience member


Super Ball Mallet
Prep Time: 30 seconds
Cook Time: as long as it takes Rob to build his sistrum

–  1 wire coat hanger
– 1 super ball

– Cut a single, straight piece off of the base of the coat hanger, roughly 5 inches in length
– Cut super ball in half, in the direction of the seam.
– thread one end of the coat hanger length through the center of the halved super ball, the rounded side facing outwards
– holding the wire shaft, drag the super ball across a piece of plywood, preferably one with an array of 6 contact microphones on the other side.


Photo credit: Kirk Richard Smith



Low Carb Violin
Prep Time: 1 min. 30 seconds
Cook Time: 4 min.

– 1 piece of 1″x4″ poplar wood, 2 ft. in length
– 3 ft. length of stainless steel beading wire, .024″ in diameter
– 2 C Clamps
– 1 package of wooden tongue depressors
– paper pieces to taste

– lay length of beading wire on top of of wood, lengthwise
– using C clamps, secure the wire to opposite ends of the wood, making sure the wire is taught
– slip 1 tongue depressor between the wood and the wire, approximately 3 1/2 inches from one edge of the wooden length
– gradually stack more tongue depressors on top of each other between the wire and the wood, building a bridge for the violin, until the fundamental notes of the plucked string reaches a concert B-flat.  Fine tune with thinner pieces of paper as necessary.
– Explain to highly qualified audio engineer that his really expensive microphones are “so 2013” and that, instead, he should build you a spring clamp with a contact microphone on it.
– secure hand clamp microphone to bridge
– grab bow, assume violin diva position and play


Photo credit: Kirk Richard Smith


Brockmanophone (Arduino Keyboard)
Prep Time: 3 Months, 12 Days, 8 hours, without pause.
Cook Time: 7 min.

– 1 piece of plexiglass, 2 ft. x 3 ft.
– 1 pair of gloves
– A bunch of technology stuff
– 1 Electrical Engineer
– 1 Wife and Son of Electrical Engineer
– 6 Summer Interns

– Enlist professors and students from elite university
– Convince Associate Dean in College of Engineering that “the future is in contemporary art-music for percussion ensemble, that’s where the real money is”
– Ask them to build something cool
– Plug in, play, and enjoy.   Shower everyone with praise for their tireless efforts in making you sound good.