What IS That Thing? – OR – Amazing Instruments From The Internet

Years and years ago, in the golden age of ripping the audio from a YouTube video, I amassed a collection of audio from street drummer videos. Drummers with kits, drummers with buckets, drummers with pots and pans. I was totally into it. It was a weird long CD, but I played it a lot. I was into rhythms. No one else that I played it for was like, “yeah, totally make me a copy of that!” and I understood. It wasn’t for everyone.

Thinking about that CD made me think of another video that I almost included in the mix, but in a bout of self policing, I decided that it wasn’t the same kind of percussion and thus didn’t make the cut for the exclusive street drumming mix. Check this kid out. Not only does he do a great job on the paddles or whatever you call those things, but he knows how to work the crowd. There are a bunch of videos of him, but this was the first one I saw, and is my favorite.

What IS that thing? PVC instrument?

The internet is filled with interesting instruments, instruments I have never heard of before, some are literally mind blowing.

Check out THIS thing. A Gayageum. Not only does it look crazy difficult to play (I mean how many strings are on this thing!?) this woman is playing Hendrix on it. HENDRIX ! You have to see this.

AND she is wearing a Stevie Ray Vaughn shirt. She gets double credit.

Then there is the Didgeridoo. I heard a podcast that extolled the virtues of practitioners of the didgeridoo and I was curious what it was. I did a search and found this video. I started a whole thing with me.

I have to confess I thought I might be able to play one and bought a plastic version. Actual termite hollowed hand crafted didgeridoos are very expensive. I played around with my plastic one and had some fun, also, I discovered that it’s not easy. I still have it and take it out and blast it occasionally.


I also came across this thing. The thumbnail of this video literally made me say to myself… “What IS that thing?” Ever heard of a ? I hadn’t. Check this thing out. If you are into echoes, you need to see (and hear) this. It is incredible.

The sonic landscapes that this guy creates are so spacey, and when he plays the upright part you would swear it’s an instrument that you have heard before, but I bet you haven’t.

Here is another view where you can see the “drum” parts.

Gorkem Sen designed this instrument and there are other videos of him playing to crowds and they are cool, but I like this video the best, the vista out the window and the small echo filled room are perfect.

In the end, I still end up watching street drummers from time to time. No plans for another CD collection, but there are always some great videos to fall into the rabbit hole with. I’ve been watching videos of this guy Gordo.

I think it’s the ability to maintain parts of your body in different rhythms at the same time that makes these videos so amazing. Feet working the bucket, sticks flying and the crowd mesmerized.

It’s no wonder I started with these, but if you ever need to be both amazed and entertained, do yourself a favor and do a YouTube search for strange instruments and settle in for some lost hours.

At some point you are likely to exclaim…

“What IS that thing?”

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