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Czech subcontrabass U-bend

Jack Campin 27 May 09 - 08:32 AM
GUEST,leeneia 27 May 09 - 09:42 AM
JohnInKansas 27 May 09 - 10:09 PM
GUEST,leeneia 28 May 09 - 09:33 AM
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Subject: Czech subcontrabass U-bend
From: Jack Campin
Date: 27 May 09 - 08:32 AM

What is the thing that looks like a gold-painted chunk of toilet plumbing and makes appropriate noises in this video?

Joey the Swampthing

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Subject: RE: Czech subcontrabass U-bend
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 27 May 09 - 09:42 AM

I dunno about the gold-plated piece of plumbing, but the topic of the song, a monster that eats tourists from the big city, touches on a universal theme.

Once I saw a movie called 'Our Little Czech Village,' and it was about the danger of 'weekenders from Prague' trying to displace a retarded man so they could get his charming little country home. (This was well before the fall of communism.)

In Wisconsin, the same attitude is expressed in the acronym 'FIB' where the 'I' stands for Illinois (read Chicago.) The F and the B stand for what you think they stand for.

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Subject: RE: Czech subcontrabass U-bend
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 27 May 09 - 10:09 PM

It's difficult to get a clear view in the brief pans to the "bass" instrument, but it appears that the "player" is just mouthing "gutterals" with the "instrument" as a simple "echo chamber" close in front of his mouth.

The low pitched gutterals can be made by some people by "belching" notes from low in the esophagus, so that "things other than the vocal chords vibrate." The echo chamber held in front smooths out the "belch" and makes it more "musical?." The second "cut" to this player shows fairly clearly (as I see it) that there is no mouth-to-instrument connection, so the sound must be coming from the player (since it doesn't appear to be a squeeze box).

A somewhat similar effect has been reportedly practiced by some (unknown, undefined) South Sea islanders using large conch shells, although it's been decades since I've seen a demonstration (probably on one of the 50s TV shows).

As noted, the views are restricted so it's not completely clear what's going on - but that's my best guess. If it is as it appears, any large enough piece of plumbing with only one opening held near the mouth would suffice, although the size could be selected if, as it sounds, the player is getting overtones (harmonics) of the "resonator" that are more or less in tune with the melody.


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Subject: RE: Czech subcontrabass U-bend
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 28 May 09 - 09:33 AM

John, I agree. That song is comic and so is the 'instrument.' It may have been found on a scrapheap somewhere.

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