Saxophonist Plays into Large Gas Pipes & Then Uses the Echo to Accompany Himself

The best sax­o­phon­ists play just as well unac­com­pa­nied as they do accom­pa­nied — but they also know that, in the act of musi­cal cre­ation, it cer­tain­ly helps to have even a lit­tle bit of sound to play off com­ing your way. Ger­man musi­cian Armin Küp­per dis­cov­ered more than a lit­tle bit of sound com­ing his way when he tried play­ing his sax­o­phone into a gas pipe he hap­pened across near his home. Kept at a con­struc­tion site and not cur­rent­ly in a state to pipe any gas, it served him as a kind of echo device, one dis­tinc­tive in both sound and appear­ance. On his Youtube chan­nel he’s post­ed a dozen videos so far of the “con­certs” he’s giv­en at the pipe: play­ing into it, stand­ing beside it, sit­ting in it.

“This sound on the tube, in this lone­li­ness always gives me the feel­ing: Hey, you’re not alone there!” writes Küp­per. “Some­times I just can’t stop play­ing. The nice thing is, when it gets cool in the evening, I sit down in the tube heat­ed up dur­ing the day and enjoy the sun­set play­ing the sax­o­phone.”

These sen­ti­ments appear in the descrip­tion of the video at the top of the post, in which Küp­per demon­strates the style of music he calls “Pipeline­funk,” or in his native Ger­man Röhren­sound. He’s also tried his hand at “Pipelineblues,” pipeline gui­tar, and a com­po­si­tion called “Walk­ing on the Pipeline” — dur­ing his per­for­mance of which he does just that, the sound of his sax­o­phone changes with every step he takes toward the open­ing.

When played direct­ly into the pipe, Küp­per’s sax­o­phone comes back sound­ing uncan­ni­ly like a clas­sic call-and-response. But what’s tru­ly impres­sive is the range of effects he dis­cov­ers while approach­ing the pipe dif­fer­ent­ly each time, pro­duc­ing whole new sound­scapes by chang­ing lit­tle more than the angle of his play­ing. Alas, his time with the pipe seems to have last­ed only so long.  The build­ing project that brought the pipe in the first place would soon­er or lat­er have to make use of it, and in one video descrip­tion Küp­per men­tions that “ ‘my pipe’ was laid in the ground.” There could be no bet­ter send­off for this unusu­al musi­cal part­ner — and a col­lab­o­ra­tor in the cre­ation of this sur­pris­ing vari­ety of, lit­er­al­ly, Ger­man indus­tri­al music — than Küp­per’s dusk per­for­mance of “Some­where Over the Rain­bow”?

via Laugh­ing Squid

Relat­ed Con­tent:

How Sax­o­phones Are Made: Two Short Films (Includ­ing One by Sesame Street) Take You Inside Sax­o­phone Fac­to­ries

The Sax Solo on Ger­ry Rafferty’s “Bak­er Street” on a 10 Hour, End­less Loop

Park­ing Garage Door Does Impres­sion of Miles Davis’ Jazz Album, Bitch­es Brew

Behold Mys­ti­cal Pho­tographs Tak­en Inside a Cel­lo, Dou­ble Bass & Oth­er Instru­ments

Acclaimed Japan­ese Jazz Pianist Yōsuke Yamashita Plays a Burn­ing Piano on the Beach

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His projects include the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall, on Face­book, or on Insta­gram.

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