A Californian turntablist has created a new instrument by recycling old record players.
A musician and inventor enamored with turntablism, Walter Kitindu has created a stringed instrument he’s dubbed ‘the Phonoharp’. The inspiration for the new creation came when Kitindu used to hit turntables with wooden sticks to create percussive effects. Initially he developed this idea into a series of of Stylophones, before eventually landing on the concept for the Phonoharp.
Describing the process by which the instrument functions to Noisey, Kitindu had this to say, “When you pluck the strings the vibration is passed through the record and picked up by the needle. Instead of the vibrations being released by the record’s rotation, the vinyl is used as a direct physical medium through which the sound travels…The strings can be plucked, muted, fretted, bowed, struck… and the case itself acts as a percussive instrument, along with the turntable which can be played as a drum in addition to playing records. I use a loop station to build compositions in the moment, responding to each layer as if I was another member of the band.”
See pictures of the Phonoharps below.