Soniccouture has introduced The Skiddaw Stones, a new virtual instrument that lets you make rock music from sampled ancient rocks:
The Skiddaw Stones are probably the most unusual and certainly the oldest instrument that Soniccouture has sampled.
A Lithophone ( litho = stone, phone= voice ) dating from 1840, The Skiddaw Stones are composed of 61 tuned and shaped rocks, made from the rare hornfels stone, found in Cumbria, England. Hornfels is said to have a superior tone and longer ring than the more commonly used slate.
The Worlds First Rock Band
Created by Joseph Richardson, a stonemason and musician, it took almost thirteen years to collect and shape enough individual notes of hornfels to make an eight-octave range. The massive task of assembling this instrument consumed Joseph so absolutely that he and his family were reduced to poverty. Once complete, Richardson and his sons toured Europe as The Rock, Bell and Steel Band, and even performed at Buckingham Palace, by command of Queen Victoria.
See the Soniccouture site for audio demos – the Skiddaw Stones do sound awesome and unique.
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