Charlie Draper Plays The Badgermin

badgermin theremin

This video captures a performance of Charlie Draper on the Badgermin, with piano accompaniment by Ben-San Lau:

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The Badgermin was constructed by David Cranmer. The electronics are from a PAiA Theremax kit, with new 8mm diameter removable antennae.

Note: Some readers think that combining taxidermy with electronic instrument building, like this, is repulsive, while others think it’s ‘wrong’ in an interesting way.

Intellectually, the Badgermin isn’t that far from the traditions of using cow and goat hides for drum skins, animal intestines (catgut) for the strings of violins and harps, goat toes to create rattles or turtle shells to make shakers. But putting a real face on a musical instrument removes a level of abstraction and seems to trigger a more visceral reaction.

Love it or hate it – let us know what you think of the Badgermin.


16 thoughts on “Charlie Draper Plays The Badgermin

  1. [coughs] Yes, indeed, and tonight I’m hoping to explore the possibilities of a beaver.

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  2. Chris – a lot of people think it’s crass, disrespectful to the animal or just gross.

    I’m of two minds on this.

    On one hand, I think it’s important for artists and musicians to sometimes do things that we don’t like – things that are a little confrontational and that force you to think. And this instrument makes me think about all the percussion instruments that I own that have animal parts.

    On the other hand, I’m not convinced that the Badgermin is meant to be anything more than a jokey theremin.

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  3. Considering the daily hell of pain and torture inflicted on animals by the meat industry i can hardly object to 1 badger turned into a musical instrument.

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  4. The Badger State concurs….The world needs more Mustelidae platform synths…maybe a Four voice Analog Honey Badger….that would be bad ass.

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  5. I laughed a bit a first, but when I realized It was made with an animal I got mixed feelings. It looks pretty cruel to me, It would be nice as a joke, but without using a real badger.

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