I openly admit that I have been slacking off somewhat in the naming of some of the more recent instruments, but that’s only because I have been spending so much more time building them. The Chime Box came to me in a flash while recording one night. I awoke yesterday with the idea already worked out in my head. Basically as you can see it is a simple rectangle form. I used some aluminum sheeting that I have had sitting around for years to make the back and the face. The swirl rods are made from a weird aluminum composite that has also been kicking around for years. I used to use them back in my dress making days, but for the most part the two metals have just been sitting around the space room for years, waiting for me to trip over them. Some of the instruments that I’ve used the swirls on in the past are the Shimmering Swirl Chimes, the Percussive Computer Panel, Kick Swirl, and Mechano. To date none of them have been able to match the versatility of the box.
Some of the more successful ways of playing the Chime Box are as follows: there is the good old banging on the chimes themselves; pulling the rods out to varying lengths helps control the pitch. There is also plucking at the rods; this gives you a nice bass sound with really interesting harmonics. If you want to exaggerate those harmonics even further you can use mallets once again, on the rods close to the bridge.
I also added seven strings that run horizontally on the instrument. I thought that it might add a slight resonance to the instrument, but last night in the studio we could hear nothing, and we ended up breaking five of the strings to boot.