Dagg, a former sound engineer for the BBC and self-styled sound sculptor, received a £56,000 grant in 2006 to build the solar powered instrument for the garden of the English Folk Dance and Song Society in London. After four years of "blood, sweat and tears," the instrument is complete, but Dagg is now seeking a permanent indoor home for the creation, which he calls the Sharpsichord.
The instrument is a steel monstrosity, with two huge gramophones and over 11,000 holes on a rotating cylinder for pegs that pluck the instrument's tuned strings. Songs are programmed peg by peg, note by note, this rendition of the Beatles' "Long and Winding Road" taking Dagg over a day to put together. In the video Dagg cranks the Sharpsichord to turn the cylinder but a solar powered motor is intended to power the finished device.
As you hear Dagg's collaborator Chris Wood sing the the melancholy lines "many times I've been alone, and many times I've cried," its hard not to think that they're describing the hulking, homeless instrument itself. I just hope there's a place for the Sharpsichord at the end of its long and winding road. [Telegraph via Neatorama]