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Check Out This Symphony, Played By One Guy On Custom Instruments He Built Himself
October 31, 2012
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Composing orchestral music takes a lot of skill.

So does building and customizing instruments.

And of course, you'd have to be impressed by a single person who can play every instrument in an orchestra.

Well, in the video at the top of this post, one guy does all those things: musician and sound artist Diego Stocco's latest project is called 'Custom Built Orchestra.'

To create the video, he built or modified nearly a dozen custom instruments and then shot footage of himself playing all the parts of a composition he wrote.

As you might imagine, music is Stocco's life. On his website, he talks about how his parents bought him a keyboard when he was six "to calm him down," and how it had the opposite effect.

Since then, he's become a sought-after performer - he was a featured soloist on the score for 'Sherlock Holmes' and two 'Assassin's Creed' games, and he's worked as a music sound designer on lots of TV shows.

And this isn't the first experimental video he's made. Check out 'Music From A Tree' and 'Music From A Dry Cleaner' to see more of his creative work.

As for the 'Custom Built Orchestra,' he wants you to know that no usable instruments were harmed. On his website, he stresses that he only uses "parts that come from instruments with structural damages, making them unusable in a traditional sense."

Check out a few of Stocco's awesome custom instruments below, along with some notes he made about them:


"This instruments produces mostly overtones due to the restricted air passages.
It combines a penny whistle, plastic pipes and the bell of a trombone."


"This is an instrument based on light bulbs, more precisely, the sound is created by the internal tungsten filament. I pierced the light bulbs with a flame torch and placed an electret microphone inside each one.

The shape and size of the filament, plus the position of the microphone is what determines the sound. The sound is then processed in real time through Ableton Live so the pitch can be controlled with more flexibility."


"The Experibass combines a violin, viola and cello neck on the body of a double bass. It has a unique and recognizable sound also due to the way I play it.

With this instrument I performed as Featured Soloist on the film "Sherlock Holmes" and the video game franchise "Assassin's Creed"."


"I repurposed this old piano board into a percussive instrument and played it like a harp by using the strings on the top part."


"This instrument is based on two thick elastic cords, it can be played tonally by pressing the cords in the right position. It makes a very low and thumping sound, it's useful as a tonal percussive instrument."


"The basis for this instrument is an old auto-piano. I personalized it with a custom tuning so single keys can also make chords. On the top part I added metal washers which I handpicked based on their root note. The tuning in this part is quite interesting, I was looking for a bell-like timbre so I detuned the strings at specific intervals and at different octaves."



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