A morning of post-travel sleep left me with enough energy to help secure the last of the twelve fruit trees at the mill, and make little name signs for all the varieties.
Thanks to the new door and my dehumidifier, the workshop is finally down to 54% air humidity, suitable for instrument building. We also had many good discussions with some lovely visitors about them potentially moving here, and the future of the project. Tomorrow some pigs will arrive to help us plough the garden, and while I was away a pair of barn owls moved into one of the dead poplar trunks by the gate. Generally everything’s looking up…
Prepared some Cedar and European Walnut for dulcimer building:
Put a new set of strings on my guitar (built in 2011!) and it sounds goood. Now I just have to learn to play it, finally.
Spent this morning doing maintenance work on this very old hurdy gurdy with a very interesting history, which I shall be writing more about soon:
Spent this morning meeting a very interesting old hurdy gurdy owned by some very interesting people. Tomorrow we’re off to find a lathe with which to fix it.
Much as I miss building hurdy gurdies, using my current one for 1.5 years now is teaching me a huge amount about what to better next time. Dragging it around Europe in a rucksack was an excellent stress test, and the various repairs I’ve had to do (and continue to have to do) over the last few months highlights areas I need to put more thought into in the future.
For example, the aluminium axle with setscrew arrangement is inadequate due to it coming loose over a period of 6 months, the trompette disengager I made was much too fragile, the strap knobs need to be glued into a solid, well-attached internal block making contact to two planes, ditto for the bridge-end string holders — having them pull up against binding (which the instrument would be better off without anyway) is inadequate. Additionally, an adjustable melody string bridge is a no-brainer, and building custom capos is almost certainly unnecessary and produces worse results than just using harp capos.
And my hurdy gurdy is fixed! Huge thanks to Brooks Hood for letting me use his workshop space — top guy, highly recommended for guitar repair work if you’re in Reykjavík.
New tune, recorded as a test of my #gurdy’s pickup: OWLS WITH TENTACLES
Project for Chateau d’Ars (and maybe Halsway) in 2014: fit gurdy with wheel speed measuring device, record traces of different peoples’ trompette styles.
The larger the gap between one major feedback loop and the next largest of any given stage of an activity, the more assumptions must be made about that stage.
Example: planing a hurdy gurdy top to thickness.
Tasks, feedback loops in order of duration (timings are approximate from memory):
The gaps between feedback loops become larger as the durations become larger, as do the assumptions which are made about the task at each level until the next feedback loop arrives. I suspect that experience level also affects both the value gained from each feedback loop, increasing the actor’s knowledge of the system and increasing the amount of time which can safely be left (i.e. the amount of assumption which is safe) before more feedback is required.
Two observations: the existence of vastly longer feedback loops of experience accumulating which affect the shape of existing loops, and that the smallest feedback loops are broadcast by the environment (audible feedback, physical resistance) but longer ones require active participation (testing the system).
Popped into the Reykjavík craft fair, learnt a useful trick from ingasoldesign.com — coconut oil (same as the stuff you’d use for cooking) can be used as an easy-maintenance, odourless wood finish.
Walked along a nice bit of beach-ish area near my flat. Realised that whilst I’m fairly experienced at creating UIs where the creation of sound is the end result (musical instruments), I’ve never really given much thought to the use of sound in other UIs.
The house lights across the bay twinkle a lot — perhaps because of the heat. It’s cold outside here, but inside all the buildings is really toasty, thanks to ubiquitous geothermal power.
sophiedennis wow, that thing’s seen some serious repair work, judging by all those cleats! Related but not nearly as shiny:
I love the way a gap of 1/10mm or a tiny notch is all it takes to turn a large wooden assembly from useless lump to playable instrument #lutherie