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What does a hurdy-gurdy sound like?

Jennifer Lucy Allan cranks out the tunes for a hurdy-gurdy special of avant-garde and traditional exploitations of this most modern-sounding instrument.

Jennifer Lucy Allan cranks out the tunes for a hurdy-gurdy special of avant-garde and traditional exploitations of this most modern-sounding instrument.

Its name sounds more like a ride at the fair but in fact, the hurdy-gurdy is an instrument that produces sound by a hand crank-turned, rosined wheel rubbing against strings. The wheel functions like a violin bow, and creates drones that a melody can be played over, much like a bagpipe. Its intriguing sound, look and name mean the hurdy-gurdy has been used in a variety of musical styles and genres. Jennifer Lucy Allan shares some of the more unusual performances by the likes of Keiji Haino, Cyclobe, Matmos, and Stevie Wishart.

Produced by Rebecca Gaskell.
A Reduced Listening Production for BBC Radio 3.

25 days left to listen

1 hour

Music Played

  • The Sound Of Feeling

    Hurdy Gurdy Man

    • Spleen.
    • Limelight ‎.
  • La Tène

    L'Abandonnée

    • L'Abandonnée.
    • Bongo Joe.
  • Fred Frith, Stevie Wishart & Carla Kihlstedt

    Postcard From The Back

    • The Compass, Log, And Lead.
    • Intakt Records ‎.
  • Carolina Eyck

    Commemoration

    • Elegies for Theremin & Voice.
    • Butterscotch.
  • Equiknoxx

    Solomon Is A Cup

    • Eternal Children.
    • Equiknoxx Music.
  • Matmos

    Regicide

    • The Civil War.
    • P-Vine Records ‎.
  • 灰野敬二

    Untitled

    • 手風琴 The 21st Century Hard-Y-Guide-Y Man.
    • P.S.F. Records ‎.
  • Cyclobe

    Brightness Falls From The Air

    • The Visitors.
    • Phantomcode.
  • Kumio Kurachi

    Glittery Lip Sticks In Spring

    • Sound Of Turning Earth.
    • Bison ‎.
  • Luis Perez

    In Altepetl Tonal

    • Ipan In Xiktli Metzli, México Mágico Cósmico, En El Ombligo De La Luna..
    • ISSSTE.
  • Henri Vasson

    La Bouree D'Aurillac

    • Hurdy Gurdy Music / Le Maitre-Sonneur Henri Vasson.
    • Folkways Records ‎.
  • Laurie Anderson

    Lotus Born, No Need To Fear

    Composer: Tenzin Choegyal. Composer: Jesse Paris Smith.
    • Songs From The Bardo.
    • Smithsonian Folkways.
  • צ'רלי מגירה

    Tomorrow Is Gone = מחר כבר עבר

    • The Abtomatic Miesterzinger Mambo.
    • Pit/kit ‎.

Broadcast

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