Tom Nunn Comes to the Capp Street CMC

by E. "Doc" Smith on February 17, 2012

Tonight, Edgetone Records and Earwax Music presents “Music of Invention – A Concert Celebrating Tom Nunn’s Inventions – A retrospective and a tribute”. Since 1976 Tom Nunn has invented over 200 instruments. The sounds from these unique creations have been utilized on dozens of recordings, soundtracks and in performance. For this special evening Nunn will play many of these musical inventions including: The Crustacean (1977), Sonoglyph, T-Rodimba, The Skatchbox, Bridge Rod Mothic, The Bug, and his most recent instrument – The Lukie Tubes (2011)The performances will feature Nunn in duos, trios and groups (T.D. Skatchit, Ghost In The House, Rtd3). The guests will include: Aurora Josephson – voice, Allan Crossman – piano, Doug Carroll – cello, Bart Hopkins – inventions, Gary Knowlton – bass, Chris Brown – electronics, Michael Knowlton – guitar, David Michalak – lap steel, skatchbox, Ron Heglin – voice, Paul Winstanley – bass, Karen Stackpole – gongs, percussion, Rent Romus – alto sax, Ed Herrmann – inventions, John Ingle – soprano sax plus a surprise guest.

To co-inside with the event Edgetone Records will release the single, Skatchbox Blues – a tribute to Nunn and his invention, The Skatchbox. Many of Nunn’s instruments will also be on display and a reception will follow the show and attendees will receive a free Tom Nunn CD with their admission.

Nunn has designed and built over 200 instruments since 1976, representing three basic types: space plates, electroacoustic percussion boards, and skatchboxes. Space plates are metal sheets with bronze rods that are bowed; the plate is supported by inflated balloons, allowing the plate to resonate. Electroacoustic percussion boards are plywood sheets with various hardware devices attached such as nails, threaded steel rods, bronze rods, combs, etc., played with a variety of small percussion implements. Skatchboxes are cardboard boxes with objects such as washers, combs, toothpicks, bronze rod, dowel, etc. taped or glued to the exterior that are played with various modified combs. All of Nunn’s instruments are amplified using contact microphones and have sculptural qualities.

Nunn has performed extensively throughout the San Francisco Bay Area for over 30 years, as well as in other parts of the U.S., Canada, Europe, and New Zealand, both as soloist and with other musicians. Tom has performed with various groups over the years and currently works with T.D. SKATCHIT, RTD3 and GHOST IN THE HOUSE. He has appeared on a number of recordings, including his solo CD, “Identity.” (2007), “T.D. Skatchit & Company” (2009) and “Skatch Migration” (2010) (all on Edgetone Records). In 1998, he completed writing and self-published WISDOM OF THE IMPULSE: ON THE NATURE OF MUSICAL FREE IMPROVISATION, a book that examines various aspects of this illusive art and presents a theoretical foundation for creative listening, analysis and discussion. Tom has also written a number of articles about the use of experimental instruments and improvisation in publications such as EXPERIMENTAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS, MUSICWORKS and LEONARDO. He was an invited participant in the Sound Symposium in St. John’s Newfoundland in 1994 and has participated several times in the annual San Francisco Bay Area Festival for People and Thingamajigs. In 2007, he was one of 10 instrument inventors invited to participate in the City of Auckland’s biannual cultural festival, AK07. In 2009, he performed with RTD3 in the Improvisers Festival in Birmingham, Alabama.

“Music of Invention – A Concert Celebrating Tom Nunn’s Inventions – A retrospective and a tribute”
Community Music Center
544 Capp Street
San Francisco, CA
Friday, Feb 17 2012 8:00 PM

Filed under: Arts & Entertainment