Thanks to someone who gave me a wonderful birthday gift, which I will soon replace with another just like it, Moksha, of the amazing “Country Eastern” musical experience, Hu Dost — which is currently on tour — now has an official musicalsaw.com tenor musical saw to add to their List of Mystical Inventory. Here’s an example of a musical saw used in a highly technical manner:
Back in 1949, I heard my music teacher at Camp Woodland, Grant Rogers, play the musical saw; then Joe Hickerson played it, after which Joanna Cazden, Louise deCormier and, as I remember it, Happy Traum or Geoff Kaufman tried it.
Well, heck-darn, I asked for, and got, a musical saw for my 70th birthday last December 27th.
When I first encountered the musical saw it was immediately post-war, World War II (which is the Roman numeral “II”, not the Arabic numerals which we use today, as in “World War Eleven”, as some kids insist on calling it) when instruments made of steel were almost unobtainable, and was amazed at how much like the newly invented Electronic Theramin it sounded. Here are some stunning examples: after which, you can easily follow up on your own with the hints I’ve provided here. Of course, it helps to know that the Latin name for “musical saw” happens to coincide roughly with the word “theremin”… so you’ll easily find Italian musical sawists, or is it sawyers??? (Philologists please take note, the name Sawyer is in fact a derivation from saw-iers, hence, sawyers, sawyer, like law-yer. Ugh. I should never have mentioned lawyers. 99% of them give the rest a bad name. On with the musical saws, with one momentary halt to ponder the question, does anyone play musical chainsaw??? The answer is, yes. I have the CD right here, labeled “Texas Chainsaw Orchestra”, another birthday present. I’m waiting for the next Psychotic Episode to play it, though.
And here are two examples I found especially interesting for Moksha’s attention in terms of presentation, usage and style:
For me, the most fascinating character I’ve come across in my musical saw search on youtube is an indescribable personnage, Gladys Hulot. I think you’ll agree. Here’s an example of her musical wit and vision, sans saw:
http://www.gladyshulot.com/ is her official site — fans and friends of my literary agent, Forry Ackerman, will be as delighted with her website’s presentation as I was! Let’s see if we can SHOUT OUT and share and get the word out about Hulot, okay??? Keep the faith!