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The Feedback Organ, version 6


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Wire Frame Guitar


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Aluminum Disc Metallophone


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Spoke Protector Metallophone (number 1, higher range)


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Spoke Protector Metallophone (number 2, middle range)


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Spoke Protector Metallophone (number 3, lower range)


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A scrap metal guitar. The body is constructed from a folding chair. The headstock is removable, so that the overall dimensions can be collapsed into a box that meets the luggage restrictions for flying overseas. Jason Sanford played this guitar on the Neptune LP records, "Patterns," as well as "Gong Lake," and "Mother of Millions."


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A detail of the removable headstock.


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A minimal, viola-like instrument. Built to be played with a bow, the 2 strings are electric bass guitar strings. An electric guitar pickup is mounted upside down and just above the strings. Jason Sidney Sanford played this instrument on the Neptune album, Mother of Millions.

2007 - 2008

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A scrap metal bass guitar. The body is built from the casing of an old VCR. The instrument is strung in octaves with two bass strings and two guitar strings.

Both Mark William Pearson and Jason Sidney Sanford have played this instrument on multiple Neptune recordings.


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Detail of the VCR casing used as the body of the bass. They don't make them like that anymore.


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A bass lamellophone, or thumb-piano. The tines of the instrument are made from old hacksaw blades. Jason Sidney Sanford played this instrument on the Neptune album, Gong Lake.

2006 (?)

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A lamellophone, or thumb-piano. The tines of the instrument are made from found street-sweeper bristles. Jason Sidney Sanford has played this instrument on various Neptune recordings.

2006 (?)

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A multi-function electronic oscillator. The remote-switch jack allows the device to be triggered by connencting a foot-switch, so that it can be played simultaneously with a guitar or other instrument. Jason Sidney Sanford played this instrument on the Neptune album, Mother of Millions.

2008 (?)

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An electronic instrument.

2009 (?)

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An electronic effect with microphone.

2009 (?)

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A floor tom (drum) constructed from a small steel trash can. The drum is equiped with a contact microphone, mounted permanently inside. Daniel Paul Boucher played this instrument as part of his drum-kit on the Neptune album, Gong Lake.

2006 - 2007

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An electronic oscillator, actuated by a telegraph key. This is an early electronic instrument by Jason Sidney Sanford and contains a circuit-bent, battery-powered Archer-brand desk-top intercom device. Daniel Paul Boucher played this instrument on some tracks on the Neptune LP records, "Patterns," and "Gong Lake."

This photograph shows the instrument after some years of touring use, with paint worn and a petina of rust on the casing.


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Here, the electronic oscillator is photographed close to when it was initially completed, and prior to the wear of heavy use.


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An electronic keyboard, built from discrete 555 oscillator circuits each actuated by one of the keys. The power supply is repurposed from an obsolete computer. The legs unscrew and the device fits inside the red box which doubles as its base.


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Detail of the electronic keyboard. The keys are made from wood, with small copper plates on the underside. When the key is pressed, it makes contact with a copper nail beneath, completing a circuit.


22 /35

A lap-steel, slide guitar. The body is constructed from part of a circuit-breaker panel.


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A steel violin.


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A scrap metal bass guitar made from the top of an old 55 gallon oil drum. It was constructed from scrap found at Deep Creek, Colorado. Jessica Rylan played this instrument at first. Later, Mark William Pearson played this bass guitar on the Neptune LP record, "Intimate Lightning."


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A detail of the large bass guitar made from the lid of a 55 gallon oil drum.


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A scrap guitar. Scrap metal source unidentified. Jason Sanford played this guitar on the Neptune LP record, "Intimate Lightning," and Mark William Pearson played it on "Msg Rcvd."


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A scrap metal guitar built from some piece of white-enameled sheet, possibly from a washing machine or other such appliance originally. This was the most accurate fretboard built with the "free-hand" style of holding the neck-in-progress next to an existing guitar and making chalk marks where the frets should go. Later guitars employed a specially-built fret-jig to secure the frets in their desired positions. Christopher Stewart Huggins played this guitar on the Neptune LP record, "The Ballet of Process."

Now in the collection of C.S. Huggins.


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A scrap metal guitar built during a session of the Deep Creek School, Deep Creek, Colorado, near Telluride. Various scrap pieces were used, including a Chevrolet hub-cap for the main part of the body. The neck is a scrap piece of unknown origin with nails welded on as frets. This instrument is very heavy. It was the instrument that Jason Sanford played at the first live performance of Neptune.


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Bass guitar built from a children's bicycle wheel and other scrap metal. The open-neck design supports the frets with three pieces of quarter-inch steel rod. Carl Weiting played this bass on the first self-titled Neptune single, as well as the first LP record, "Studio Recordings."

Now in the collection of Carl Weiting.


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The second of the scrap metal guitars. The fretboard was constructed by holding the neck piece next to an existing guitar and drawing chalk lines. Nails were used for frets. A single-coil pickup was stripped from an inexpensive guitar. The body is a steel tub or pan with a welded sheet metal top. The hollow design makes this guitar function acoustically. Inside the body is a large spring that gives the guitar a built-in reverberation effect. The action of the strings is very high, but the instrument has an interesting, deep sound, especially when played with a slide.

This instrument was given away years ago, and this slide-transfer in which the film has been incorrectly cut and mounted in the slide frame is the only remaining image (note that the cropped headstock, made from a bicycle chain-ring appears at the bottom of the frame instead of the top.)


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The first of the scrap metal guitars. The tuning devices are made from old machine bolts. The fretboard is constructed with thirteen frets to the octave (instead of twelve) as an experiment. Miscalculation made the overall neck length too long for regular guitar strings, and necessitated the use of bass strings.

Carl Weiting played this bass in the very earliest version of Neptune. It was soon replaced with the bicycle-wheel bass after Carl sustained a head injury from the jagged fretboard.


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An autonomous musical instrument, The Bell Tower. An old personal computer, found in the trash, runs a program written in Q-Basic. The program sends a series of commands out of the parallel printer port, which connects to a circuit that uses the varying signals to trigger different combinations of relay switches. The relay switches, in turn send voltages to the small DC motors at the top of the automaton, which spin small pieces of plastic to 'ring' or 'play' the assortment of bells and springs. Each of these sound-producing elements is fitted with a Piezo-electric contact microphone. All of the audio signals are sent to a hand-built mixer and then to the audio amplifier in the center of the sculpture.


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The sound-producing component of the computer-controlled automaton, The Bell Tower is here repurposed to be actuated by a scroll-reading machine similar in concept to player-piano machines. The interface module in the center of the image takes the signal provided by the scroll-reader and lends a voltage capable of powering the DC moters that actuate the bells and springs.


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Detail of the scroll-reading component of the player-piano musical automaton. The motor that pulls the scroll through the machine is made from an old electic-powered ice-cream maker. The scroll itself has holes cut out of it in a pattern. Copper fingers rest against the paper of the scroll under the tension of small springs. When a hole in the scroll rolls past the copper finger, a contact is made with another copper point beneath the paper, sending a signal that rings a bell or plucks a spring.


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The Tupperphone. Food-storage container, rubberbands, contact microphone. Jason Sidney Sanford played this instrument on Neptune's Untitled Improvised Album. The instrument design has been used by Sanford in workshops with students of all ages as an introduction to the use of contact microphones.