Talissa Mehringer

. . . multimedia dark artist . . .

Broken Zither Poems

A soundscape made entirely using the recorded sounds of a broken zither.

When I picked it up at a flea market a few weeks ago, I had no idea what this instrument was. I saw the zither lying in a broken cardboard box surrounded by old household items and was immediately drawn to this antique gem lying on the clutter of semi-modern life. I loved the ornamental floral design on its dusty face, its rusty knobs, and broken strings. For 20 euros, it was mine. 

Because I hadn’t made music in quite some time, I knew I wanted to keep it simple and decided to challenge myself. How many different sounds could I make the zither sing? I set out to layer a minimalistic melody of plucked still-out-of-tune strings with percussive notes generated by tapping, pulling, and sliding fingers over strings, metal, and wood. All of the effects were applied directly to the incoming sounds being recorded and were selected to create a deeper more mysterious sonic space. I used a contact microphone and the program Reason to assemble the sounds. 

Hope you enjoy listening to this weird little track as much as I enjoyed making it. Thanks for listening!

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