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Stunning see-through cello

Carbon fiber instruments have been introduced on the market for a couple of years. A research team from Ghent University and School of Arts Gent has been investigating the use of composite materials for string instruments. Now, one of their prototypes, a cello made from glass fiber, has been used by professional musicians to record a duet called Orion, by the Japanese composer Takemitsu.

Tim Duerinck:

“The musicians were looking for a specific sound for the cello, which would have a resemblance to the sound of a traditional Japanese “kokyu” instrument. They came to the workshop to test some of the prototypes we developed, and the glass fiber cello was clearly a very good fit for the music. It allowed the cellist to create a very ‘fragile’ sound, which feels like it can cut right through you.”

By combining the glass fiber with an aramid honeycomb for the top plate, a visually stunning see-through instrument was created:

Stunning see-through instrument created by combining the glass fiber with an aramid honeycomb for the top plate.

Stunning see-through instrument created by combining the glass fiber with an aramid honeycomb for the top plate.

This instrument is of course just a first prototype, yet many musicians, especially experimental ones, show great interest in the instrument. The instrument has been requested for a couple of performances and the makers have a hard time managing the instrument’s schedule.

Composite materials offer many options to instrument making which affect the way an instrument sounds: the type of fiber used, the lay-up, using sandwich construction,…

Tim Duerinck:

“As an instrument maker, composite materials offer a new toolbox to create durable unique sounding instruments. More and more (classical) musicians are looking for this, as such we try to tailor to their needs. Of course, the world of classic music is a conservative one. We’re very lucky to have these open minded musicians who want to explore new ways. They are without a doubt the avant-garde. Let’s hope the mainstream will follow!”

Takemitsu: Orion (for cello and piano)

Video of Takemitsu: Orion (for cello and piano)

The cello has been made through the VARTM process, the making of a carbon cello in this process was previously featured in the How It’s Made series, that you can discover hereunder.

Companies: Universiteit Gent

Industries: Sports, Leisure & Recreation

Terms: Applications, Business

Via
This article has been edited by Basalt.Today
Source
This article has been written on JEC Composites Magazine
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