My Gourd Instruments

In previous works, artist, filmmaker and musician Luke Fowler has made impressionistic biopics of unfairly neglected cultural figures. For this new performance, Fowler (winner of the 2008 Jarman Award and a Turner Prize nominee in 2012) celebrates not an individual but an overlooked genre of musical instrument. Inspired by learning about instruments carved from gourds, Fowler has designed and built his own hybrid versions: dried, carved gourds strung with traditional catgut and ‘found’ strings. When activated, each produces a low, quiet note, letting Fowler build up microtonal chords he adjusts by carefully repositioning each instrument. The result is an intense and subtle deep-listening experience.