Lost Instruments: The Claviola
Bookending the live premiere of Radiolab
season four last night at the Angelika Film Center, a charmingly twee band called "One Ring Zero" played accordion and...something. It was like an accordion, but you blew into a pipe winding from the top. It made an intriguingly clear tone that sounded almost digital.
Turns out it's a claviola
, an instrument designed by Ernst Zacharias (of musical equipment manufacturer Hohner) that was only available on the market for a few months in 1996. It's rare enough that a quick pass through eBay resulted only in listings of "craviola
," a type of guitar. Too bad. I know I'll never learn to play the accordion, but I bet I could figure out how to blow into a tube.
You can hear claviola on its own at he beginning of One Ring Zero's "Mean Marcus," which can be streamed from their site
. (And on most of their songs, too, but deeper in the mix.)
: Apparently I have no idea what the claviola sounds like. One Ring Zero's Michael Hearst tells me:
Mean Marcus" has hardly any audible claviola on it. "The Long Day," however, is all claviola playing lead at the beginning.
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