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The Tao of Cellocycling 

When: Jan. 14-Feb. 12 2010

Cello Operator

We can only hope this will be somewhat more tuneful than when an unknown Frank Zappa played a bicycle with a cello bow and a pair of drumsticks on The Steve Allen Show in 1963. (Yes, that really happened; YouTube it if you don’t believe me.) Sound artist, Vanderbilt alumnus and 2008 Margaret Stonewall Wooldridge Hamblet award recipient Noah Walcutt is presenting his latest ingenious noise-making contraption beginning today at Space 204. Visit Walcutt’s blog ( to see the brilliantly designed apparatus—monikered “Cellocycle”—which uses reappropriated bicycle parts to move bows across the strings of two standard-sized cellos. Walcutt also designed an imaginative capoing system that controls pitch and, according to Vanderbilt’s website, some sort of “interactive web application.” Walcutt’s device is somehow tied into an overarching theme regarding the Buddhist concept known as “The Tao.” How? We aren’t certain. Will the Cellocycle’s notes be as mellifluous and pleasant as those played on a plain old pre-Y2k10 cello? Probably not. But it’s art, damn it, and it’s pretty nifty-looking to boot.
— D. Patrick Rodgers


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