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Welcome to the State Theatre’s school-day performance of ScrapArtsMusic. Get ready for a high-volume, high-energy, high-spirited spectacle that’s like nothing you’ve ever seen before. These Keynotes provide you with information about the show, the artists, and their instruments that will make the performance even more exciting—because you’ll know more about Scrap Arts and what they do. We hope you’ll even be

Contents Welcome ..............................................2

Become a ScrapArtist! ....................9

Meet Scrap Arts Music ....................3

The Art of Recycling ........................9

The Program....................................4-5

Glossary ..............................................10

Production Elements ........................6

Get Ready!..........................................11

Percussion Discussion ......................8

inspired to create your own recycled instruments!

Keynotes are made possible by a generous grant from Bank of America Charitable Foundation. The State Theatre’s education program is funded in part by Bank of America Charitable Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, E & G Foundation, Gannett Foundation, Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies, J. Seward Johnson, Sr. 1963 Charitable Trust, Karma Foundation, Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, Magyar Bank Foundation, McCrane Foundation, MetLife Foundation, National Starch, Inc., New Jersey State Council on the Arts, PNC Foundation, the Provident Bank Foundation, PSE&G, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, TD Bank, and Wachovia Foundation. Their support is gratefully acknowledged. Funding to the State Theatre is provided by Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Funding has been made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Continental Airlines is the official airline of the State Theatre.

The Heldrich is the official hotel of the State Theatre.

Keynotes are produced by the Education Department of the State Theatre, New Brunswick, NJ. Wesley Brustad, President Lian Farrer, Vice President for Education Online at Keynotes for ScrapArtsMusic written and designed by Lian Farrer, with excerpts from ScrapArtsMusic study guide. Edited by Jennifer Cunha and Katie Pyott. © 2009, State Theatre Find us at Contact: The State Theatre, a premier nonprofit venue for the performing arts and entertainment.

Meet ScrapArtsMusic


ScrapArtsMusic is an innovative “percussion theater” group. Their performances combine intricate rhythms with athletic choreography and dazzling lighting effects in a high-energy, intensely physical spectacle of sound and movement. The company has performed for audiences on four continents. The five performers in ScrapArtsMusic play amazing instruments crafted from salvaged and recycled junk: discarded artillery shells, plumbing fixtures, exhaust hose, steel oil cans, accordion parts, and even broken monkey bars. The instruments reflect ScrapArts’ commitments to stretching the boundaries of music and working to help save the environment. Their show uses more than 140 different instruments, altogether weighing about two tons. You won’t see these instruments anywhere else! The instruments in ScrapArts’ percussion orchestra were

GREGORY KOZAK, who co-founded the company in 1998 with JUSTINE MURDY. Kozak, a

designed and built by

drummer and composer, brings a musician’s ear and an artist’s eye to developing the sonic and visual potential of recyclable materials. His inventions are sculptural objects as well as musical instruments. The music he composes for them is a fusion of world music traditions and 21st-century sounds. Murdy, with a background in architecture, shares


Fun Fa

mers perfor t e e r t ed as s eir big ic start ada. Th s n u a M C s , t r r ited to ncouve ScrapA ere inv tive Va . a w n y e ir e h e show er t t im in th f t a lf e a h cam zlies ers break BA Griz Drumm N k c n u a n t a rs C ma rumme ly “ The d per for t l n e ia r ic r f re cu the of They a ucks. usic,”— M s t r er Can v A u p a o r c c n a by S NHL V for the

Kozak’s passion to create innovative music through recycling. The other percussionists who make up ScrapArtsMusic are


Closeup: Gregory Kozak Even as a child, Gregory Kozak loved to experiment with non-traditional percussion: pots, oven racks, car hubcaps and

st ozak ju K y r o g “Gre eve singl may ha performed a y handedl ts of green.” ac million eg Free Press —Winnip

wooden spoons. In his teens, he was influenced by the work of innovative composer, music theorist, and instrument builder Harry Partch and jazz pioneer Ornette Coleman. Frustrated by the limitations of conventional percussion, he set out to create new instruments and an ensemble to play them. Greg learned the skill of welding, and with Justine Murdy began scouring construction sites and scrap yards in search of anything with the potential to make music. After creating more than 100 new percussion instruments, Greg started exploring ways of incorporating movement into his music. He put his instruments on wheels, enabling players and instruments to move in fluidly synchronized choreography. He assembled a group of stellar percussionists to join his group, and ScrapArtsMusic was born.

The Program Whorlies A composition named after the simple instruments that we use… WHORLIES generate a variety of pitches depending on spin speed and length of bilge hose.


(part I) all the t o p s u Can yo s, puns, and ce referen dplay in the or other w he pieces? t titles of

Conundrum This complex drumming number begins with Gregory on his one-of-a-kind, homemade “contraption” (aka “traps set”); soon after, players with mobile drums of varying design join the action. Instruments include: MINI-ZIG TRAPS SET—invented drum kit created from scrap and spun metals; ZIGGURAT DRUMS—our signature drum with a large drum-head, stepped spun aluminum drum shell which spins in the stand and produce different pitches depending on where it’s struck; HOURGLASS DRUMS—made of spun aluminum and stainless— pivots at the middle, has two drum-heads, and creates the second-highest pitches of the drums; HUMUNGA DRUMS—barrel shaped, made of spun aluminum, and the lowest-pitched, most bass of the mobile drums; B-52 DRUMS—a single-headed drum made from steel oil cans manufactured in 1952, which we cleaned up, put on scrap stainless steel stands, and mounted with used Kevlar drum-heads; JUNK-ON-A-STICK— ”cymbal trees” made with threaded rod and whatever sound-makers Gregory could find!

Ribs Ribs features a collection of carefully-selected found metal objects, arranged on speciallymade tables that amplify the exotic musical sounds the group is able to generate, thanks to their evolved technique. New instruments introduced to the stage include: SIGHCHORDIONS—wind instruments made from plumbing fixtures and accordion reeds, which create chords and single notes; THE RIBS—curved stainless steel bars of various lengths; WOODEN TABLE BOX RESONATORS—hollow, rolling tables that act as sound amplifiers; and a variety of found metal, including steel hose couplings and a brass plate.



Phonk Phonk begins with two performers striking and tossing coils high in the air—which soon develops into a full on rhythmic powerhouse. New instruments introduced in this piece include: ALUMO-SPRINGS—hollow, coiled aluminum springs that are lighter than they look; SCORPION DRUMS—high-pitched drums made from big-O irrigation hose and plumbing coupling joints on stands that can support up to three drums; and THUNDER SHEETS—flexible brass sheets and glass lifters.


Delta A solo piece featuring the HALF MOON—a discarded rock cymbal Gregory ground and reused to create a rich variety of warm sounds that subtly evoke the blues.

Magnum Opus for Bowl and Plates One by one, musicians join the stage, each with their own PLATE—an aluminum potbottom cutaway, each playing a unique rhythm using open and bell-tone sounds. Rhythms intertwine then break apart from each other before plates are swapped for gong-like BOWLS, found at a scrap yard and tuned with a grinder.


The Program


(part II)

Some Assembly Required Like giant building blocks for adults, this composition is built around the bass sounds of the PVC TOWER—created from salvaged ABS pipe of varying lengths, which are struck with gym-mat paddles recycled from a gymnastic club and cut into a ping pong paddle shape. The composition ends after a rhythmic interchange between PVC and marine exhaust hose (hollow rubber tubing formerly used to channel exhaust gases) cut to various lengths.

Engine of the Future Engine is a multi-tonal piece that features several of the drum instruments used in a new way to suggest a giant machine. New instruments incorporated in the piece include: ALUMINUM RODS—found in a dumpster near a metal shop; and ANNOY-OPHONES—made from dishwasher hose, bagpipe reeds, and balloons.


Artillery Peace We try to make an instrument from material we find at the venues where we perform. The ubiquitous soda can and bicycle spoke are always easy to find and recycle. Artillery Peace begins with the WHIRLING CAN (which we invite the audience to name—hinthint!); ARTILLERY SHELLS—stainless steel artillery shells chopped to different lengths to create a variety of church-bell-like chimes; and various noise makers including plastic venting hose, a bike bell, a suction cup, and a two-by-four.

Annoyophonia The return of the ANNOYOPHONE (first debuted in Ribs)—but this time there are five. What can we say? Why are the simplest instruments the hardest to play?


Synthesoid Plasmatron Synthesoid Plasmatron was one of the first pieces we performed. It’s in an odd time signature, and is very physical and energizing to perform. It incorporates all the spun aluminum drums; the PLANKOPHONE—a marimba made from two-by-four and two-bysix wooden planks, and legs made from railing of a building being torn down; the CHIME ARRAY—made from scrap stainless steel that supports artillery shell chimes; the GONG ARRAY—with curly legs made from monkey bar “seconds” and large chunks of scrap stainless steel boat railings that support three gongs.

13 Strings & Sigh-Chordions It’s perhaps surprising to see what an innovative percussionist can do when he invents a stringed instrument. This composition starts with Gregory on his MOJO—an instrument created from a sailboard mast, steel bowls, balloons, wood, aluminum scraps, and piano and bass strings. He is joined by three performers playing numerous SIGHCHORDIONS, and another playing the NAIL CELLO, a stainless steel plate with rods that are bowed while on top of a drum.


Hip Hop A drum solo competition to end all others! Each player struts his or her stuff.

Bopchi Bop Inspired by Gregory’s boyhood memories of songs his granny used to sing to him.

Agreement A highly choreographed piece we first debuted at an NBA halftime event. You need to be ‘in agreement’ for this piece to climax the way it does…


Production Elements


One of the things that makes a ScrapArts performance so exciting is that it’s a multisensory experience. Sound, movement, color, lighting, and the instruments (which are dramatic, sculptural works of art) work together to create a sense of energy and excitement. During the show, pay attention to the individual elements that contribute to the overall effect.


Stage Effects

Each of ScrapArts’ hundreds of instruments has its own

The lighting design is a dynamic part of the production,

distinct sound. The different combinations of materials, how

creating shadows and playing on the lustrous surfaces of the

they are put together, and how they are played allows for

metallic instruments. Lighting effects are achieved by the

endless variations of pitch, timbre, and volume. Some of

combination of placement (in front, behind, above, from the

the instruments are tuned (they can play specific pitches),

sides), intensity (how dim or bright), color, movement, and

while others play indefinite pitches. Some play articulated notes (notes that are clearly separated from each other) that

pattern. Different patterns can be achieved by the arrangement of lights or by using a gobo, a sheet of metal

are staccato (the note fades away as soon as it is played).

with a pattern cut into it that is placed in front of the light

Other instruments have the ability to play legato (with no

source. Some other common stage effects are smoke/fog

separation between notes) and to sustain (the note lasts

machines, strobe lights, and black light.

longer when it is played). The orchestration (the combinations of instruments in a piece) dramatically affects the way the music sounds. Using a

Costuming Costumes are part of the visual design of a

variety of instruments in one piece allows the composer to

ScrapArtsMusic performance. The clothes they wear reflect

paint with many different tone colors. Having members of

the type of music they play. You certainly won’t see the

the ensemble play the same or similar instruments focuses

formal concert attire of a symphony orchestra. The costumes

the listener on one particular sound quality.

have to be designed not only to look good, but also to allow

Rhythm is the most important musical quality in percussion. It gives the music its beat, or pulse. Rhythms can be very simple or so complex that it’s hard for the listener to hear the pattern. Polyrhythm is where each instrument in the ensemble plays its own rhythm at the same time.

Movement During a ScrapArts performance, the stage is in a constant state of motion. Having the instruments on wheels allows them to become part of the choreography. The musicians jump from one instrument to the next, and rearrange instruments to create new formations.

the performers free range of motion during their physically demanding performance.

Percussion Discussion


Percussion is easily the most varied family of instruments. They can do much more than keep rhythm; they can also provide melody and harmony. The full range of percussion possibilities is demonstrated by ScrapArtsMusic. Their unique invented instruments use all kinds of unconventional materials. The company has developed innovative techniques for playing these instruments to create a rich array of sounds and textures. Percussion instruments can be grouped according to the way they make their sound. Here are the groups, with examples that you’ll see at ScrapArtsMusic’s performance.

 IDIOPHONES are musical instruments in which sound is primarily produced by the actual body of the instrument vibrating, rather than by a string, membrane, or column of air. Idiophones can be sounded in a number of ways, including stamping, shaking, striking or plucking. Some common idiophones are bells, chimes, xylophones and maracas. ScrapArtsMusic has invented 73 idiophones, including Gong & Chime Arrays, Steel Hose Couplings, Stainless Steel Ribs, Junk-on-a-Stick, Bell Flower, and Alumo-Springs.

 MEMBRANOPHONES produce sound through the vibration of a stretched membrane or skin. The most common membranophone instrument is the drum. Gregory Kozak has created a variety of new drums for ScrapArts based on unique aluminum shell designs. The company uses 15 original membranophones, including Ziggurat Drum, Humunga Drum, and Scorpion Drums.

 AEROPHONES are musical instruments that produce sound through the vibration of air. The instrument itself does not vibrate, nor do strings or membranes. A column of air can be set in vibration—as in wind instruments—or by interrupting the air-flow by an edge, as in free-reeds. Some traditional aerophones are sirens, Udu drums, flutes, oboes, clarinets, bagpipes and accordions. The 55 aerophones invented by ScrapArtsMusic include Sighchordions, PVC Towers, and the Annoyophone.

 CHORDOPHONES produce sound through the vibration of a string or strings. Plucking, striking, or playing with a bow vibrates the string of a chordophone. Familiar examples include pianos, banjos, and sitars. ScrapArts currently uses one chordophone in concert: the Mojo.

 STRIKERS are beating devices used to create sound. It can be a drumstick,a clapper, a mallet, or a bow. Gongs, bells and xylophones are examples of instruments that use a striker. The more than 100 strikers created and played by ScrapArtsMusic include mallets of varying types, sticks of varying sizes, and a bass drum pedal.

Form a five-member ensemble with your classmates. Have each person look around the classroom (and in your pockets, backpacks, etc.) for objects you can use to create your own invented percussion instruments. Play around individually to find some sounds you really like. Have one person establish a rhythm, then add other rhythms one by one. Try different combinations of sounds and rhythms. From your improvisation, create a 23-minute composition. Add choreography if you wish. Practice your composition until you’re ready to perform it for the rest of the class. Don’t forget to give your composition a title!

Become a Scrap Artist! S TA MPING



Cultures around the world use a percussion instrument known as a STAMPING STICK. These hollow sticks are pounded on the ground to create a strong beat for singing and dancing. Usually the bottom end of the stick is closed and the top end is open. The sound resonates from the ground, up the tube, and out the open end. Find yourself a tube and create your own stamping stick. Some good choices are PVC pipe or cardboard tubes from toilet paper, paper towels, wrapping paper, or carpet. You’ll need to cover one end of the tube with tape or cardboard, and leave the other end open. Decorate the outside of the tube with other recycled material, such as buttons, fabric scraps, leftover yarn or string, and old magazines or newspapers. Bang the closed end of your stick on different surfaces and see what sound they produce. Stamping sticks produce different sounds based on length, diameter, and what they’re made of. Get together with some of your friends to create a stamping-stick orchestra.


A bottlephone is a tuned percussion instrument consisting of glass bottles or jars. Collect a group of bottles and jars of different sizes and shapes, and strike them with a beater to hear the notes they produce. Line them up in order, from lowest pitch to highest. Try playing some simple tunes. A bottlephone that is constructed out of a variety of bottles and jars will not play in tune, but if you can find a set of identical bottles, you can create a tuned instrument. Pour a different amount of water in each bottle, ranging from almost full to almost empty. This time, when you strike the bottles, each one will play a different pitch. By adjusting the amount of water in each bottle, you can tune your bottlephone to play the notes of a scale. The sound your instrument makes will vary when it is placed on different surfaces (such as carpet, cement, or wooden floor). See which surface gives you the best sound—and don’t break your bottles!



Mexican maracas and the African shekere are examples of rattles and shakers—percussion instruments that are played by shaking. These instruments consist of a hollow body with small hard objects (such as seashells or dried beans) that rattle against the inside or outside of the body when shaken. It’s easy to make your own rattle or shaker. Put a handful of buttons, pebbles, dried beans, or rice into an empty container (coffee can, soda can, etc.). Replace the lid and seal it with tape. How does the sound of the shaker change when you use different materials inside? State Another kind of shaker uses clanking Theatre metal—such as bells, metal rings, or Soda jingles. You can make a good jingling shaker by threading bottle caps on a metal coat hanger. Or you can drive a nail through three bottlecaps; make a series of these rattles and then nail them to a piece of two-by-four or a broomstick.

The Art of Recycling


About 80% of what Americans throw away is recyclable, yet our recycling rate is only 28%. Gregory Kozak’s concern about our throw-away society inspired him to build his instruments exclusively from industrial scrap and found objects. He has made an art out of recycling by salvaging materials that most people would consider trash and transforming them into extraordinary and beautiful musical instruments. You don’t have to be an artist or musician to become a creative recycler. Think about everyday items that you have around the house that typically get thrown away: bottles, cans, plastic containers, grocery bags, etc. Can you think of creative ways to transform these items into something useful or beautiful? Recycling is one of the three R’s of cutting down on the waste materials that

Think it’s garbage? Think again!

choke our landfills, litter our streets, and pollute the environment. Here are some suggestions for following the three R’s:


 Buy less stuff. Before you buy something, think about whether you really need it. Don’t replace your cell phone or sneakers just because they’ve come out with a newer model. Wait until something is completely used up before you replace it. You’ll save money while helping the environment.

 Purchase recyclable or biodegradable items that will not clog our landfills.


 Choose items that you can use again and again, such as canvas shopping bags (instead of paper or plastic) and cloth rags (in place of paper towels). Instead of buying bottled water, fill a reusable bottle with water from the tap. It’s just as good as the bottled stuff!

 Donate items you no longer need so that others can use them.


 Save and take recyclable materials to places where they can be remade into the same product or new products. Besides cutting down on trash, making new items from old ones uses less energy and natural resources than to making products from new materials.

• Americans use 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour. • Recycling one ton (about 2,000 pounds) of paper saves 17 trees, two barrels of oil (enough to run the average car for 1,260 miles), 4,100 kilowatts of energy (enough power for the average home for six months), 3.2 cubic yards of landfill space, and 60 pounds of pollution. • A typical family consumes 182 gallons of soda, 29 gallons of juice, 104 gallons of milk, and 26 gallons of bottled water a year. That’s a lot of containers that can all be recycled! • The average American uses 650 pounds of paper each year. 100 million tons of wood could be saved annually if all that paper was recycled.



ARRAY - an instrument made up of an arrangement of individual components (such as a set of chimes of different pitches). BOW (BOH) - a flexible stick with horsehair stretched from one end to the other; used for playing stringed instruments. CHOREOGRAPHY (kor-ee-OG-ra-fee) - the art of creating dances or movement. CYMBALS (SIM-bahls) - concave metal plates that are clashed together or struck with a drum stick. DRONE - a continuous sustained hum or buzz tone. DRUM - a percussion instrument made by tightly stretching a membrane over one or both ends of a hollow cylinder or bowl. Drums are played by beating, rubbing, or scraping the head, rim, or sides. DRUM HEAD - the membrane (made of animal hide or a synthetic material) stretched over the opening of a drum. DRUM STICK - used for striking a percussion instrument; also know as a beater. ENSEMBLE (ahn-SAHM-bull) - a group of performers. GONG - a large metal plate played by hitting with a mallet. HOCKETING - a music technique where a melody or rhythm

POLYRHYTHM - two or more rhythms played at the same time. REED - a thin piece of cane or metal that vibrates when air is blown across it. The vibration produces the sound.

is shared by two or more players; one part rests while the

RESONATOR - a hollow chamber that amplifies the sound

other part(s) plays the note or notes. You sometimes hear

of an instrument. Examples of resonators include the

ScrapArts using hocketing on the Plankophone, where

tubes underneath the keys of a marimba and the body of

four players play the two parts.

a violin.

KINETIC - relating to or produced by motion. MALLET - a beater with a padded ball on the end. MARIMBA - a percussion instrument in the xylophone

RIM - the edge of a drum where the drum head meets the shell. ROLL - a drum technique where the drum is hit repeatedly,

family, made of strips of wood or metal of different

very fast. When the player gets up to full speed, the notes

lengths, each tuned to a different pitch. often with a

blur together to produce a sustained sound.

resonator below each bar. The pitches span several octaves. PERCUSSION - an incredibly diverse group of musical

TIMBRE (TAM-ber) - the quality of a sound that sets it apart from other sounds; also known as the ‘color’ of a sound. TRAPS - a set of drums, cymbals, and other percussion

instruments that can be played either by hitting, shaking,

(such as woodblock, cowbell, and tambourine) set up so it

rubbing, twisting, spinning, rolling, dropping, etc.

can be played by one person. Also known as a “drum kit.”

PITCH - the highness or lowness of a musical note.

Get Ready!


Learn Your Part.


One essential collaborator needed


to create a live performance is the

ScrapArtsMusic Homepage Information on instruments and musicians, video performances.

audience. The weeks and months of thought and preparation that go into a show are directed toward creating a performance that will inspire and

Bash The Trash Homepage Ideas for making instruments from trash.

entertain you and the other people who are watching and listening. Your role in this artistic collaboration is very important. Make sure you know your part: • When you arrive at the theater, follow an usher to your seat.

No Texting!

• Before the show begins, turn off

Oddmusic Unique, unusual, ethnic, and experimental music and instruments. Make-Stuff Ideas for turning trash into recycled treasures.

and put away all electronic devices, including cell phones, portable


games and music, cameras, and

Gravikords, Whirlies & Pyrophones: Experimental Musical Instruments, by Bart Hopkin. Ellipsis Arts, 1996.

recording equipment. Keep them turned off for the entire

Musical Instrument Design: Practical Information for Instrument Design, by Bart Hopkin. See Sharp Press, 1996.

performance. • Once the lights go down, focus all your attention on the stage.

Music of the Whole Earth, by David Reck. Da Capo Press, 1997.

Watch and listen carefully to the performance. • Attending a live concert in a

No Photos!

theater is not the same as

Planet Drum: A Celebration of Percussion and Rhythm, by Mickey Hart and Fredric Lieberman. Acid Test Productions, 1998.

watching television at home. At the MUSIC

theater, talking, eating, and moving around disturbs the performers

Phon, by Scrap Arts Music. 2006.

and other members of the

So Percussion, by David Lang. Cantaloupe, 2004.

audience. And please—no texting


or checking messages during the

Harry Partch: Enclosure 7 / Harry Partch: Enclosure 8. Innova, 2006 / 2008. DVD, unrated.

show! • When the performance is over, stay in your seat until your group gets the signal to leave the theater.

No Talking!

ScrapArtsMusic study guide  
ScrapArtsMusic study guide  

ScrapArtsMusic study guide