I’m Not Sure What This Instrument Is…But This Dude Can Shred It

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at 2016.04.11
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If you live in a big city, odds are that you’ve seen a street performer with a harmonica in his mouth and a drum at his feet. And while that seems like some pretty epic multitasking, it’s nothing compared to what this guy can do.

The instrument he’s playing is an American Fotoplayer. Primarily used between the years of 1912 and 1925, it was specifically designed to create sound effects and live scoring for silent films.

Using a series of foot pedals, organs, whistles, drums, and bells, this guy absolutely shreds at making wackadoo chase music you might hear in a Looney Tunes short.

video-player-present

American Fotoplayer

We discovered an interesting instrument on tour in the US – an American Fotoplayer! Should we take it with us to our next performances in Seattle, Portland, L.A. and San Francisco?

Posted by Igudesman & Joo on Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Unfortunately for the Fotoplayer business, sound films made them pretty much obsolete. It’s a rare treat to see one actually played, as there are currently fewer than 50 that have survived — only 12 of which are actually playable!

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