A KU lecturer has started a stylophone orchestra that that will experiment with sounds from Dr Who theme music to Radiohead.
A stylophone in a miniature metal keyboard that is played with a stylus to imitate electronic sounds.
When Dureq started manufacturing them in 1968 they were sold largely as toys for children and were occasionally used as serious instruments.
Music technology lecturer, Leah Kardos, said: “Traditional orchestras are made up of acoustic instruments, orchestras made up of synthesised sound haven’t really been done before.”
Kardos was able to start the orchestra when Dubreq contacted her over the summer and offered to donate stylophones to the university.
Dubreq originally donated vintage stylophones for the university’s archive project that preserves instruments and sent a few others for Kardos to play with.
“I loved playing with them so I just asked for more and they sent me over 30,” said Kardos.
The lecturer said that she had brought some stylophones to classes for students to try out.
Students have enjoyed putting them through guitar amps and seeing what sounds they can make.
“Once you play with the instrument you see how fun and toy-like it is,” said Kardos.
Kardos wants the orchestra to include traditional instruments too.
She estimates a string section, special effects, percussion, drum machines and vocalists.
“We’re going to play tons of different songs,” said Kardos, “classic electronica from the Blade Runner soundtrack, classical music, pop music and even gaming soundtracks from Legends of Zelda and Final Fantasy.”
Leah Kardos will start recruiting in November to begin rehearsing in the new year.