Just recently, I learned of the instruments of Evan Binkley, which seem to land somewhere between the instruments of Fred Carlson and Steve Wishnevsky (I’ll let you decide which end of the scale).
The one common thread I find between these dramatically different makers is that they’re all creating musical instruments that also serve as “functional folk art.”
I was tickled to see that some of Binkley’s creations (perhaps not surprisingly) fall into the “harp guitar” category (or harp uke, or harp something category).
At left is a fairly “normal” one.
He’s now on his fourth iteration of the “gujulele” (below), which he says is a cross between the ukulele and a Chinese guzheng (note the split bass harp strings, which can be played on either side of the central bridge. In this regard, it’s conceptually reminiscent of Hiro Takai’s famed koto harp guitar.
Binkley has posted an elaborate presentation video of this last one here.
On this video is the above gujulele, which has an additional little kalimba section (shades of Trevor Gordon Hall’s Kalimbatar) – I can’t believe he doesn’t destroy his strumming knuckles on those tines!
Here is, I think, his first gujulele experiment:
I can only imagine what’s next from musical folk artist Evan Binkley.
Thanks to Martin Delabano (harp mandolin builder) for passing along this interesting find!