Steel Cello/Bow Chime – 2004

30 minute Documentary – produced in collaboration with Adrian Palka.

The Steel Cello and Bow Chime were made by US abstract expressionist painter Bob Rutman in the late 1960s. Rutman conceived them as musical-sculptures, a form in which both their visual presence and sound qualities are of equal and inseparable importance. They were designed as objects to be played and it’s from this combination that their unique qualities arise.

Since the 1970s Bob Rutman has produced a continuous stream of recordings and live performances. The Steel Cello and Bow Chime are extremely versatile and performances have been shown in a remarkable range of locations. These include major museums and arts galleries, such as MOMA, New York, and the ICA, London, as well as Coventry Cathedral and the Tiergarten road tunnel in Berlin. The documentary is part of a research project into the history and development of the Steel Cello and Bow Chime and their place in a wider history of sound-sculpture and invented instruments.

The documentary is based on recent interviews with Bob Rutman, Adrian Palka and Wolfram Der Spyra about their performance work with these sound sculptures and illustrated by archive footage of a large number of performances. The DVD also contains a collection of material (photos, posters, programmes) related to Bob Rutman’s work with the Steel Cello and Bow Chime dating back to the early 1970s.

You can watch the documentary here.