“I am always experimenting with objects of all kinds to create new sounds, colors, and textures,” Brian Melick of Ravena, New York, says. “With my son at a Lego BrickFair in Virginia, I watched two children and their parents build a very flexible creation with a limitless offering of Lego bricks, and it occurred to me that it was possible to create a fully functioning instrument that incorporates all the elements of a well-designed drum. I was totally inspired and up for the challenge. I had successfully created a few rattles and shakers, so why not a snare drum?
“After I assembled the Lego drum shell—following a strict credo to honor the original Lego brick and not alter it in any way, therefore no cutting, drilling, or gluing—I completed it with conventional elements so that I could tune the instrument and also really play it. I was taken aback by its musical personality. It has a tight, dry texture, very woody sounding. The drum has found a permanent spot in all of my diverse setups.
“Then it only made sense to me to create a bass drum. I wanted to work with smaller, compact sizes and ended up with 16×16. When I tuned it up, mounted a pedal on the platform I created, and hit the drum, my mouth fell open. The kick has a powerful, warm, fat sound. I built a 10×10 rack tom and 12×12 floor tom, and I find that they sing in most every genre of music and react very well to all implements. I am now in the process of building a 14×14 floor tom to add a little low end. So I get to make another drum—and what bad could ever come out of that!”
Care to guess how many Lego bricks were used to make Melick’s four-piece kit? Here’s your answer: 8,016.
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