Reclaimed, Recycled and Scavenged Musical instruments and Noise makers.


The Multi-Dronemachine

I made this one quite a while ago, but hadn't got around to getting any decent photos of it yet. These are probably decent enough...

It uses bike brake cables as strings, has dual piezo and inductive pickups. It also has some springs and strimmer wire strings added to the block with the piezo in which gives it more potential for noise making.


London Arduino Day!

This Saturday I will be showcasing at London Arduino day with a bunch of other excellent peoples at my second home Machinesroom in Bethnal Green.

> Curio: capacitative touch matrix instrument by Tim Yates
> Voice-controlled bubble-farting unicorn by CyberCitizens
> DIY instruments by Vulpestruments
> Arduino Flight Controllers (tricopter & quadcopter) by Martin Lindupp
> Stop the train game by Neil McGrath
> Hacked sound toys by Stamou Instruments> Robots and Lasers with Josh Elijah> Let's Make Robots by Francisco Dominguez Roman
> "Fizzy Good" connected water pump
> Ohbot: Arduino-based humanoid robot head to learn programming

Plus More!


Concert at the Royal College of Music

I am MASSIVELY excited to announce that I have been working with some great composers from the Royal College of Music to put together a concert using mostly my instruments!

Composers Christopher Schlechte-Bond and Nicholas Morrish Rarity present an extraordinary concert of works for an ensemble of newly invented string instruments created by sound artist Tom Fox, all of which are originally handcrafted from various materials found within the Royal College of Music.

I will be performing too.


The Hummingbird MKII, Manual Mode

The Hummingbird is usually controlled by Twitter, I fancied playing it myself so rigged up a simple switch mode using connector block and bike brake cable that runs to the other pin of each relay unit.

The noises are a result of electromagnetic interference from the motors creating a current in the pickup in the middle. The pickup is actually a transformer coil but as it uses the same principle of physics as a guitar pickup, it works just fine for noise creation. The different motors create a different tone of noise and when combined the tones mingle and mash and create slightly different tones. Also, as they all run from the same power source, as another motor is added to the circuit, it drains the other motors of current which slows them down slightly and alters their pitch.


Talk and mini-workshop

My next talk and workshop event will with the wonderful folks of Music Hackspace in my spiritual home of Limewharf in east London.

I'll be giving a talk all about the theory and practise of DIY instrument building and where to source everything you'd need for cheap and interesting instrument building.

Afterwards there will be a chance to build things with the materials I've provided for a small fee.

More info etc here:



I've had my Springything for quite a long time now, so have figured out a lot of fun different ways to get different noises from it. So here's a short track using nothing but this instrument:


Laser Cut Erhu

My latest instrument isn't strictly speaking recycled, but I'm pretty happy with how it's turned out so I'd like to share it.

It is cut from a single sheet of 6mm plywood, with piano tuning pins and violin strings.


Workshops coming up

I have a few workshops lined up, those who came to the Funzing Alternative xmas market yesterday might be looking for the links!

I also have 2 gigs coming up, one for the Music Hackspace re-opening/moving party at Limewharf on the 17th, and another gig with the fantastic Tim Yates on the 19th at http://iklectikartlab.com/


The current collection

And here's me trying to play lots of them at once:


The Hummingbird MKII

This is the newest version of the Hummingbird instrument. It uses electrical disturbances of 8 different motors to induce a current in the transformer coil.

It is connected to my twitter account via a raspberry pi. Whenever someone sends me a tweet the pattern of playing will change depending on that persons user id number.



My Resonance FM Interview and performance

You can now listen to the whole show, which has some amazing tracks from other artists and makers here:



Resonance FM

Friday afternoon I was interviewed by the excellent Gwaith Swn collective for their monthly show on Resonance FM.

It airs Today (Monday 5th) at 8 and again Tuesday at 9.


The Aftermath of Music Tech Fest

I don't often talk much on this site about what I do or why I do it. I've tried to avoid any sort of personal theology and let the instruments just talk for themselves. But this past weekend I attended Music Tech Fest in the wonderful city of Ljubljana in Slovenia and it's made me re-think a lot of things.

The festival itself is such an incredible event, full of open encouraging beyond-talented people on the forefront of music research in every possible perspective of music you can think of. The projects and ideas that are presented on stage are mind-blowing and inspirational but also the bits in-between were just as important.

For example, seeing Hakan Lidbo speak about his work was incredible. But discussing it over a pint at 2 in the morning was even better. Everybody there was so like-minded, that even someone like me with no academic background who tinkers and experiments with instruments can have great, open discussions with giants in the field.

The Hack Camp under the watchful eye of Adam John Williams was a massive highlight, it was essentially one giant problem-solving sleepover. Instead of blanket forts and pillow fights we experimented with what we had available to us. I spent a great deal of time with Elio Icaza brainstorming ideas that hopefully for him would stretch well beyond this weekend, I like to think we're now bff's.

After an entire night of no sleep due to the hackcamp I was asked to run an impromptu workshop with kids. No problem! I ran to what appeared to be the only shop in Slovenia open on a Sunday and bought pringle tubes, chopsticks and string and we made my 'simplest tuneable instrument' creation. Which they then went and played on stage.

Rani Dar invited myself and Johannes Lohbihler who invented the incredible DADA Machines to jam onstage during his slot which was so much fun, I'll hopefully get a better video of it soon but here's a small snippet.

One other highlight that is a bit surreal was recording samples and loops for Matt Black of NinjaTune and Coldcut for the NinjaJamm app

So so much happened over the weekend I can't begin to list off everything, but there were some things that resonated with me quite strongly:

Rolf Gehlaar gave some advise about what Stockhausen taught him, one of those lessons was about not doing anything you've done before. He also had an amazing involvement with creating accessible platforms for disabled musicians which got me really thinking.

Andrew Dubber discussed Human Music Interaction on the Monday after the main event and that got more cogs in my head spinning. It was great hearing him talk about what MTF stands for and what MTFResearch hopes to achieve and I'm really excited to feel like I can be a part of that. That I can offer something to the grand scheme of things whereas before I was mostly just tinkering for fun and self-indulgences. 

It was really interesting seeing peoples reactions to my instruments, I love making people realise how simple something can be that would still create complex noises and unique sounds. I've always enjoyed trying to reduce things to their simplest construct which can be a very challenging thing to do. So being able to show people the simplicity of how to create and watching their faces for that moment of realisation was a massive joy. I had that same moment of realisation with other peoples projects and ideas maybe a hundred times over the weekend.

I basically now have a lot of thinking to do, I will be re-focusing my efforts into newer directions and changing how I work. I will still continue my Vulpestruments work but expect quite a few variations and more concise and meaningful developments from me in the future.


The Hummingbird @ the Tate Modern

One of my newest creations that I developed at my time at machinesroom is The Hummingbird. It's a twitter - controlled instrument that I recently showcased at the Tate modern as part of the Turbine Festival.

It consists of a series of 8 motors that play 2 strings each in a randomised sequence. The motors were from old tape players and the strings from bike brake cable.

Every time I get sent a tweet, the sequence changes! So a brand new, completely unique melody is generated.

It uses a raspberry pi for its brains which controls the on/off signals to a bank of 8 small relays.

It was incredibly loud during the festival so was very hard to hear it being played. A few videos were taken of it in action though:

I owe a MASSIVE thanks to Tim Yates and Saif Bunni of Hackoustic for the invite and the help!



Things have been pretty busy over here lately, so first i'll let you know what's coming up, then I'll let you know how amazing the past few weeks have been!

First up, I've been invited by the Acoustic Hack group of the London hackspace to join them at THE TATE MODERN on the 25th as part of the turbine hall festival! 

It is a massive honour and the day looks to be one of the most fun days you could possibly have, ever. More details are here: http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/performance-and-music/hackoustic

Secondly, I have my next scrap instrument building workshop at Machinesroom set for August 1st, half the tickets have gone already so catch them fast if you'd like to come! Tickets are here: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/introduction-to-scrap-instrument-making-with-vulpestruments-tickets-17653195182?aff=es2

Last weekend was Childwickbury Arts fair. Which was an amazing and busy weekend full of some very incredible artists. Thank you to everyone who came and chatted and played the instruments and took a business card! I'm going to prepare some stock for the christmas market later in the year and see if they'll have me back!

Also recently, was my residency at machinesroom, which was not only super-fun but reeeaaalllly inspiring to see the potential of what their machines can produce. I've come up with a prototype instrument that uses a single sheet of plywood on the laser cutter. So once that's finished i'll post the results here!


Dronitar for Glen

My latest commission was this Dronitar for artist Glen Tomney.

The neck is made from a piano lid rest while the body is plywood with a few layers of Shellac ontop. It uses miscellaneous hardware in place of nuts, bridges and saddles etc.
The pickup is simply a coil from a small power transformer with a neodymium magnet glued down.

Upcoming events, of which there are many.

I have a ton of events coming up, all of which I will add to the events tab on the right hand side over there -->

First up is my workshop at Machinesroom, 'An introduction to scrap instrument building'. It is currently sold-out which means I'll have to organise another one for soonly afterwards!

Machinesroom have also amazingly and kindly invited me to be their Artist-in-residence for the month of June! SO I will have a bunch of my creations on display in their space and I will be using their machines to create something special too.

I have a gig in Watford at the LP cafe on June 6th, details here: http://www.silenciosessions.com/

I have also been asked to play in an Art Gallery by Sonica.fm on Saturday 13th of June, I will post more details of that when I know more but it will be during the day.

And finally, for now, I will also be one of the artists selling/demonstrating my work at this years Childwickbury Arts Fair. It's an incredible event set up and run by Christiane Kubrick. Yes, Kubrick... It's a really incredible event that I've been to before and am really really excited to be there this year.


The Lyre of Doom

My latest commission is a droney Lyre-type instrument made from a chair leg, washing line, miscellaneous hardware. The motor part can be attached to a modified desk lamp neck for handsfree-play.

It uses 2 piezo pickups and also a speaker as a pickup. They're all wired into seperate pots so you can control the volume from each one.


Gig tomorrow night!

I will be playing a gig as part of the Gwaith Sŵn Collective tomorrow evening at Limewharf as part of the Sonica FM residency!

Event details here:

expect noises akin to this:


Monster Dronemachine

One of my latest commissions was this monstrous Dronemachine. It's an unpredictable demonbag of noises, timbres, resonances and textures.