An Amazing Musical Morning

Despite the fact of having a Master’s in Music and having considered myself a musician / composer for some 40 years now, this morning I opened the door (literally) to an entirely new musical experience that I had never been aware of until that moment.

A new friend and Chilean film maker, Juan Carlos,  invited me to a rehearsal of some of his friends where he would be getting more footage for his short documentary. I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into, but I usually go along anyway to things that sound remotely interesting. 

I opened the door to the atelier where Les Frères Baschet have been inventing new instruments since the year I was born. Michel Deneuve was there with his own Cristal Baschet instrument. A counter-tenor was also present and the viol de gamba player had not yet arrived.  So, I thought I would expose you a bit to the musical world of the Baschet Cristal.

Essentially, the instrument has glass rods, which one rubs with wet fingers, much like one could do on the rim of a wine glass. These glass rods are attached to metal rods of varying lengths which give each note a different pitch. Then there are a series of resonators (in this case 3) made from metal or fiberglass.

Enhanced by the vaulted underground room, the sound was quite ethereal, even spiritual,  unlike anything I’ve heard before. Listen to it for yourself….Here are a few YouTubes that I found on Michel playing his Baschet Cristal. (Also check out his website by clicking on his name.)

Michel with an ensemble of other unique instruments.