Lithophone Sessions: John Ferguson

Lithophone – an instrument where sound is made by striking rocks. A very ancient form of instrument.

“During the March 2020 lockdown, my children and I were spending a lot of time outside learning about, and amongst, nature. One day we were walking by the river when I suddenly remembered John Purser’s record, ‘The Kilmartin Sessions’, which features, amongst other weird and wonderful sounds, a lithophone. We subsequently found some rocks which we brought home and arranged into a lithophone. Everyone enjoyed playing it and I was struck by the ease with which the instrument could be made, as well as the fact that playing it does not rely upon any previous musical knowledge or skill. I also liked the fact that once we had finished, the rocks were returned to the river”

Come along to one of the sessions and have a go at making your own lithophone using rock found in the immediate area. The sessions will include a short demonstration; discussion about what rocks might be better than others in producing sound; making and playing your own lithophone; and then returning the rocks to where they were found.

You can’t take your lithophone with you but, hopefully, you’ll leave with the knowledge of how to make one the next time you spot some likely looking rocks.

Sessions at the McMoab rocks:
Sat 25th at 3pm
Sun 26th at 3pm
No need to book, just turn up.

Each session will be facilitated by me, John Ferguson.

I do other bits of music as well as hitting rocks.

You can find out more here if you’d like –

Image: “Lithophone” by raymond_zoller is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0