Friday, October 29, 2004


But it's not junk. Donald "The Junkman" Knaack builds musical instruments out of found objects, and plays surprisingly melodic, toe-tappin' instrumentals on 'em. He was even nominated for a Grammy for Best Classical recording for his first album "Junk Music," selections from which were used in a dance piece by famed choreographer Twyla Tharp. From his bio: "Knaack recently returned from...a sojourn into the war-torn areas of Croatia, where he visited numerous villages destroyed in the war. There, he collected spoils of war and debris, and used them to create a Requiem for the war victims." Fantastic.

So many of the wackos I cover here are relegated to the furthest hinterlands of the music world. But this guy, who's at least as eccentric, gets Grammy nominations, in "classical" no less. I've always said that there's a fine line between kitschy novelty records and avant-garde experimentation.

CDs for sale on his site Low quality audio samples, but good listening nonetheless:

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