Friday, September 23, 2011

Mexican Water Jug/Soda Bottle Folk Instruments

(Vote for "M4M Idol"! You've got 'til Oct. 6.)

A welcome recent trend in Mexican and Mexican/American music is playing instruments made out of recycled garbage. Apart from looking real cool and producing new sounds, it's another example of the resourcefulness of low income people (see also The Congo's Konono No.1, and Staff Benda Bilili.) So far as I know, there haven't been any recordings of this stuff yet, but there are a few YouTube vids featuring the Sparkletts bottle/garden hose (or PVC pipe) "tuba" and plastic 2 liter soda bottle "trumpets." I say "so far as I know" because the comments are all in Spanish and I'm just not bilingual enough to understand it all, e.g.: are there any recordings featuring these instruments? And the last video demonstrates how to make a water jug tuba - can anyone out there translate it for me? I want! Muchas grassy-ass.

First up, the border style known as norteña music. The flatulent sound of this tuba makes me laff!:

Slightly better sound quality on this
tune; note the European polka beat, the mark of the norteña (Northern) style, aka Tex-Mex:

South of the border for some Coke bottle mariachi:

Judging by other videos, it seems pretty basic: garden hose or pipe, connects to bottle (e.g.: 12 oz soda bottle), connects to big jug. But - que? - this vid makes it seem more complicated:


Anonymous said...

try google translator: (choose language)
Thanks your research.. ;-))

Mr Fab said...

Ok, thx, yeah i did try babelfish, but it was, well, babble. Babelfish can be fine with words or short phrases, but put in a big blocks of text and sometimes it comes out like "my llama wants to go skydiving with your typewriter" 'n stuff.

Anonymous said...