Heavy Metal: The Physics of DIY Instruments

Composer and instrument builder Paul Rudolph makes music from garbage. He combs recycling centers and scrap yards for what he calls “found object instruments”—propane tanks, film reels, artillery shells and other items that he likes the sound of.  Rudolph sometimes modifies the objects and then uses the newly minted percussive instruments in his music performance group GLANK,  which has appeared at the Eagle Rock Music Festival in Los Angeles and Maker Faire in New York City. John Powell, physicist and author of How Music Works, chimes in on the physics of making music.


additional footage from paul rudolph; produced by jon chang

Meet the Producer

About Jon Chang

Jon Chang is a science reporter based in New York City. He also has an unhealthy obsession with math, even if he’s not very good at it.