A musician of unusual talent

Sorry this isn’t a real chocolate box – but you can find plenty of those in our Corporate Gifts and Luxury Chocolates sections.

But the pinnacle of glass playing turned out to be the glass armonica, invented by Benjamin Franklin: a set of bowls turned sideways, aligned concentrically to form a piano-type scale and set in constant motion by pedal. Mozart wrote music for it, 19th-century hypnotists like Franz Mesmer used it to produce trances. Eerily, hauntingly fluty, the sound is just as perfect for Mozart as it is for weird film soundtracks. James had one built with 44 bowls and a chocolate-box Rococo case, and he was off, playing with the London Classical Players, the Emerson String Quartet and the Los Angeles Opera, and recording for Sony. He had a second armonica built to stay in Europe to minimize the enormous travel headaches.

via A musician of unusual talent – Living Top story – The Olympian – Olympia, Washington.

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