Do the wonders ever cease?

I’ve been sitting here all evening surfing the ‘net looking at kite things. While I don’t believe I’ve mentioned it yet on this blog, my camera jammed on my last KAP outing and is now in the shop for repairs (that means I can’t go KAPing this weekend, although I’m certainly going to go fly kites). Due to the sad state of my camera situation, I’ve been looking at other web sites, blogs, forums, etc. on kites. I’m still amazed at how much information there is about the history and uses of these low-tech wonders.

 One of the topics I found to be especially intriguing were kites that produce sounds – the first type I came across were the Chinese whistling kites of Nantong (be sure to view the video located on this page). These kites have whistles made from gourds attached to them and can be extremely elaborate. Since then, I’ve come across many other references for whistling or musical kites and, as to be expected, I’m fascinated with the possibilities. One site, in particular, caught my attention and that is “Kite Musical Instruments & Aeolian Musical Instruments” which has been created by a gentleman from Germany. Fortunately, he provides an English version along with the German. While his English is a bit awkward, it’s far better than my German (I had one semester of it in high school a million years ago) and it’s very useful in learning a lot about the subject. I’m particularly fascinated with his use of the kite string itself to produce sounds that may be recorded (is that cool or what?!) and provides some very simple instructions for recording them. His site also contains many examples of the sounds produced by kites – most of which have a rather eerie, haunting sound to them. Just the same, I’ve got the try capturing these sounds myself – just think of the possibilities?! I’ve already got a few ideas floating around my head and, if they work out, they might turn out to be something really unique!