I was giving a talk last week at the Boston Music Tech Meetup about hacking on music. I was showing some of my recent music hacks, one of which is the Saddest Stylophone – a web app that generates a Stylophone auto accompaniment to any song.
In my build-up for the demo I think I described the stylophone as “the worst sounding musical instrument in the world”. The demo went well, and the audience had a few good laughs at the stylophone’s expense. All good, until after my talk when I saw this tweet appear on my feed:
I never would have imagined that there was such as thing as stylophone devotees, nor that I would one day offend the premier drone ambient stylophone composer. But, then again, I was in Cambridge MA, where no niche is too fringe. I was worried that I had gravely offended someone. I was steeling myself for an awkward conversation, but it turns out I had nothing to fear. The premier drone ambient stylophone composer was Rev. Johnny Healy (i.e. the tweeter), and he was not offended but was just giving me a good natured ribbing. He really is, however, the premier drone ambient stylophone composer. And he can make that “worst sounding instrument in the world” sound really interesting. Here is some of his work: