Sanctum of the Forgotten Tune

Michael deMeng
Three Day Workshop


Let’s create an honorarium to music. A visual song to celebrate the devices that have given joy to our ears.

Over the years I have acquired many interesting bits and pieces of discarded goodies, but I have to admit that some of the most interesting of them were musical instruments.   Usually by the time I get them all the melodies of their past lives have long faded; old trumpets, violins, oboes, and guitars are just dusty shells destined for a corner in the attic…or… perhaps, not…

One thing I have noticed about musical instruments, is that the old life never really leaves them. The brass, the mahogany, and ivory, though marked, still have a voice…though perhaps it is not a voice that can be heard…but rather seen.   In this class, you will bring old discarded instruments, and we will retune them…not to play music…but so that they speak as a visual art form.   Using the process of assemblage you will alter and/or combine broken violins, piano keys, trumpets, etc. and give them a new beginning as a shrine or sculpture. Music to your eyes.

Extra Credit: You get a smiley face and 4 gold stars if your instrument is able to create sound at the end of the class. Not a prerequisite but a fun challenge nonetheless.

Supply List

  1. Instruments or instrument parts to incorporate into a shrine. These don’t have to be old…could be children instruments i.e. toy paino, toy xylophone, etc.  Also you could either: Attach instrument parts to some structure like a box or cabinet, and then attach the horns parts, oboe parts, guitar parts etc. to the structure itself.  Or you could use the instrument itself as the structure (i.e. you could use an old violin or old guitar, (or an instrument case) as the main structure)
  2. A variety of other found objects to adorn the structure with.   Could be anything from dollies to clock parts to other doodads.
  3. Aves Apoxy Clay if you have trouble tracking it down.
  4. E6000
  5. Acrylic Paints
    1. Titanium White
    2. Carbon or Mars Black
    3. Quinacridone Gold
    4. Quinacridone Crimson
    5. Pthalo Green
  6. Optional Paints
    1. Anthraquinone Blue
    2. Van Dyke Brown
    3. Green Gold
    4. Nickel Azo Yellow
    5. Pthalo Blue
    6. Permanent Violet
    7. Transparent Brown Iron Oxide