The Otherworldly Sounds of the Long String Instrument – kottke.org
Here are a pair of videos of Ellen Fullman playing the Long String Instrument, an musical instrument with up to 100-foot-long strings that Fullman has developed over the past 35+ years.
These ghostly, ethereal sounds are made by Fullman rubbing the strings with rosin-coated fingers; you can read more about her process in The Guardian:
Its sound recalls Indian raga, with harmonies sliding over one another. Fullman says playing it “can be an ecstatic feeling, a floating sensation. Music is bigger than me: there are pitch relationships, shapes of notes beautiful beyond the level of human expression. I like that feeling of being a conduit. I don’t like egotistical thrashing. I like trying to give a gift.”
The strings are connected to wooden resonators that act like the body of a guitar to amplify the sound. To bring it out further, Fullman rubs her fingers with rosin, the same substance used on bows. In effect, she turns herself into a human bow. The strings are 2cm apart and she can have up to 28 on each of the two sides of the instrument: “The number is only limited by the length of my arms: 60cm.”
Best little detail about Fullman from that piece: she was “born in Memphis and kissed by Elvis as a baby”.
Aside from the videos, you can find music she’s created