Everyone knows that you shouldn't open an umbrella inside a house – it's deemed bad luck – but when it is an umbrella that is in actual fact a musical instrument, and when it's inside a house that in itself is one big musical instrument, that's a whole different story.

Realised for Inner Tequila Studios, this project called for a whole host of technical wizardry to not only manipulate household objects into synthesising sound but creating instruments that could stand the test of time during a house party. Bins and clocks, pots and pans, and thermostats and taps – eveything including the kitchen sink, literally – were transformed by Dave Cranmer (aka Nervous Squirrel), He built all the instruments, such as the Bannistrobes and Lamplifiers (my favourite), and each had their own unique challenges. 'The oven hob drum synth was quite difficult, as it had to detect super-fast drum playing fingers through a sheet of glass,' he comments. 'And the clock with dancing hands was a tough one, as the hands had to move really fast back and forth to the beat.' If you're wondering, this was solved using central locking door actuators and a bespoke gearbox.

The instruments, whether it be the thermostat, stairs, juicer or hob, were all set-up as MIDI controllers linking back to a central computer, which monitored notes, tempo, filters, loop lengths, etc. and played back into a sound system spread around the house. Lighting and video projection elements were also controlled by the instruments. All this courtesy of the tech director Will Gallia, along the musicians including Chris Cairns, Dario Rossi and, the DJ for the party itself, Riton. It was Riton's 'Rinse and Repeat' chosen as the track to be dismantled and then recreated by musicians playing the various objects.

The results can be seen in the videos below and the good news is, the instruments survived the night. Get in touch with the team if you want to hire them for a party at your house.

The house party:


Cool stuff made by: Is This Good? / Studio Tekto / Nervous Squirrel
Production: Partizan
Agency: We Are Pi
Client: Heineken

Photos courtesy of We Are Pi.


We are seeking recent and intriguing event design projects like this one for the upcoming edition of our book series Happening. For more information about this inspirational volume, and to be in with a chance of having your projects showcased in it, go to http://www.frameweb.com/books/how-to-contribute or get in touch with the books team.