Flying Horses

a waltzing reverie by Robert Minden & Carla Hallett remembering summer days of childhood riding astride a wildly painted carousel horse.

Arranged for 69 precisely tuned glass bottles, the ensemble of breathy physical sound suggests a creaturely presence. And floating seemingly effortlessly above the bottle choir a soaring musical saw, (actually there are two – a high tenor and a low baritone) singing a mellifluous duet evoking an other-worldly feel. Just when you think how cool it is to hear music made with curious things, out of the blue sounds a lonely call from the classic French horn. The music reaches it’s finale with a surprising glissando from a waterphone, perhaps signalling the impossible escape of flying horses from a gently slowing carousel.

recorded by Don Harder, at CBC Studio One, Vancouver
mixed and mastered by Jeff Wolpert, Desert Fish Studios, Toronto
Composed by Robert Minden
Performed by Carla Hallett & Robert Minden
Drawing by Nancy Walker
released 2018

The Bottle Choir

  • 69 assorted glass bottles tuned with water as follows:
  • 7 glass cider jugs – 1 US gallon (3.78L)
  • 4 glass vinegar jugs – 2L
  • 7 glass vintage Kulmbacher brown beer bottles 16 oz. porcelain swing top resealable cap with rubber gasket, 9½ in. tall
  • 11 glass vintage Grolsch embossed green beer bottles 16 oz. porcelain swing top resealable cap with rubber gasket, 9½ in. tall
  • 8 glass vintage TŶ NANT blue carbonated spring water bottles 11 oz./330 ml.
    (in 2 sets of 4 bottles each)
  • 1 glass wine bottle – Robert Mondavi 750 ml.
  • 1 glass miniature whisky bottle – Canadian Club 50 ml.
  • 10 glass miniature sherry bottles – Nutty Solera Gonzalez Byass Jerez 50 ml.
  • 14 glass miniature sherry bottles – Tio Pepe Gonzalez Byass Jerez 50ml.
    (in 2 sets of 7 bottles each)
  • 6 glass miniature maple syrup bottles 1.7 fl. oz. from “The Conservatory” restaurant in the Mayflower Hotel, New York City
    • The Other Instruments:
  • 1 musical saw (tenor) Mussehl & Westphal
  • 1 musical saw (baritone) Sandvik Stradivarius
  • 1 plastic vacuum cleaner hose (6 ft. length)
  • 1 French horn Paxman F/Bb double horn medium bore, rose brass, unlacquered
  • 1 waterphone (standard) vintage Richard Waters