NPR invited the mischievously talented Blue Man Group to perform in their offices as part of their excellent Tiny Desk Concert Series. In order to perform, however, the group had to modify their wonderfully inventive instruments to fit into the room, which was a first for everyone.
Every band that plays the Tiny Desk must work within the restrictions of the space. So instead of installing their entire signature PVC instrument, what ended up behind the desk was about a third of it. On the right side of the desk, their Shred Mill makes its internet debut: It’s a drum machine triggered by magnets that changes rhythm depending where they are placed on the home-made variable-speed conveyor belt. They also invented something called a Spinulum, whose rhythmic tempo is controlled by rotating a wheel that plucks steel guitar strings.
Check out some of our new instruments, including the Shredmill on @nprmusic's #TinyDesk! https://t.co/n5Ob4Vv2Xf pic.twitter.com/wAbXdBkj6g
— Blue Man Group (@bluemangroup) September 30, 2016
NPR was so excited about the performance that they announced the show ahead of time.
Here's a blooper from @bluemangroup's visit to NPR, featuring @NinaTotenberg, @samsanders and a roll of tape. https://t.co/bcZpIWU4Z8 pic.twitter.com/5VkQGtEw4O
— nprmusic (@nprmusic) September 27, 2016