A Lithophone dating from 1840, The Skiddaw Stones are composed of 61 tuned and shaped rocks, made from rare hornfels stone, found in Cumbria, England. Hornfels is said to have a superior tone and longer ring than the more commonly used slate.
Two different sets of mallets were used to laboriously capture large sets of velocity hits, then an extra articulation was recorded - the sound of the head of the wooden mallet being scraped across the stone surface - a surprisingly haunting and resonant sound.
The result is a truly bewitching instrument, one that sounds truly ancient, even older than it is. Totally unique rock music.
The Skiddaw Stones were created by Joseph Richardson, a stonemason and musician, it took almost thirteen years to collect and shape enough individual notes of hornfels to make an eight-octave range. The stones were taken from Skiddaw, one of the highest mountains in Cumbria. The massive task of assembling this instrument consumed Joseph so absolutely that he and his family were reduced to poverty. Once complete, Richardson and his sons toured Europe as The Rock, Bell and Steel Band, and even performed at Buckingham Palace, by command of Queen Victoria.
The instrument page features 3 articulation switches, envelope and filter controls for shaping the sound, as well as Tremolo and Humanise modules.
Chord Mutate will take any input chord and slowly repeat and transform it over time..forever.
Inspired by Triadic Memories by Morton Feldman.
Calder is a generative music device that creates repetitions (loops) that vary in length while a note is held down. You can have one or two loops active, and a loop will be created for every note you hold down.
Playing simple sequences creates constantly moving, shifting patterns & soundscapes.
Soniccouture Jammer. Veteran of many instruments, now in its latest highly developed version.
Jammer works like a normal arpeggiator if you want, or you can set it to randomly evolve the pattern based on parameters you set: note, octave, gaps etc.
A completely user configurable FX chain: choose from 16 different effects in 6 insert slots - in any order you like. The Space processor offers everything from straight rooms and halls to ambient convolution effects.
The Skiddaw Stones features a range of custom processors, sequencers and generators to create musical soundscapes and textures.
The Skiddaw Stones in the Keswick Museum
The texture of the heavy rock is clearly visible in this shot
Chris Stones playing the Skiddaw Stones at the sampling session
Skiddaw: the mountain where the rock was collected.
This is a Kontakt Player instrument. This means that you do not need to own the full version of NI Kontakt to use it. It will run as a plug-in instrument in any VST/AU/RTAS/AAX/WASAPI,compatible host program or DAW eg: Cubase, Logic, Ableton Live, DP, Reaper, Pro-Tools. No extra purchase necessary.
Windows 7 or higher (latest Service Pack, 32/64 Bit), Intel Core Duo or AMD AthlonTM 64 X2, 4 GB RAM (6 GB RAM recommended)
Mac: OS X 10.9 or higher, Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB RAM
Requires KONTAKT 5 or KONTAKT 5 PLAYER version 5.6.8 or later