cornet chop suey

Assemblage light art sculpture made from a silver trumpet, a musical disc from a mechanical player, an oil can, top of a salt shaker, illuminated within a copper concave dish.

Cornet Chop Suey




Height: 32 inches
Diameter at Base: 40 inches


polyphon disc, trumpet, oil can,
top of salt shaker, automobile brake disc,
reflector from space heater, pistons from trumpet


This piece consists of the a cornet, cornet pistons, a nicely designed oil can (probably hand constructed), a space heater reflector (copper in the back which gives the light the reddish tone), and a polyphon disc which encircles the oil can.

The polyphon disc was a fantastic item that I found at the brocante in Villeurbanne, near Lyon France about a year ago. It works particularly well within the context of my art in the following sense. First, it is the "information source" for one of the earliest devices used for reproducing music. So the musical theme which is so central to my artwork gets incorporated in my sculptures in a new way, not as a musical instrument per se, but as an information abstraction that was intended to be used within a mechanical system for creating music.

Second, when one considers the individual holes in the disc, there is a direct mapping from sound, related to its original purpose, to light, when one considers its "transformed" purpose. And the meaningful arrangement of these individual "lights" is exciting, from an aesthetic sense.

The disc originally played the composition "Number 1783 Santiago, Spanish Valse by A. Corbin". If you are curious about how a polyphon looks and sounds, follow this link to You Tube which has an example.