kazoo choir

Jul 9th, 2008 | By | Category: Performances

At the Newcastle show last year I watched a small group of performers stalking members of the public. The tightly packed group jogged closely behind their victim, keeping in time with short hums on their kazoos – somewhat like a band of marching Disneyesque ants.

Of course, I felt I had to try it out sometime.

And why stop there? It would be easy enough to form a band and play Strauss’ “Also sprach Zarathustra”.

Keen to start, I visited eBay and picked up a great deal on a box of 50 Hohner kazoos. Reading through a thread on the Mudcat cafe I found out that…

  • Louis Armstrong called the kazoo “a devastatingly effective method of clearing your house of unwanted relatives.”
  • if you have a deep voice you can use the straight tube (or tubes if there are two) from a vacuum cleaner as a resonator. It means holding the K upside-down to get the membrane opening into the end of the tube, but the extra depth to the sound is fantastic.
  • it would be cool to employ some of the same “moves” used by the Big Bands of the 1930’s: choreograph the movements of the band so that certain sections stand up to perform solos and then sit again; have the band members sway their kazoos back and forth as they play.
  • Digging a bit further, I tracked down Kazoobie Kazoos, a supplier in the U.S.A. who can imprint kazoos with your own logo and branding, all ready to give away to unsuspecting audience members/impromptu performers. It costs $US285 for 500 kazoos (plus shipping) – somewhat under $1 each in Oz money for a lasting marketing message.

    Finally I found a Concerto for Kazoo and Famous Cellist (it says: “If a Famous Cellist is unavailable, an obscure cellist may be substituted.”)

    Visions of sidewalk kazoo orchestration now dance through my mind…

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