You can learn how to make — and play — this thing!

The Brooklyn Paper
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Before your brain explodes trying to figure out what exactly Yuri Landman’s Moodswinger instrument is, think electric keyboard meets guitar.

Variations on the weird-looking craft can be banged, plucked and strummed to create a range of sounds from a drum to a grungy Stratocaster — and now there’s an opportunity to make one yourself and learn how to use the thing all in one day.

Landman — whose crazy stringed apparatuses have been used by Lou Barlow and Sonic Youth, among others — will host a four-hour do-it-yourself workshop at the Knitting Factory on Feb. 23, and attendees will walk away with a variation on one of his beastly babies, called the Home Swinger.

It’s a soundboard of sorts. Different strings on the bridge radiate seemingly random sounds, but Landman takes full control through computers and mixing equipment.

“The bridge is in the middle of the instrument — you can really make a lot of different sounds with it,” said Landman’s spokesman, Bruce Duff. “I don’t really know how to use the dang thing, but I like what Yuri does with it.”

And he promises you will, too, as long you’ve got the cash — a $140 ticket gets you a group lesson on the Home Swinger’s mechanics, a musical presentation, and all the parts necessary to put together the 12-stringed gadget. Don’t worry, the soldering is done for you, and the degree of difficulty is said to be comparable to building a table from Ikea.

Whether it can support a virtuoso’s hunger for beautiful chords and perfect intonation is another thing, but it’s definitely a sight (and sound) to behold.

Home Swinger workshop at Knitting Factory [361 Metropolitan Ave. at Havemeyer Street in Williamsburg, (347) 529-6696]. Feb. 23, 6 pm. Tickets are $140 at For info, visit

Updated 7:15 am, February 12, 2010
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