What are they?

FPQs (‘Fazedores de Paisagens Quotidianas’ / everyday sound makers) are some very simple ideas that we have grouped together. They are less versatile than some of the instruments developed in our other projects and they have limited timbre but they are very interesting to use to create a particular “effect” or “environment”. The sounds they make probably fall into the category of “sound effects”, though for us these are always part of the way in which music is made. We have given them names that suggest the type of effect or environment they make, for example a “chuveador” (rain-maker) produces a sound that suggests rain, roaring, etc. These instruments are particularly interesting for “illustrating” stories or narratives, but they also have the potential to construct very interesting abstract textures.


The “Chilreador” (Chirper) is an FPQ that sounds like a bird chirping. It consists of wet polystyrene rubbed against a glass plate. The movements should be short and fast (a good way to start is to imagine that you are writing).

Some original compositions



The Chuveador (rain-maker) is a sound maker that reproduces the sound of rain. It consists of a threaded rod with washers. As gravity causes the washers to fall down the lines of the thread, they produce a continuous sound similar to a “rain stick”. The design included here has a metal bowl to support the threaded rod and a funnel at the top, but neither of these are essential. It is just as interesting to experiment by placing a single threaded rod on different resonant surfaces. If you do this, it is best to screw nuts onto the ends of the rod so you don’t have to pick up the washers every time you make sounds with the instrument…

Some original compositions



Unlike other sound makers, the Cintilador (sparkler) does not produce a natural-sounding noise. The name is meant to convey the idea of brightness, of the sound evoked by light. The Cintilador is a set of music boxes placed on a resonant object (such as a wooden crate like those used to pack wine bottles), which are played in such a way as to divert attention from each music box’s individual tune. This can be achieved by playing small sequences on each music box, using variable speeds, playing several boxes at once, or even reversing the drum mechanism of a box. The idea is to create a landscape where multiple sounds coexist, in different sound layers, without perceiving the “music” i.e. the specific melody and rhythm of the tune from each music box.

Some original compositions



The Maresiador (Wave-maker) is reminiscent of the sound of the sea. It is simply a metal basin containing marbles (iron or steel balls also work but are more difficult to find) that is gently shaken. You can get another interesting effect (sounding less like waves and more like an insect or an electric circuit) by putting one or two marbles in the basin and making rapid circular movements to rotate them.

Some original compositions



The Ribombador (Rumbler) is an everyday sound maker that creates a sound like thunder. It consists of a long and very flexible spring screwed to the center of a metal basin. To make the Ribombador, drill a hole in the basin and use a screw to attach the spring. When you shake the instrument, the metal bowl amplifies the sound made by the chaotic movements of the metal bowl. Playing the Ribombador simply consists of shaking the bowl but the expressive possibilities, particularly the dynamic nuances, are very interesting.

Some original compositions



The Rugidator (Roarer) makes a sound that evokes a roar or cry, depending on what type of tool you use to play it. It is basically a wooden surface (like a wine crate) that is rubbed with a rubber ball attached to the end of a flexible stick or nail file. Depending on how hard the ball is, and whether you use a whole ball or half of one, you get different kinds of roars and cries.

Some original compositions



The Grasnador (Squawker) makes a sound like a squawking bird. It is made with a piece of balloon (the part you blow into) stretched over a piece of electrical tubing, leaving about 3-4 centimetres loose at the end. The model shown here incudes a resonator (a plastic jar) which amplifies some of the frequencies to give the sound a ringing tone. The resonator is optional.


Some original compositions



The Borbulhador (Bubbler) is a sound maker that produces air bubbles in water. It is simply a drinking straw that you use to blow into a container of water. You get different sounds depending on the air flow, the depth at which bubbles are released, and the size and shape of the container.

Some original compositions



You can print instructions to refer to when you are doing this project.
Click here to download the instructions.