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Oniscus A __ Oniscus B __ Oniscus C

(click photos to enlarge)


Oniscus (full name: Oniscus harmonicus) is an instrument I had thought of making for a very long time, it came from my obsession with string bass harmonics. It has 6-7 bass guitar strings tuned in semitones so that all possible notes can be played with harmonics. no fingerbord is present, it is played by lightly touching the strings with the left hand and bowing wiith the right. It has a playable range of 2 octaves (harmonics 2 to 8), some practicing should allow for another octave up (harmonics 8-16).
A main aspect of its playing came by serendipitous chance when i discovered that close melodic intervals can be played by pressing down on the strings and thus bending the harmonics.
All Oniscii fold in half, making them extremely portable. Three versions of the Oniscus exist so far.

The oniscus was the main instrument used on my soundtrack for "Fynbos" (2012) a film by Harry Patramanis.