This is an old photo of Lepto Tootis the 1st. It is constructed of 4 feet of pyrex tubing poorly bent into shape. The instrument is a reed instrument and the reed is held in place in the players mouth. The reed is cylindrical in shape and made from a small piece of bamboo with a slit in it. The creator of the instrument almost dropped it the first time he played it because of the incredible low tones that the instrument produced.
Lepto Tootis has always been an instrument in transition. Since the first one there have been 3 others bringing the total number of prototypes to four. The second prototype was accidentally destroyed years ago and the third prototype is still played to this day, but for some unknown reason it is named as the fourth one. This current instrument - Lepto Tootis IV has a musical range of 4 bass notes, 4 mid range notes and a few overtones depending on how tempermental the 20 year old reed is that day. The sound of this instrument slightly resembles the sound of the saxophone.
The Glass Orchestra has other reed instruments that are powered by bagpipe reeds, oboe reeds, duck call reeds and reeds normally used in Thai reed instruments. There is a small reed instrument called the Reed of McNiel that has an extension you swing over your head as you are playing it, producing a spinning sound.
There is also a Lepto Tootis prototype that is like a glass bagpipe with up to 8 drone reeds hanging off it. Each drone reed has an air shutoff valve. It is powered by up to 3 five foot diameter purple balloons and is worn by the player with the large balloons hanging off the players back like monsterous grapes.This instrument is currently in retirement.
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