In this photograph we see what we call the Johns Bowls. These are the straight sided bowls and they are made from thick pyrex tubes. They are quite tough and can be hit with hard mallets when necessary but cannot survive a run-in with a cargo baggage handler who is in a bad mood. Their design was for touring as these bowls will stack one inside the other. The photo also shows the bowls tuned up for that particular score taped to the rug, as this was a windy outdoor concert. The original Johns Bowl tuning plan was to have these bowls twice as high as wide and this plan produced some great sounding instruments.
During one year of touring there was a global shortage of large diameter pyrex tubing making the replacement costs of the large Johns Bowls very expensive - the largest bowl would have cost as much as $2000 Cdn to replace! We were lucky that we did not break any during that tour.
The repertoire of the Glass Orchestra has always been dependant on the instruments available so breakage during a show can alter the music that can be performed. During the end of the Asian Tour the members of the ensemble were passing instruments back and forth between pieces. The instruments did meet with some surly cargo handlers during that tour.
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