An assortment of hand crafted instruments, made from recycled, reused and readily available parts



Instrument building workshop!

I've been having some fun meetings over at Machines Room, in Limewharf about running some workshops with their scrap materials. And I'm happy to announce the first (hopefully of many) workshop will be on March 21st!

"During this 4-hr workshop you will learn how to build your own 3-stringed, fretted instrument from scratch, from scraps! With the application of very basic woodwork and a simple bit of electronics take home your very own, SCRAPITAR. Suitable for 12 years and up (under-16s must be accompanied by an adult)."

Tickets are limited and available here:


The Great Home Hack

I will be exhibiting some of my creations at The Great Home Hack.

"The Great Home Hack will make its debut at Fulham Palace on March 13-15 and will feature new and original works from leading designers, artists and creators within the world of upcycling. Curated by Channel 4’s Max McMurdo, the weekend will include workshops in home hacking and upcycling, live demonstrations and of course, tastings of Brancott Estate’s award winning wines."

Tickets are available here:


Piano Stool Viol

It's been a while since I made this one, but things have been very busy over here and I never got around to playing it much!

It's made entirely from a broken piano stool! The neck was one of the legs and then the body is made from 3 planks that surrounded just underneath the cushioned seat.

The burnt design is one of Phil Mann's tattoo designs, he recently added to my little collection of inked bits of skin and his designs are utterly incredible. His site is here, and 100% worth a look at.

There is a small piezo embedded in the inlay underneath the bridge, which goes directly to the amp. The strings are strimmer wire and the tuning pins are from a piano.

I'm not quite good enough to carry a tune on a bow yet, so I hooked up my loop station and made enough textures with it to hopefully cover up my awful technique! 


Vulpestruments at the Model Engineering Exhibiton

This Friday I will be exhibiting some of my creations at the Makers area of this years Model Engineering Exhibiton at Sandown Park. 

 It's going to be a pretty interesting day, hopefully some of you can make it!


Dronitar Reverie

MAKER FAIRE is coming up, and I've been busy finishing up a bunch of instruments and noise makers to bring along with me. 

It's going to be a seriously amazing event and I'm really excited to be a part of it. I just hope I'll find time to have a look around myself!

You'll be able to play with any of the instruments I bring along, including this little fella:

Mini Coconut Kora

Although I made this one a while ago, I've only got around to making a recording of it!

It's a mini-Kora style instrument made from one half of a novelty coconut bra, a plank of wood and a bunch of piano tuning pins.


Newest Dronitar

My latest Dronitar is a 3 stringed, 2-motored, piezo contact pickup'ed instrument made from plywood and a strip of hardwood from a doorframe!

The frets are positioned so that it can only play the same notes as a Tempered Hang, this was in the brief for the commission. This makes it very easy to play within a set scale and have each string/fret on the same scale. Making it hard to not play harmoniously! (no offense Rich!)


I'll be at the London Mini Maker Faire!

I'm very excited to announce that I will be exhibiting some of my instruments at this years London Mink Maker Faire in Elephant and Castle!
The MAKE movement is something I'm very excited about and believe strongly in, I'm very honoured to be asked to be a part of it!
It is being held on Saturday 15th November at the London College of Communication.
I haven't quite decided exactly what to bring along yet, but expect to see/hear/be able to play some of these:


I'm playing a gig in London on Friday

I'm taking a few of my instruments for a spin in Londons Brick Lane on Friday!

It's going to be an evening of improv/experimental happy fun times.

Come down if you can!

A New Mouthbow

I've been commissioned to do a few new instruments, one of which was this nice, simple and hopefully elegant Mouthbow!



It's been a while since an update so I'll keep this brief.
  • In 12 days’ time I will be running an ultra-marathon, which is a ridiculous distance of 50k (2,343 Blue Whales, 555 football pitches, 2.3 Manhattan Islands, 1 Channel Tunnel) to raise money for children in Nepal through a charity I helped set up many moons ago.
The program provides therapy, through art, dance and music and play it helps disadvantaged and often traumatized children heal and reminds them how to be kids again. A large portion of the kids we look after have travelled over the Himalayas from Tibet in order to seek refuge.
As an added incentive to donate to my effort, I will be raffling off one of my creations to every donor, and will also build a unique and custom instrument for whoever donates the highest amount (currently at an incredible £150!)
To donate, please go here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/TomFox
To find out more about the charity please go here: http://www.artrefuge.org.uk/
  • A few weeks ago I gave a talk at the London Hackspace for the Acoustic Hacskapce meetup. You can read a very flattering write up about the evening over here.
As a result of that evening, I will be doing a gig in Brick Lane in September, more details on that to follow!
  • I currently have 3 commissions on the go, which is brilliant, very much looking forward to sharing these creations with you.


A simple Mouthbow

I saw a TED talk where David Holt played a Mouthbow, it sounded amazing and looked like it used similar mouth techniques that I've used before on Singing bowls. So I made a quick one from a plank of wood, a piano tuning pin and an acoustic guitar string. So so so so simple!


A short film about my work by Dave from Daves Conservatoire!

The amazing David Rees has made a short film about me! He's managed to make me sound coherent which is a testament to his excellent editing skills.

It also features my newest instrument which I still don't have a name for.

His website is an amazing place to learn music and music theory for free. Definitely worth looking into if you're wanting to teach yourself.



Rich playing the Leviaphone

Before I hand off one of my Leviaphones I bought it into the studio to get Rich to play around on it, here's the video!

Analogue Interference Synth

This instrument is a quick prototype that could lead to some much bigger ideas.
In a lot of my droning machines I need to place the motors as far from the pickups as possible to avoid interference/noise being generated from the moving parts. With this instrument I've used that noise/interference to my advantage to generate a dirty-synth sounding tiny machine.
Using a small variable resistor to control the speed of the motor you can get different pitches of noise/interference when that motor is next to a pickup. Add a simple switch and you can get results like this:

Very very basic stuff, it could be replicated using two motors sat next to each other too instead of the transformer I used as a pickup in the prototype.

Reverse Slide Can

For my 101st post I'm giving you another incredibly simple instrument that you could build yourself in a matter of minutes.
With just a stick/bolt/pole going through a can/pringle tube/anything you can use a small cupboard hinge as a bridge/whammy bar hybrid.
You could have it one stringed or just simply loop the same string around and have a 2-stringed version.
Play with the hinge to alter the pitch, pluck it or bow it, easy peasy!



100th Post Extravaganza!

This is my 100th post on this here website and so I give you my first public outing with some of my instruments!
Recorded at the cha cha cha cafe in watford as part of a creative networking evening run by the very amazing Kick Up The Arts.

A special thank you to Stephen and Debbie for having me do a talk when they had no idea what I'd be talking about! 


The Springymaphone

This instrument came about from a conversation with experimental sound artist Phil Julian. He was after something percussive that would sound very large but also transportable! From my recent experiments with The Leviaphone I came up with the idea of having a few big chunky springs stretched close to a pickup (in this case was some long forgotten innards of a pump). The results of this simple configuration I think work very well...
I demonstrated this instrument recently at my talk in Watford and got a great response from it, I'd be happy to recreate/redesign similar pieces for those who'd be interested!


I'm doing a talk!

I sometimes forget I have a website, I'm mostly active on the twitters. So I really should mention that I'm doing a talk/demo next Tuesday in Watford.  I'll be bringing a bunch of instruments that you'll be able to play around with too.
Full details are below. I'm joined by some very talented people also showing off their works and there will be music and it's all free.


The Leviaphone

This instrument came about from a Eureka moment on my long and dull commute into work. It's to replace the failed Dronemachine I built for Christopher Campbell.
It uses Piano wire, the springs from an anglepoise lamp, the circular insides of an electric fan motor and a bunch of hardware to act as a DIY tuning machine. It has a hefty iron rod to act as a form of truss-rod to withstand the massive tensions that piano wire can create.
The results are surprising, massive, and quite fun!