Polish music ensemble Karbido makes wonderful music with a table
Four men sit at a table, hurling knives into it. Some stick with a wooden thud, while others fall over in a metallic shimmer. Soon, hands replace knives—fingers drum, palms swish, fists pound, nails scratch—and a rhythm starts to percolate.
The sounds are breathtaking, and just a hint at what’s to come in this work by the imaginative Polish music ensemble Karbido, in which an ordinary piece of furniture becomes an unlikely instrument with infinite sonic possibilities. With bowed strings mounted and amplifiers installed within, the table—created by the musicians themselves, with the technical wizardry of carpenters and sound engineers—comes thrillingly to life. Voices join the fold, a didgeridoo mumbles, bells ting, and amid ghostly shivers of sound, a table is transfigured.