Blaster Beam (long metal bar with strings)

~ String instrument


Very long metal bar fitted with strings and electric pickups, it makes a deep ominous booming sound and is often used in score.


translated from russian wikipedia (most comprehensive article):
Бластер-бим (English: Blaster Beam) or simply бим (English: The Beam) - an electronic stringed musical instrument invented in the 1970s and best known for its use in the soundtrack of science fiction films

Blaster Beam is a straight and flat metal beam several meters long, on the upper side of which stretched strings and pickups, like electric guitars. They play on it, striking the strings with their hands or with various objects, for example, metal tubes.

Blaster-beam was invented in the early 1970's John Lazell and first used in his works by the composer Francisco Lupic, who produced several instruments of cast iron.
Later another American composer Craig Huxley made his version of Beam from aluminium, 12 feet long. He played the blaster-beam using a shell from an artillery shell, striking the strings or traversing them, pressing to the body (like a pedal-style, a kind of slide guitar).

Composer Jerry Goldsmith met Huxley while writing music for the film "Star Trek" in 1979 and used the sound of a blaster beam for a musical theme related to "V-ger".
A grim, frightening sound transmitted the threat emanating from this mysterious object. Huxley himself in his youth played two episodic roles in the series "Star Trek".)

The instrument was used to create sound design in a number of other fantastic films, as well as in experimental and popular music. Craig Huxley was familiar with Michael Jackson, and the sound of the blaster-beam was used in a number of songs by the latter, including Billie Jean and Beat It. Michael Stearns made his version of an aluminium blaster-beam for recording music for the film "Chronos". Composer Ber McCreery used a blaster beam to create the soundtrack for the movie "Cloverfield, 10"; On the instrument, Huxley himself played in his studio.

Annotation last modified on 2017-04-18 13:24 UTC.


invented by: Jon Lazell (actor and inventor of the Blaster Beam) (1970 – 1973)
type of: bowed string instruments
struck string instruments
Wikidata: Q882033 [info]
information page: [info]