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Donald Knaack

Donald Knaack’s work has always been inspired by a quotation of Marcel Duchamp: Tools that are no good require more skill.

Donald is a classically-trained composer and percussionist. 25 years ago Donald found the unique and beautiful timbres of junk and recycled materials to be far more varied and exciting when compared to traditional percussion instruments. From that day forward, he has used these materials exclusively. His sculpture making grew out of the instrument making, and he continues to base his work on metal, wood and plastic objects.

His sculptures are called Junk Music Playstations. They are designed for groups of people, from 6 to 30, to come to the sculpture, pick up some provided sticks and jam together. Thus, this creates the ancient communal power of the beat which brings the community together as one.

When Donald jams with people, he utilizes his eco-chants, which are small, simple chants. Each chant focuses upon a single, habit-changing suggestion that all participants can initiate in their own personal lives. The small, habit-changing steps have the potential to make a huge positive impact upon the health of Mother Earth. Examples of Donald’s eco-chants are: Don’t let the wa-ter run, Always throw it in the can, Walk, bike or car-pool. Each chant has a corresponding rhythm that participants use for the musical aspect of the jam