Here’s Tim Nielsen’s story behind Earth Mother Communicator:
“While living in Vancouver, I had been describing a family of instruments to a friend and Sound Designer Jeff Davis, that use a large sheet of steel as a resonating body. You could hit them, bow them, drag rubber mallets across them. Basically it was a large sheet reverb. He immediately decided we had to build one. So one weekend, in a friend’s garage, we took an 8 foot sheet of polished steel, rigged up a support and rod system, and had some fun.
Part water phone (without the water), part plate reverb, the tones that came out of this thing astonished us. It simply sang. Low and thunderous, to high and piercing, it generated sounds that we had never heard. The demos below will give you a sample. Based on the ‘other worldliness’ and somewhat New Agey sounds we were getting, Jeff coined it the ‘Earth Mother Communicator’, a name that immediately stuck.
These sounds have proved incredibly useful when bridging the music / Sound Design boundary, and have provided a lot of tension into scenes over the years.”