Offbeat

By Randal Coombs

 

A bonkers musician played classical music on a homemade instrument.

Leonard Solomon may have built his bellowphone more than 30 years ago, but the music his bizarre instrument makes has stunned the internet age.

Salvaging metal from coat hangers and old plumbing parts, he added cardboard to create working pipes that played the beginning of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf.

Powered by squeezing rubber gym balls, Leonard has taken his act across the US and all over the world playing professionally.

Leonard said: “The bellowphone is not particularly hard to play once learned, but it is notoriously difficult to keep it in tune when the weather changes.

“I was a professional cabinetmaker for 10 years before I became a street performer, and now I make my living by performing occasionally, and by designing and building instruments for clients.”