1. Learn to play the Hydrocrystalophone.
That's right. There are only about 5 or 6 people in the world who can play this instrument and that fact, alone, would make you very unique - probably as unique as the instrument - or maybe more so because you could actually play it and not just stand around and gawk at it.
Here is a link to a video of the Hydrcrystalophone a.k.a. Glass Harmonica or Armonica.
And here is the background. You know when you first discovered that if you had some liquid in a wine glass (read wine) and you wet your finger, then ran it around the rim of the glass, it made a sound. You also discovered that the sound varied depending on how much liquid was in the glass. It also varied according to the quality of the glass - crystal had a nicer ring to it and generally speaking, the wine might have been better too. The sound also varied according to how much wine you had in you :)
Well back in 1761 Ben Franklin, that mother..er..father.. of all inventors became fascinated with this phenomenon and set about to invent the Hydrocrystalophone. He actually called it an Armonica. (He was also good at marketing and knew a bit about branding.) Essentially it's a series of glass bowls that are filled with water and then linked together. The musician wets his fingers, which must be squeaky clean and then moves them over the spinning bowls making them "sound." Some bowls are edged with gold - the equivalent of the black keys on a piano.
I wonder why so few people have learned to play this instrument. Maybe, it would take a very persistent parent to make a child study the Armonica. A piano is something you can still play with dirty hands and not compromise the quality of the sound - not so with this instrument.
So why this sudden interest in the Hydrocrystalophone? Well, The Canadian Opera Company is staging Lucia di Lammermoor, this season and there is a passage in the opera - the mad scene - that was originally written for the Armonica. Most productions substitute a flute - probably easier and cheaper. However, to get the real sense of madness, as the musician in the video suggests, you really should use the Glass Harmonica. This year the opera company is doing just that.
Many years ago, when we went to visit my mother-in-law in Scotland one March break, we rented a little cottage in the Lammermoors. Well, they had had lovely warm weather the week before and all the blossoms were out. However, the week we were there, it snowed. All I had to say was - "Lucia, I share your pain!" The softness of a flute could never evoke the angst of madness or the pain of snow, when all you really want is sanity or Spring.
Have a lovely day!