Look at the instruments and hear some of them play:
Click on the name of the instrument you would like to explore to the left.

I have constructed my own musical instruments since about 1990, as a result in particular, of the visit to Chicago and the instrument maker & designer Hal Rammel. Like Rammel's, my instruments are for the most part made in order to be played by the maker in an improvised setting. The start of the making of instruments coincides in time with my "classical" education as a piano builder, and the first experiments were made in the school’s workshop.
During the education, and on other courses, I have also made a number of traditional instruments, some complicated with traditional materials, some very simple from cheap materials.

On the list, I included other unusual instruments that I play as well.

[Working on the Kaleidochord in the kitchen]

Working on the Kaleidochord in the kitchen.

The most traditional music maker, in a historical sense, is the one that designs and builds his instruments herself, who plays and makes his music by herself and who improvises a lot and thinks about what is important in the specific situation. It is a type of artist that we today often call experimental.
I have been attracted to such an activity because I want to give as much room as possible for the surrealist voice, the poetical and political quality that lies in giving up too specific plans and give room for the power of imagination, intuition, improvisation and dreams. It is also a revolt against academism and authoritarianism which is so dominating in this culture, not to speak of the cult of money and fame.
By making my own instruments, and by improvising on them with a stress on the playing situation, I want to get away from what music and a musician are, and explore what it is to be a human or an animal, what it is to make things together (in a moral as well as a poetical sense) and what a society is.
An indirectly political action, but above all a poetical one.

[Drawing for the Whalefish]
When I was planning what was to become the "Whalefish", I had the idea of a multitimbral instrument that would combine many different sounds and playing methods, and which I could play the saw, percussion and wind instruments with, like a "one-man-band".
This is one of many scetches.

[Cardboard model tried out]

Here I am trying out a cardboard model of what was to become the "Whalefish". On this stage, the idea was to combine wooden and metal resonators in a construction that would have been a monster and very heavy and difficult to transport. I chose instead to make something that could be mounted down in a travel case. Photo © Hans Einar Nerland.

See how the Whalefish ended up!

Drawing for an intermediate instrument, with experiences from the "Whalefish". The idea was to be able to transport it in a violin case and then mount it easily on a table.

This attempt was left unfinished - instead (in 2008) I made another but similar construction, the Platforms.

[Bergmark's instrument collection before a concert 2005]

The usual instrument setup for a gig around 2005...

[Bergmark's instrument collection before a concert 2008]

...and the setup from 2008.

The Gallery
Updated the 5th of March, 2019.