How to make a ‘Thwisher’ rattle.
Ramón thwishing 'to make a wish' at Wheeler's May Day, 2010
5/9/09; edited 8-13-10, additional info 11-16-14
I selected the somewhat un-elegant container (two plastic champagne glasses taped together with electrical tape)
because it resonates on frequencies that I hear all the time and that I consider "natural" to the body/nervous system.
At some point I'm going to experiment with small gourds and see if I can duplicate the pitches and the "sizzle".
I've tried various noisemakers to place inside, and went with dried corn for a while because of its holy associations.
But I';ve found that zinc-plated beebees of the sort put up for B-B guns have a sharper ring. If you cannot find these
(some cities ban them), you can use small round beans such as mung or the small white type, The harder the better.
Until something more elegant comes along, here's what you need to make two Thwishers for "stereo" use:
Four plastic ("crystal" quality) champagne glasses (not the 'flutes') with four circular bottom pieces (available in almost any
A few feet of plastic electrical or other tape.
Some beebees (preferred) or some small dried beans.
Actually the plastic stemless wine glasses work well also, but I prefer the pitch I get from the champagne glasses because it
approximates the sound I hear all the time from my nervous system, known in the audiology trade as 'tinnitus'.
click here for a listen to two Thwishers
11-16-14: NOTE: I should mention that after using/listening to the Thwishers over a period of weeks, my tinnitus disappeared and never has returned over the subsequent five or so years.
Cut a square piece of tape and block the entrance into the stem part of each glass by pushing it into the opening.
Actually in the illustration below I've blocked the opening into the stem on the right with a large bead glued into place.
and the one on the left with a small plastic tube. Anything will work, and perhaps this really isn't necessary.
Just use enough extra beans or beebees to fill up both stems.
Place a handful or so of your beebees or beans in one glass, up-end another and tape around the edge of both
glasses to create a sealed chamber with the beebees/beans inside. If you're using beebees, it's especially
important to make sure edges keep the sticky part of the tape outside the resonating chamber because some
of the beebees will start adhering to the tape.
Make a second one, hold one in each hand and shake. You're all set! Experiment with various 'moves,' such as
the swirl versus the shake. I like them both! Enjoy!
Ignore the Gorilla glue on the bottom of the one on the left. That's left over from an attempt to glue four of them together
to make a 'mega-thwisher' (actually sort of interesting.) I may work on this some more as part of a shaman's bonnet that
combines the Thwizzler with the Thwisher.