It’s hard to keep your wits about you when you step into Diego Stocco’s world. It’s a world parallel to our own, with one notable difference: absolutely everything is made of music. Everything from sand to cereal to fire to a tree can produce enthralling sounds. When in Diego’s capable hands, every item in view is just music waiting to happen. And chances are that if you’ve watched television, seen movie trailers, or played video games in the last several years, you’ve already heard some of his work.
Composer and sound designer Diego Stocco has been experimenting with music since the tender age of 6, when his parents gave him his first electronic keyboard to calm him down. Since then, he’s developed an impressive resumé full of unique music experiences; he builds instruments out of practically anything and uses the never-before-heard sounds to create astounding compositions. His “Epic Textures” CD series has been used in many Hollywood productions, video games, and TV and internet promotions. His fascinating instruments have included a clothes drying rack, pipes with water running through them, a burning piano, light bulbs, a typing machine, a bass made from a bedside table, and a “sonic washer” made by combining a guitar, a harp and a washing machine drum.
What’s most surprising about Deigo isn’t necessarily the sounds that he creates or the items that he uses to create them; it’s his enthusiasm for the process. Reading his own descriptions of his projects and watching the videos of him at work, it’s easy to get swept up in his excitement. He seems to treat every new instrument as though it were his first, never losing the awe and curiosity that led him to make “imaginary sounds” in the first place.
The amazing thing about Stocco’s music is that he is a master sound engineer, and even if you know what you’re listening to it’s hard not to separate the origin of the sound from the finished product: a stapler spring no longer sounds like a stapler spring, but an elegant and playful instrument. Fingers running across sand become a sophisticated percussion section. Corn Flakes become a surprisingly wonderful accompaniment to haunting piano pieces. Sounds that would be odd and disjointed in any other situation become the melody and highlights of incomparably beautiful compositions.
Diego doesn’t limit himself to simply playing everyday objects as instruments, though. You might call him the Dr. Frankenstein of musical instruments. In the above video, he combines parts from several stringed instruments along with a few household items to create the “Experibass:” a quadruple-necked instrument born from curiosity. He plays with sounds from electronics, tears apart gadgets and other instruments to cannibalize their parts in the making other instruments, and makes music in ways that most other people would never think of.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to find Diego Stocco’s work online – and he’s constantly making more. Check out his Behance portfolio here for pictures, audio samples, and videos. Visit his official site for news, more audio and videos, and some information about the artist himself. Check out even more music samples on his Band Camp page. Spend a day walking around in Stocco’s world and you’ll never look at your washing machine, backyard trees, or breakfast cereal in the same way again.