Unique duo “Keyed Kontraptions” performed its eccentric style of music, using two out-of-the-ordinary instruments, Feb. 1 at the Cal Poly Pomona Music Hall. 

“Keyed Kontraptions” is made up of members Meerenai Shim, who plays the contrabass flute, and Kris King, who plays the contraforte, a wind instrument similar to the contrabassoon.

They played a total of three songs, each lasting about eight minutes long. 

The audience was small but intrigued by the sound their instruments were making, like it was something they had never heard before. 

Biology student Vanessa Gahob attended the concert as an assignment for her music appreciation class, and she did not know what to expect prior to the concert. 

“I thought it was very interesting at first,” Gahob said. “The first thing they played I did not like it at all; it was really weird. But the third one, I liked it because it incorporated more concert-type of notes I would say, and yeah I would say it is much easier on the ears.”

“Keyed Kontraptions” duo Keerenai Shim, left, on the contrabass and Kris King on the confraforte played a total three eight minute songs. (Daniela Avila / The Poly Post)

One of the pieces that the duo played was called “Bet.” 

This was explained to be a relentless piece about releasing built-up energy, as is the meaning behind most of their music.

The concert was short, small and intimate. It was also interactive as they held a Q&A at the end for the audience. 

The performers revealed that they are both from the Bay Area and have been musicians before. 

They met through Twitter where they stayed in contact and decided to get together to play. The duo has been performing for two years together since. 

King played the contrabassoon before he switched to the contraforte, a very rare instrument in the U.S. 

According to him, there are only six or seven in the country.

“It’s the same-looking key system but the actual keys that you’re hitting are different,” King said. 

“Being in a lot of repertoire you have to switch around a lot and it feels a lot different.” 

Shim played the flute in her past, but transitioning was not an easy task. 

“Even though most of the finger moves are the same, it really feels like a completely different instrument,” Shim said.

“I really have to like, get used to the instrument so it’s not just a big flute.”

At the end of the Q&A session, the audience applauded and the “Keyed Kontraptions” allowed students in the audience to go on stage and try out their instruments. 

What began as a concert became an interactive encounter — something fresh and new with aspiring artists sharing their passions.

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