Saw player Charles Hindmarsh likes nothing better than getting his teeth into a good tune and when it comes to playing music – he’s at the cutting edge.
Performing as the Yorkshire Saw Player, he manages to get a tune out of real wood-cutting saws – as well as purpose-made musical saws.
“Musical saws are more flexible and don’t have the sharp teeth,” he says.
“It is a ‘cut-throat’ industry and I like nothing better than getting my teeth into a new tune.”
His next appearance is on January 9 at Leeds Town Hall as part of a Bettakultcha event, which features an evening of five-minute stories accompanied by slides, his musical interlude of saw playing and comedy commentary. He will play a number of classical, jazz and popular pieces on his saw.
His performances are legendary on the Leeds stage, often as a guest player or in concerts at locations including Leeds Town Hall.
Mr Hindmarsh, 47, of Horsforth, said: “I started at the age of 10 by using a normal wood saw from my father’s tool kit. I got into such trouble at the time. Although it worked pretty well, it was quite painful to play, especially if I wasn’t watching what I was doing. The range, quality and volume of the sound produced from this instrument was very limited and it wasn’t very practical to use as a soloist’s instrument. Despite this problem, I started some simple performances for the family and small gatherings.”
Mr Hindmarsh, who is also musical director of Garforth Jubilee Brass Band, studied music and violin at college, but quickly gained attention with his party-trick performances on the musical saw, which he plays with a bow.
The IT worker also performs at weddings: “People are fascinated by it. And yes, I’ve heard all the saw jokes before.”