Another studio percussion instrument that’s
had a long history in recordings via Emil Richards. A good part of his collection is here at LAPR. This is the lujon.
Lujon consists of metal tongs suspended inside a box; under each is a resonator. Emil often played it with a soft mallet. Although lujon was used in many types of films, it was notably used in underscoring chase scenes.
Some composers who wrote for lujon include Jerry Goldsmith, Henry Mancini, Gerald Fried, Dave Grusin, and John Williams. Bruce Broughton used it in Silverado (1985).
Orchestrally, it’s called for it Henze’s Orpheus: Apollo Trionfante, and Berio’s Circles, and Rouse’s Gorgon.
Emil bought his lujon (that you see here) simultaneously with Shelly Manne from craftsman Bill Loughborough in the 1960s.
Here Abby is giving it a quick spin with fingers; it can be played with a number of different implements that dramatically change its sound. The pitches can be tuned a bit with an allen wrench, although the instrument needs to be treated delicately.