NEW YORK, NY
Choir Director Marcus Welp finishes a group practice for their Urethral Sounds Holiday Show last Wednesday. “With only eight months to go, we have a lot of work to get done.” Welp directs a group of 23 full time musicians, each who play urethral sounds, metal rods inserted into the penis and tapped with a small mallet to create vibrations in the body. With the help of sensitive microphones, the sounds can be played like bells or chimes.
The group, sitting in chairs on risers in the rehearsal hall, tap their sounds of varying sizes to create different tones in order to create music. Welp has a list of 12 songs in the repertoire, starting with “Silver Bells,” and finishing with Handel’s “Messiah.”
“We work hard all year with our penises and mallets to create a compelling musical journey,” Welp said, tapping out a tune for this reporter on his semi-hard member during a recent interview. “It’s a lot harder than it looks.”
The group has been performing for almost a decade. “Most musicians don’t have the opportunity to work with their own bodies to create music, so we feel very lucky to share our love of music and penile vibration with the public.”
In 2013 the group performed nine dates in various clubs in Manhattan. Ticket sales were low.