Here’s a little video of me making a cucumber trumpet for the recording of our album. It looks ruder than it actually is, and I have a feeling Jo filmed it this way on purpose to annoy me.
I’m not very good at making them yet – we’re going to have to create a fresh one every day for our live show, so I expect I’ll get better. But here’s a simple step-by-step guide, based on what I know.
Punch or drill a hole through the cucumber. Use a fairly large drill bit, because you get a better tone if you remove all the soft centre. I used half a cucumber here for simplicity. Use a whole cucumber for a more impressive trumpet.
Carve a carrot into something resembling a trumpet mouthpiece. This is tricky, and it’s better to use a proper craft knife instead of a vegetable knife like me. The advanced cucumberphone maker will want to study real trumpet mouthpieces and mimic these as closely as possible. The chaps who make real trumpets do know how to make a fine mouthpiece.
Cut one end off a pepper, and make a smaller hole in the other end, in which to insert your cucumber. Deseed the pepper, of course. Depending on the pepper, you may create a finer bell by cutting of the stem end and making the hole in the bottom. But take care – this weakens the pepper and can make it split.
Blow a raspberry into the mouthpiece.
Refrigerate and eat within 24 hours.
You can make different tones by restricting the airflow at the pepper end, in a similar way to a player of the natural horn.
Apparently you can also punch holes into the sides of cucumber to make different notes, using the same principle as a serpent. Although I tried this and it doesn’t work.