The picture above shows John Horton Conway wearing and playing Music
of the Sphere at the 1997 Mathematics and Art Conference at
Albany NY. (Great shirt for this!)
The underlying idea for this comes from a 1970's college activity of
taking the rack out of an oven, (first make sure it is cool!)
suspending it in a "V" of wire, holding the two ends of the wire
against your temples, and stumbling around the kitchen while bent
forward so the rack can bang freely against the walls and furniture. I
had assumed this was a recent invention, but I collect old reference
books and was surprised recently when I read the following:
If a person tie a poker, or any other piece of metal on to the middle of a strip of flannel about a yard long, then press with his thumbs or fingers the ends of the flannel into his ears, while he swings the poker against any obstacle, as an iron or steel fender, he will hear a sound very like that of a large church bell.
This is from an 1849 edition of Thomas Tegg's Young Man's Book
of Knowledge (p. 193). So apparently I am just part of a long
artistic tradition here...