(Oct. 13) -- A conceptual artist in New York is doing for the glockenspiel what Christopher Walken did for the cowbell. Sort of.
Artist Cory Arcangel was so impressed by Bruce Springsteen's use of the high-pitched percussion instrument on three tracks of his seminal mid-1970s album "Born to Run" (including the title cut) that he thought he'd add extra glockenspiel tracks on the other songs.
"I had always wanted to write a composition which was to be played in tandem with another. An addendum. I thought this was an interesting way to predetermine the variables I would be working with when writing a composition," Arcangel said in an e-mail interview with AOL News.
"I knew I wanted to write something like this when I was researching Bruce Springsteen, and when I was listening to his 'Born to Run' record, I, of course, noticed the extravagant use of glockenspiel on a few of the tracks."
That's when Arcangel decided to compose glockenspiel parts for the tracks that didn't already have one.
"At the time, it seemed the logical thing to do," he said.
The piece, which Arcangel calls "The Bruce Springsteen Born to Run Glockenspiel Addendum," isn't his first foray into pop culture commentary.
His other works include "Super Mario Clouds," a hacked version of a "Super Mario Brothers" cartridge from which everything but the clouds has been erased; a video called "Sans Simon," where Arcangel films his hand blocking out an image of Paul Simon on screen; and "I Shot Andy Warhol," where he replaced targets in the shooting game "Hogan's Alley" with images of Pope John Paul II, Flavor Flav and Andy Warhol.
Although Arcangel wasn't a fan of The Boss before he started hammering out his glockenspiel parts, he soon became one.
"I was only familiar with the song 'Born to Run' before I started this piece, but I became a big fan of the record during this process," he said. "It taught me that he is a brilliant arranger. Every second of that record is considered."
It also taught him about the glockenspiel as an instrument.
"I think the glockenspiel is an underrated instrument, although it does get used more than most people would imagine," he said. "For example, it was often used in gangster rap and Shuggie Otis' famous 'Strawberry Letter 22.'
"However, I had to keep in mind that mainly the glockenspiel is used for accents. It's not like a guitar. It can't be playing all the time. People would tire of it. So it has to be played only a bit here and a bit there. So when I perform this piece live, most of it is me not playing anything."
Arcangel admits that many people who've heard about his glockenspiel tribute have compared it to the infamous "Saturday Night Live" skit where Christopher Walken admonishes Will Ferrell to add "more cowbell" on "Don't Fear the Reaper," and he's OK with it.
"This is welcomed, and I was aware of this skit when making the record, but the composition also references Andy Kaufman's 'SNL' routines as well," he said.
So far, the reaction has been positive, but Arcangel has no further live performances planned. However, one of his next pieces, a piece called "Music for Stereos" that he will soon be performing in Berlin, could be considered somewhat of a sequel.
"The songs are a curated selection of pop songs depending on the space. Once the pop song is done playing, I come back on stage, disassemble the stereo and take it off stage. Then I bring out another stereo and repeat the process for all six stereos. So, essentially the audience sees me either setting up a stereo, or taking it apart, or they are sitting looking at a home stereo playing music.
"By the way, the setting up and taking down of each stereo tends to be quite humorous."