The Knife Auction Off Shaking The Habitual Instruments For Ingen Människa Är Illegal

The Cone

Everyone got very excited a couple of weeks ago when The Knife started to put out mysterious trailers on their social media accounts. Karin and Olof Dreijer, had officially retired the band years before, so what could it be? In the end it turned out to be the announcement of a live album, photobook and live film from concerts for their final album, 2013’s Shaking The Habitual (news we brought you here).

However, the Dreijers weren’t done there. They’re also auctioning off the special instruments used during the making of the record in support of Ingen Människa Är Illegal, an organisation that supports those who have had their applications for asylum in Sweden rejected. Karin and Olof Dreijer say:

“That millions of people have been deprived of their basic human rights and are forced to live forgotten in Europe is one of our time’s biggest humanitarian catastrophes. We therefore want to contribute to IMÄI’s important work in giving practical and economic support to people who live in Sweden without documentation, and work for a world without national borders”.

The auction for the instruments is open until September 17, and you can bid here. For more info on Ingen Människa Är Illegal go to

For information on the instruments up for auction and some words from their creator Bella Rune, read on below.

The Bell

The Bell is an instrument with 5 aluminium pipes tuned into a microtonal scale The Knife made for the bell sounds at the end of Raging Lung. The pipes are taken from old road signs in Sweden and tuned with a steel saw into the exact notes needed for the song. The sound is soothing and vibraphone like.

The Cone

The Cone is a one stringed bass. You can play it by plucking with or with a bow. The sound can be soft and tender or as intense as a beast. The idea was that it should be able to visually represent the huge bass sound of Raging lung, but at the same time also have the possibility to be played. The string is a thick spun string from a stand up bass but longer, giving a very bassy sound. It has two pick up mics so it can plugged with a normal jack cable. On the recording and on stage we used distortion and delay on it. When you turn the cone around you’ll find some trigger pads used to play bass sounds in Bird. The function of these has been removed but the pads are still there because they look good 🙂

The Harp

The Harp was built to look as beautiful as the harp sound going through Raging Lung. The strings are made out of LED and give this beautiful rainbow coloured light.


Bella Rune: “The Knife were jamming with acoustic instruments in the process of making the electronic album Shaking The Habitual, a new method for the group. I was interested by this blurred line between digital and corporeal and these thoughts reverberated through the whole production. These ”instruments” attempted to visualise some of the sounds on the album along with the dance group, negating expected conventions in electronic music, like one-man-one-laptop. This is what the sounds looked like to me. When making the set/costumes/instruments/show for the Tour we were interested in the upheaval of hierarchies and static roles in relation to the production, and performing, of a stage show. We tried to shake up relationships such as Prop-instrument, Star-Background singer, Dancers-Scenography, Performers-audience seriousness-humour. We attempted to create a space where all the above shared the floor. During the tour these instruments were modified to become more and more playable and ’real’”.