This is a reed that grew wild on the sides of the irrigation ditches in Española when I was a kid. What's in my yard right now was transplanted in early Spring and hasn't taken good hold yet. It's alive, but not thriving. I put it by the catalpa tree, where water collects, and I hope next year it will come up for real. A few new shoots came up, but I'm sure it was traumatized by being moved. I tried to pull some of the dead 2007 stalks, but it disturbed roots so I'm leaving them alone now.
When it's busy and healthy, some of the stalks grow a top that looks like a rattlesnake rattle (kind of), which might be where the name came from, or not. If and when it's well hydrated and spreads a little so it's worth sacrificing some, I'll try to make a video of how you can take a section and make a noise-maker (double reed... sounds like a kazoo). Each one will only make one note. My cousin Nada and I used to find two that harmonized and blow them at the same time. One person can make a chord.