Saturday, May 12, 2012

New instrument factory

Yours for $326.63  not including S&H.
Finish optional (this is unfinished), paint and carving are additional.

Sometimes you make a new instrument and your apprentice makes a video of himself fooling around on it. I Made Terip custom made this particular 11-key model for a Parisian client seeking the baritone quality of West Bali jegog. It features the A#  major scale with lowered seventh (si). This is a diversion from both traditional jegog tuning, approximately A# - C - E - G#, and tingklik tuning, C# - D - E - G# - A.

Originating in North Bali, tingklik is often confused with suspended-key rindik or grantang. It is constructed with a row of flat bamboo or coconut shell keys resting on beams and affixed with one pin through a single hole in each key; a matching row of resonators, split along half to two-thirds of their lengths, sit parallel to and beneath the keys.

An advantage of this construction is its relative stability in temperate climates. As humidity and temperature reach extremes bamboo, like wood, stretches and shrinks, losing the keys' original fine tuning and even cracking, losing resonance altogether. The type of thick bamboo used here is most resistant to climatic change and locally called Petung Jenggot.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tingklik Jegog: mini horse-bamboo instrument for export

A French composer ordered a tingklik jegog, low-register tingklik in a major scale with lowered seventh.

It took three day-trips, but they successfully harvested large bamboo appropriate for export to temperate climes. I stayed home, but there were tales of our distant cousin falling down the steep hill, an albino snake, and having to find ever more skilled bamboo-climbers to hack this stuff down from the thick and oblique stand.
Harvested bamboo with sandals for scale
After a day of drying Gedung chopped them into more workable lengths and set them in the hot Sulawesian sun to dry.
Kosil, left, gets some idle suling making done while the other Balinese chat.
I scrubbed the dry mud and mold with soap and stood them up to dry. Another day passed before Kosil tried his hand at drafting the keys.
Low register keys are very quiet without a matching resonator!
The fundamental is determined by the ratio of length to thickness
The first octave
Those are great lengths of PVC pipe for resonators. We prefer bamboo for aesthetic and economic reasons, but the type used for resonators invariably suffers in temperate climates. There are also great lengths of wood for the frame.
Planing wood for the frame
Gedung examines hand-chiseled legs. I exclaimed that's way too long and Terip batted me away humorously. Eventually he came over and marked the long piece to be cut down.
That's way too long!
Stay tuned for a video and sound sample of the finished instrument!