Jul 8 2022

GONG FIGHT armor – principal build test

factoid

The sound inside the kit is kind of glorious, but I think during a fight it will be hellaciously loud. Might need to hand out earplugs to the fighters. I’ll be working on arm protection next. And maybe some smaller noisemaking items.


Jul 8 2022

GONG FIGHTS – helmet test

factoid

It works. More to come.


Feb 4 2019

Veering off into left field – to build a marimbula

factoid

This is a long way from xylophones and propane-tank drums, but I’ve really enjoyed building cajóns and – for the first time – a marimbula.

Quick demo and walkaround

The marimbula is a Caribbean instrument, descended from the African kalimba, and generally functions as a bass. As you’ll see in the video at the bottom of the post, I first experimented with a 6-key marimbula built onto the back of one of my cajons, just to figure out the basics of construction.

This one is a 16-key marimbula – which I’ve decided has about three too many bottom-end keys and perhaps one too many high-end keys, as the sound quality falls off quite a bit at the ends of its scale. Next, I might try building one like a piano keyboard (with two layers of keys in white and black) centered in the middle of this scale.

The tuning has been kinda challenging – I finally settled on D – but I’m tuning it slowly by ear because the digital tuning apps can’t handle all the overtones it puts out. Anyway, it’s a helluva lot of fun to play – particularly on a nice, resonant wood floor – because it’s easy to play, and the notes send vibrations through your butt and up your spine. I take great satisfaction in building instruments that create physical joy along with pleasant music.



Jan 25 2015

Video: XyloVan at Burning Man 2014

factoid

A little sampler of the hundreds of people who played XyloVan at Burning Man, 2014.


Oct 15 2012

XyloVan walkaround – L.A. Decom 2012

factoid


Oct 15 2012

XyloVan in full voice – L.A. Decom 2012

factoid

Be warned – it’s LOUD. And that makes us happy.


Oct 15 2012

Drumming on XyloVan at L.A. Decom 2012

factoid


Oct 15 2012

Contemplative jam at L.A. Decom 2012

factoid


Sep 11 2012

Burning Man 2012: Burn Wall Street – and torch that Egyptian god while you’re at it

factoid

At some point – say, doctor next year – we’ll probably quit aiming a camera at the same damn spectacle that everyone else is videoing and actually absorb a burn face to face with open soul, information pills unfiltered by a 2-inch screen.

Until then, we’re happy to share these videos of Burn Wall Street and the Anubis burn:

Word from a friend in the Rangers was that the Anubis pyro show originally belonged to Burn Wall Street – but that the Burning Man Organization (BMORG or, simply, the Borg) reaappropriated it because of unspecified unreadiness on the part of the BWS crew.

It was a fine show:


Sep 11 2012

Contemplative Laura

factoid

Laura – a multiinstrumentalist who dropped by to discuss XyloVan mallet technology found a mood: