Website Updated & Violin Zither built, December 2017
I am glad and proud to have finished successfully a new instrument wich I call the Violin Zither. It is an instrument with strings. It can be played in several ways:
with a bow, a mallet, hands, a plectrum and so on. I am satisfied and pleased with its sound and possibilties. It has a mahogany wood finish and various steel strings (originally meant for Harpsichord and Zither). Acoustically the instrument its soundboard has a beautiful dark timbre but the idea always was to play it with echo. I made two sections on the instrument with replaceable bridges, one is for the eerie part and one is musical. Vibrato is possible as well and there's not really a rule on how to play it. The tuning is fixed untill it is retuned to another sound. I'll make some sound examples in the coming time and place them on the sound page.
Website Updated, August 2017
The website is updated after a long while and I hopefully will be more active again here. The website has been neglected. Had a hard time too this year (harder than usual) with my health wich I was diagnosed from in 2013. A lot of ideas where made however during the past months without planning out something specific. I have been searching new things for the studio as well - activity in other ways, people don't see or hear perse but is often the heart of everything. I found a few new signal processors and some other stuff. I very much like the tube echo I've found.
Another thing would be (previous post about Ondes); I've met with Chris Maene. I noticed right away that it wasn't the Ondes Martenot but it is the Ondioline (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ondioline). Both have a speaker wich must've been the confusion. They are similar and I was equally impressed. The Ondioline is one of the first synths built, roughly speaking. Truly an honour to see it. Sadly it is in very rough condition and should be serviced. Much congratulations to Chris. Impressive museum pieces, hatts off.
The Horror Waterphone, September 2016
Me and my Father made another Waterphone a while back but this new one is much better. I chose the materials with thought. They are rich in quality and sound (bronze and copper). The welding was difficult: the materials are hard to weld well together. The waiting is rewarding. The sound is rather cinematic and I often miss these deep long tones that can sound like a horn (Listen to the Megabass Waterphone for example). My echo has a shorter decay but in some way warmer, simply put it sounds different..two different waterphones. The echo grows a lot though when bowing all rods simultaneously and repeatedly. The instrument has quite a weight but it is a lush studio instrument undoubtedly.
Some waterharps are called the 'The Whaler', 'The Megabass', 'Orca' etc. I decided to call this one 'The Horror Waterphone' because simply that is how it sounds, ha! A Waterphone is known to sound eerie allready but you get the idea.
Thank you Richard Waters, inventor of the Waterphone. - true honour to play the waterphone and being part of a small family of waterphonists. Thank you.
(RIP. Richard Waters - sept. 9, 1935 - July 4, 2013.)
Ondes, June 2016
Recently my sis got married~ I spoke to the father of my brother in law. He is Chris Maene, a world respected piano builder. He makes replicas of antique pianos for the most and recently he designed the new instrument for Daniel Barenboim.
With the family, around the table..I mentioned the Ondes Martenot to Chris. He said "that is the instrument with the speaker isn't it?" I answer, that's correct. He answered "I have one in my museum", I understood it was given to his father, Albert Maene who was piano builder before him. I am invited to go over and record some sounds with. Curious what I could do with that. The Ondes is a beautiful instrument and would be very much a privilege to play on one. There are probably but a few left of these in Belgium if not only one.
Here's some info about Maene for who is interested and a link about the instrument:
Stringed Instrument (prototype), June 2016
A while back I handcrafted a stringed instrument. The idea came because of an old guitar I had here. I used the humbuckers from this and started to draw with pen and paper. Then with cardboard I drew measurements at real scale, so it started. The idea is to do it over and bring better aspects to the shape of the design and building it with more elegance (better wood and finish etc.), also smaller. Should be more pleasant too to play it. It can create beautiful drone sounds wich was my idea but becomes a mess easily too because of the string positions. The strings are made from bronze. My Father helped me when I started to string it up. The pull is a lot of force and is not to be underestimated, wich I did. It would had eventually bow. My idea was good too but he made a metal shape to hold inside wich is way stronger.
Still no name but it sounds sometimes like something deep..and creepy often.
The instrument needs to be played through echo/ reverberation.
Past and memories.