things that make Chasm sounds...
This is a classic Vietnamese percussion instrument known as a Danmo. Its hand carved from the highly resonant Jack Fruit tree and consists of a wooden stand, five tuned temple blocks and four tone blocks with scrapers (maker unknown). The unique sound is produced with two double-ended mallets. (kind of looks like a Dr. Seuss thing-um-a-jig )
This is a Deagan 330R Marimba (USA), a percussion instrument played with mallets. Actually, it's a xylophone with wood bars (mahogany) instead of the more common metal bars which are used with the vibraphone. The marimba originally came to the Americas from Africa through the slave trade in the Caribbean. Most African marimbas are tuned to a pentatonic scale. This however is a 2.5 octave chromatic version developed in the early 1900's in the United States using resonating tubes below the bars (not shown), instead of the traditional gourds, patented by Deagan of Chicago, IL. This particular one was built sometime in the 1940's. It still has perfect pitch! (For an assortment of over-the-top marimbas, check out the famous atonal composer Harry Partch to see what he created... )
These are bamboo hand chimes known as Angklungs, another Vietnamese percussion instrument. The two pictured here are tuned to "C" and "A", each with two bamboo tubes tuned in octaves. These are just part of an entire set of eight. Originally Vietnamese farmers fastened them to bamboo polls and placed them around their fields. As the wind rattled the chimes, birds were scared away from eating their crops. In other words, they were used as "musical scarecrows".
This is what's known as a Chime Tree. It suspends Bamboo Wind Chimes from the Philippines & Cameroon; Brass Wind Chimes from China; and Brass Temple & Elephant Bells from India. The bamboo rack was originally used for hanging shirts at a now defunct Hawaiian gift shop. When the shop folded, rack was sold for a song.
This is Arne Anselmís Double Bass Violin or Upright Acoustic Bass made in Czechoslovakia by Juzek sometime in the 1930's before the German invasion. This bass immigrated to the United States and labored in Northern California symphony halls before semi-retirement in Ventura.
Stats:3/4 Juzek; 40 3/4" string length; Thomastik Spirocore medium strings. Arne has been playing with Chasm since 2001.
Here are some nylon stringed instruments used in Chasm's music. From L-R: a cheap Chinese made Soprano Ukulele that has a lovable "trashy" sound (maker unknown); Baritone Ukulele made by Maholo, USA; Craviola Classical Guitar made by Giannini of Brazil; and a German made Lute-Guitar or Luitar from the early 1900's (maker unknown). Mark purchased this luitar in 1985 from a woman who bought it at an auction from the German embassy in Washington, DC in 1946. Although he had the money she was asking for it, she insisted on interviewing him over tea to decide if he was worthy of taking custody of her "child." As part of the interview she ask him to play it. He performed a 16th century Scottish ballad, The Miller of Dee. After this the deal was sealed.
Pictured here are the two most common flutes used in Chasmís music. Top: Armstrong Concert Flute or C-Flute. Bottom: Gemienhardt Alto Flute. Both flutes made in USA.
Derek Thomas is shown here playing Congas made by Meinl of Germany and Bongos made by LP / Latin Percussion of USA.
This is an assortment of instruments from Mikeís living room wall that have been used in Chasm recordings. From the top counter-clockwise: African Bamboo Flute with dangling chimes (country unknown); Indonesian Bamboo Drum (maker unknown); African Balafon, a 2 octave pentatonic "mini-marimba" (maker/country unknown); hanging Indian Temple Bells; African Double Tambourine (maker/country unknown); Alto Recorder by Gill of Israel; Soprano Recorder by Kung of Switzerland; Sopranino Recorder (maker/country unknown).
Additional instruments from Mikeís living room wall. From L-R: decorative bamboo; Indonesian Bamboo Mouth Organ (maker unknown), blown sideways, sounds somewhat like a harmonica; Tenor Recorder by Kung of Switzerland.
Assorted percussion L-R top row: maracas, goat hooves, vibra-slap, cowbells; center row: rain shaker, nutshell shaker, claves, castanet shaker; bottom row: finger cymbals, assorted shaker (4), a-go-go-bells, guiro, & groove block.
This is a Cicada Jar, a name coined by Chasm's sound engineer, John Perez. It's a wine decanter filled with air rifle B-B's. When shaken in a circular motion it creates the sound of a thousand chirping cicadas. This is a homemade instrument created through Mark's aural experiments.
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