Crystal Singing Bowls

Crystal singing bowls come in several different sorts.  The clear ones Wavegarden plays are made from pure mountain quartz crystal, and the opaque bowls are silicon quartz crystal.  Carlos and LeAnn are official distributors of bowls and will be happy to answer any of your questions that are not answered here. 

Alchemy Bowls

The most precious bowls played by Wavegarden are combinations of quartz crystal and precious gems and/or minerals.  Each of these alchemy bowls has its own vibration and personality.  For specific properties of each of the various sorts available, see the Crystal Tones web site.

The alchemy bowls played on Wavegarden's Zen CD were:

9-inch Androgynous, flat bottom, lower octave A
7-inch Egyptian Blue, flat bottom, D
7-inch Laughing Buddha, round bottom, E
7-inch Rose Quartz, flat bottom, F
7-inch Moldavite, flat bottom, G
6-inch Ruby, flat bottom, A

Wavegarden has, since that recording, acquired several bowls:

12-inch Ocean Gold, flat bottom, lower octave D
9-inch clear Moldavite, flat bottom, lower octave A
8-inch Egyptian Blue, flat bottom, lower octave B
6-inch clear Rose Quartz, flat bottom, A
5-inch Amethyst, flat bottom, B

Whenever they can (this depends on whether it's practical to transport it or not) Wavegarden includes a 19-inch Aqua Gold bowl, which vibrates between low C and C#, the tone of the Earth's resonance, and has a priceless and unique beauty.

Two of the bowls that were played on Zen have, unfortunately, changed shape and can no longer be played: the 9-inch Androgynous, and the 6-inch Ruby.


Flutes and Whistles

Simple-system Monzani flute, 8 keys, conical bore, cocus wood and sterling silver, c. 1814, London

Concert pitch during the early nineteenth century was lower than now, so this flute was probably made to play at A = 435.  Someone in the past altered this flute to try to make it play at A = 440, by making several holes larger, and (perhaps) by shortening the body.  When LeAnn bought the flute, its internal tuning was pretty off, and she is grateful that Hammy Hamilton, one of the world's best wooden flute makers, based near Cork, Ireland, was able to restore it so that it's easier to play in tune.

Keyless gidgee wood flute made by Terry McGee in Canberra, Australia, 2002


Terry is another of the world's best wooden flute makers.  This flute is a copy of an antique Firth, Pond & Co. played by Grey Larsen, and it has an interesting history , because it is the prototype Terry made in developing his "Grey Larsen Preferred" model.  Terry not only makes great flutes, he also has put together an incredibly comprehensive web site about wooden flutes, with sections on history, maintenance, and purchasing.

Solid silver Prima Sankyo flute, open-hole, inline with B foot, Japan, 1996

Low D Overton whistle made by Colin Goldie , Cologne, Germany, 2004

While in Germany, LeAnn was lucky to live just down the road from one of the world's best whistle makers.  For more great info on whistles of all sorts, see the wonderful site put together by Dale at Chiff & Fipple .

Sitarne

Zithers are stringed instruments found in many cultures in various forms. Carlos and LeAnn, with the assistance of luthier Pete d'Aigle, are developing a new form of zither, a sitarne, that is pentatonically tuned with 38 strings. Two new sitarne were completed in 2009, and LeAnn and Carlos excitedly brought them to Bali, only to watch them warp into unplayable condition within a week of arrival, due to the incredibly high humidity. Pete is now rebuilding the sitarne using carbon-fiber reinforcement, and he expects to have them finished sometime in 2010.

Carlos has developed many unique mallets for the sitarne, which give them the ability to make many sounds: sometimes zither-esque, sometimes more like a hammer dulcimer, and sometimes music all their own. The name "sitarne" came through a Maori elder in New Zealand, who channeled it through for a friend, Tamara; it means "a finely tuned instrument of spirit".

LeAnn and Carlos were inspired to add zithers to their sound when they had the chance to meet and play with Laraaji in late 2007.  Since then, they've customized several, most of which were originally autoharps made by the Oscar Schmidt company.  One of them, an Ozark model, was customized for them by Jeff Dantzler.  Tthe chord mechanisms have been removed from Wavegarden's zithers, and they've been retuned in various modes rather than chromatically.

Tabla

Carlos has been playing tabla drums for many years, and began his study in India with Tarun Banerjee.  He has several sets of bayan (the left metal drum providing bass notes) and dayan (the right wooden drum providing treble notes), some of which were custom made in India.