Monday, May 23, 2011

The new dunduns

I can't believe I haven't posted to this blog since coming back from Mali in January. I can't believe I started a blog post with the most boring first line in the history of blogging.

So, in a nutshell:

Trip was amazing. I will post pictures and more details soon.

I came back with a new set of dunduns. They are made of a much lighter wood, and are quite a bit smaller than the old behemoth I was playing. I have a small dununba and a kenkeni. I brought them back in duffel bags through the checked baggage on the airplane and they made it here safe and sound. (You should have seen me trying to wrangle all that luggage through Port Authority in NYC, though. It was hilarious. Luckily I had two unsuspecting teens with me who could help out.

It was great fun seeing my new drums go from carved shells to finished products. On the last day in Mali, Madou Jean was over at the house pulling the skins.

The advantage of the smaller drums is that they weigh much less and are easier to carry around. I have rigged up a miniature carabiner on both ends of the dununba so that I can attach the kenkeni to whichever end sounds best on that day. Then I strap it tight with a bungie cord. That way I can easily separate the drums for transport. Madou Jean even fashioned a carrying strap out of the extra tuning rope for the kenkeni, so I can toss it over my shoulder. All in all it is a very portable setup.

And the drums sound delicious.

The kenkeni, especially, has a gorgeous tone. The two drums are tuned to each other and just sound great together.