Yes, it’s been a while, and we’ve been busy crafting, listening and playing…
Just received a lovely email from Nicola Johnson who was the event organiser for this years ‘Hillfest’ in the village of Harlington, Beds, UK, in which we participated with free workshops for children of all ages.
“I just wanted to take the time to thank you both for your incredible work at Hill Fest.
Everybody has mentioned how awesome the workshops were and how much enjoyment they took from talking with you and being involved in such a positive activity. We have been stopped in the street to thank us for your participation and the way you reached out to adults and children alike who usually don’t come forward and engage. You made it entirely a positive experience for all.
A great deal of thanks to you both,”
So, many thanks to Nicola and everyone who attended or stopped for a chat….
We have also been asked to put together some workshops by Adam Emms of the Cerebral Palsy Society in Bedford, and what with Ruth’s new role as a member of SCOPE it seems we are being gently ushered in this direction of working with people of special needs, which is an immense privilege and loads of fun for us!
We have also just been blessed with a visit from our friends in Slovakia, Rami and Ivana Shaafi, and Rami has asked if I can make some bullroarers for his workshops, so here are some of the first batch, which we will also be taking with us on our own journey’s, so anyone interested just email us firstname.lastname@example.org
The proposed first chant date at Clophill has now been changed to the 8th Feb, and Ruth will be updating the Clophill website in the near future. Emails have gone out to regulars, and anyone else interested please call us on 07961 504243 – 01462 713245 or email email@example.com
In between bouts of getting fat and lazy we’ve been crafting away like goodun’s! Ruth has been busy producing Yurt hats, and Steve has been turning all the off-cuts from WindWand making into items of highly polished jewelry, pendants, brooches, etc…
In other news, my Grandson Leo had a wonderful first Christmas and made a new friend, who isn’t saying much but looks like he knows where Grandma’s bottle of Bailey’s may have disappeared to…
In between those dates, on Monday 13th Jan, our lovely mentors and friends Michael Ormiston and Candida Valentino will be performing most of their new album ‘Ashtamangala‘ at St.James’s church in Piccadilly, London 7pm-8:30pm. We will be there, as they have kindly asked us to sit on their merchandise stall while they perform, so that we can promote WindWands and yurt hats at the same time! – The new CD is fantastic, by the way…just buy it!
We are also starting to make in-roads with our sound journey/therapy ideas, and are currently booked for an hour with the Keech people, plus regular weekly afternoons for a 12 year old with cerebral palsy. Please get in touch if you are interested in similar or know others that might be, as we would love to focus more of our work in this direction.
I have recently acquired some lovely decorative wood with which to make even more beautiful WindWands and YinYangWands! – I have been cutting into blanks for bridge pieces some Yew, some Beech and two dark hardwoods that look suspiciously like Iroko and Sapele, but can’t be sure…
I have also managed to get hold of some nice woods for handles and end pieces; Mahogany, Sweet Chestnut, more Yew (Ooo, I do love Yew!!) – These have been cut as ‘pen blanks’, but just happen to be a nice size for making WindWands with.. : o) The next batch of 20 or so will probably be made with these…
So, here it is….the polyphonic wind wand upgrade kit! – Which will turn the standard WindWand into the new and unique ‘YinYangWand’… Oh Yes, no less!
– I deliberated over a few ideas and eventually went with the simplest, most cost effective, lightest and downright innovative of them all…the yinyangishly delightful ‘inverted on itself’ option! An extra bridge piece that conveniently slips over the original shaft, and a set of 3 extra but different sized resonators, giving higher tones the thinner they are, and the options are (almost) endless! – With the addition of a third bridge, I noticed I was beginning to run out of room, and bridges started touching bands, stopping them from resonating, but when carefully positioned it is possible to twirl even a fourth bridge (across the forth bridge, perhaps?) on one shaft, but you might want to spend a few months tweaking the tuning as you’ll have potentially 16 different wayward notes and their harmonics to deal with!
– I intend to start selling these YinYangWands as separate instruments in their own right very soon. Get in touch to put your orders in!
And remember to be careful with these instruments as they are capable of breaking wind! : O)
Bedford creative arts have just released a photo featuring us when we were asked, back in September by our friend Malcolm Smith, for assistance in a performance of an improvised piece of wind-influenced music, to accompany the launch of a huge silver kite from the top of Dunstable Downs, as part of an art installation by local artist Laurence Payot! – It was an exceptionally windy day, which almost saw the launch of our 30″ wind gong!