For more information, or to Order Contact designer and maker, Jim Doble
jim@elementaldesign.me
(207) 785-2212
Union, Maine

EXPERIMENTAL and

ONE OF A KIND MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS

One of my greatest joys in my work is experimenting with new sound sources: new objects, new ways of activating and resonating sound, new combinations of materials.

Here are some of my experimentations. Some came out amazing, some "eh", but they all have a unique sound.

Stonaphone on burl resonator

Glass Tongue Drum: Nice mellow tone. The lower notes ring slightly better than the upper ones. 

UFOphone: Sort of a hybrid of my Whale Drums and Fungiphones. Very similar tone to the Whale drum. Looks very cool in the dark with a light inside

Raw log Amadinda: Surprisingly good tone! Usually need to retune occasionally, as the wood changes moisture content.

All Glass Tongue Drum:A musical experiment structurally, and tonally. It worked out on most levels. Has a deep, resonant sound and has held up structurally as far as I know.

Mama Drum: Moosehide one a hollow pine log. very deep and resonant. has multiple tonal "centers" due to odd shape

Multidinda: varying wood, metal, stone, and even a plastic key. rich in tonal textures.

Recyclaphone: The name kind of speaks for itself. Bright, Resonate tones.

Glass Gong: Yes, played gently! Not as resonate as a bronze gong, but still has some ring to it. I'm contemplating a more resonate design.

The Whale: I usually call it the Beast. Made for sound therapy work, one  plays it from the inside for a truly unique and powerful sonic experience. More photos and description on the Sound Therapy page.

Miriam's Aquarion: A birthday present for my former wife.The base is from a rotted out walnut tree. The dark keys are beat frequencies.

Kats Bridge:This was inspired by and made for a friend. The middle keys are mirror glass and beat frequencies. The end pairs are also beats. The curved sides are black locust, the ends tiger maple and cherry. 

I loved playing this the week or so it lived at my house.

(almost) All Glass Aquarion:This customer wanted pegged keys with a clear base. I can't easily  peg into glass sides, but I can cheat and use Acrylic.

 

Punk Rocker and Monkey Gongs: More instruments from the scrap heap! These are all very resonate, but not much for clarity of tone. Hit anywhere and you get some kind of sound out. Had the darker Monkey at a festival, and one quite active boy unfortunately mistook it for a punching bag.

Pipetrek: The sound of the variously toned pipes transfers to and is amplified by the tank ends.

Coin Drop Aquarion

Made for a magician in California, this adds some glass music to the old "coin trick". He drops the magically produced coins into the instrument for a pentatonic "waterfall" of tones. The act ends with a large cascade of coins.
The sides are clear plexiglass, but I left the brown wrapper on for protection during shipping.

Mongo Stonaphone in the rough: These keys aren't tuned to specific pitches, but some are surprisingly resonate, and are chosen for pleasing combos.

Original Whale Drum:​

both "heads" and "tails" are playable. Was a gift to my nephew and nieces.

Chime Wall Triangle: Commissioned by the Science Museum of British Columbia. Made of junk metal of all sorts. One wall is pitched to a scale, the others are ad lib. Hear and see some of the elements in this mini documentary

Slit Drum:

This is modeled after the original slit drums of Africa, SE Asia and Oceana, often used for long distance communication. I started with an open ended log, so had to plug up the ends in a way that the log could contract and expand. Thus, the black rubber band visible on the end.

The cables eventually had mallets attached to them.

Musical paddle ball:

A paddle ball pro requested 
I make a musical version, so this is what I came up with.  The "tongues" are aluminum. There is an optional resonator chamber that can attach to the backside.