Rabu, 28 Januari 2015

Sasando, Unique Musical Instrument


One of the most unique traditional musical instruments of the East Nusatenggara Islands is the “Sasando”. However, with modernization its popularity has waned, but now new efforts are made to revive this ancient instrument and to have it blend in with modern musical instruments.

Originally played by the people of Rote island, located south of the island of Timor , Sasando is a stringed instrument that is plucked not unlike a harp.  It is, however shell shaped and has a tube in its centre around which are placed the various strings.  The shell, therefore, functions as a resonant box.

The Sasando shell is made of lontar or palmyra leaves, that has a tubular center made of bamboo on which are placed at various distances small wooden wedges over which the strings are stretched, providing the different notes when plucked by the musician. As with a guitar, screws are attached to the wood to allow fine tuning.

The Sasando itself, with its lontar or palmyra concave shell, is around 40 cm high, which the musician holds on his or her lap when it is played.  The simple sasando has 28 strings, whereas the most difficult one to play has 56 strings. There is also a 32 string instrument.

The name “sasando” itself is derived from the Rote word “sasandu”, meaning vibrating or sounding.  The Rote people believe that the instrument was already in use since the 7th, century.    

According to Rote legend, there was once a boy named Sangguana who fell asleep under a palmyra tree. In his dream he heard beautiful music played by a unique instrument. The music was so captivating that when he awakened, he was determined to recreate the same instrument and the same music he heard in his dream. 

Although playing this instrument could sound pretty simple, but those who know say that the Sasando is more difficult to play than a guitar.

A maestro of the Sasando and ardent music teacher is Djony Teedens who has his studio at Jalan Nanga Jamal, in the subdistrict of Naikoten 1 in the town of Kupang, capital city of East Nusatenggara.

Here Djony not only gives private lessons but also makes sasando instruments himself. He is adamant to continue the tradition of his ancestors and to revive the Sasando to become again a musical instrument popular with the people.

In his studio, students who are able to play the guitar must still be further trained to play the Sasando for another 4 months, while students who have never touched a guitar the course takes 6 months.   He normally has 5 to 7 students at home, a number of whom are foreigners. “I have had German, Dutch and Japanese students in my studio” said Djoni Teedens.

Besides opening Sasando courses, Djoni also sells Sasando instruments. A 28 strings Sasando may cost around Rp 1 million, while the 32 strings costs Rp. 1.5 million. The instruments are gaining in popularity, and are bought by his fellow countrymen as well as by foreign visitors. 

Nonetheles, the most encouraging for Djony Teedens, is the fact that the Sasando, the ancient instrument played by his forefathers, is again recognized as a worthy instrument to play in line with other traditional Indonesian musical instruments as well as with the more modern instruments in this global world.  

Kamis, 22 Januari 2015

Yamaha Silent Guitar


Keunikan Yamaha Silent Guitar adalah memadukan pengaruh tradisonal dan ultra-modern sehingga menciptakan instrumen untuk berlatih sekaligus untuk performance - suatu kombinasi yang jarang terjadi tapi bisa terwujud.

Excellent sound and controls
The Silent Guitar utilizes a B-Band? pickup system fitted beneath the instrument's bridge.This high performance system delivers rich,full-bodied classical guitar tone and excellent response.Bass and treble tone controls mounted on the body for easy access give you total control over the guitar's tone.Also,being a solid body instrument that uses no microphone, the Silent Guitar eliminates the worry of feedback when performing live with a sound system.

Silent design makes it perfect for home use or practice

Compared to a normal classical guitar the Silent Guitar "acoustically" produces only 1/100th the amount of sound energy and 1/10th the amount of sound volume(tested in-house).Such excellent silent characteristics make it great for playing anytime or anywhere.

Built-in DSP effect adds the richness of reverb

The Silent Guitar is equipped with a built-in DSP effects processor that's designed by Yamaha. This circuit offers two types of reverb that ,when activated, envelopes the warm tone of the Silent Guitar with rich reverb that will give you and your listeners the realistic impression that you are performing on the stage of a concert hall. You'll be amazed at the emotion and inspiration that this feature brings to your playing.

AUX IN lets you play along with your favorite recordings

Connect a CD or cassette player, etc. to the AUX IN jack and play along with your favorite recordings. This feature is a great way to improve your playing quickly. An AUX volume control offers greater control over sound balance.

Detachable frame offers comfort and easy transport

The Silent Guitar's unique design offers excellent comfort and support even when played while seated. A cutaway design provides full access to the upper frets.The upper frame detaches from the main body and fits, along with the rest of the guitar, neatly into a compact case that makes carrying easy.

Sabtu, 20 Juni 2009

Peter Frampton Les Paul Custom

When players pick up this baby, it really comes alive. The Frampton Paul has three humbuckers and a chambered, lightweight body. And it’s unusually wired to get that distinctive out-of-phase style Frampton sound. The middle pickup is always on, but has a dedicated master volume knob so it can be dialed in or out. That tone should theoretically appeal more to players influenced by classic rock, but the variety of tones this black beauty produces captures the ears of just about anybody who hears or plays it.

Slash Les Paul

Although there are several Slash Les Paul models available, the granddaddy — and big draw in the Custom Shop’s traveling display — is the dark tobacco burst model introduced in 2004. Slash, of course, was almost single-handedly responsible for the skyrocketing popularity of Les Pauls in the ’80s. But this is a distinctive beast, with a pair of Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro pickups and a Fishman Power Bridge to provide an optional acoustic guitar sound. A mini three-way switch between the rear two pots — one a third volume control, for the level of the acoustic setting — allows toggling between acoustic and electric settings. But most players who pick up the Slash model wanna blast — and often the classic intro to “Sweet Child o’ Mine.”

Johnny A. with Bigsby

This guitar is a real attention getter on its own terms and offers some fairly unique characteristics. The fully hollow body is one-piece mahogany and the inside is flat in the back to increase natural projection. The Bigsy vibrato tailpiece that. a uses is optional, but not so the guitar’s distinctive 25-inches long scale neck abetted by double cutaway horns. And the neck’s profile, at A.’s insistence, is slightly flatted in the back for easy playability. When the guitar’s on display jazz, blues and rock players all relate to its blend of tone, feel, and light weight. And this six-string, birthed in 2003, is often described as “art deco” for the modern-yet-classic look of its crown shaped inlays, angular pick guard and singularly shaped f-holes.

Zakk Wylde Les Paul Bullseye

This Bullseye beauty is a hard-core rock guitar with active pickups, an EMG-81 and an EMG-85, and an unfinished maple neck — Wylde’s variation on the Les Paul Custom. Since it was first issued in 1999 the guitar’s been a magnet for Ozzy and Zakk influenced shredders.

Kamis, 18 Juni 2009

Mick Jones Les Paul Custom

“Feels like the First Time” takes on a whole new meaning when this smooth-necked wonder comes into play. It’s the ultimate working player’s Les Paul, inspired by Jones’ signature guitar — which he used as a session musician on recordings by George Harrison, Peter Frampton, Spooky Tooth and Leslie West before taking the helm of Foreigner.

Although Jones’ own Custom got retrofitted with DiMarzio pickups, the Custom Shop reissue sports a pair of Gibson’s biting ’57 Classic humbuckers with exposed coils. The solid mahogany body has an aged ebony finish and gold hardware, as well as a black jackplate and black Schaller strap locks.