Hey, I’ve finally found a bit of time to put my #novembeat tracks on Bandcamp. I did a bit of mastering, and came up with quick and dirty aesthetics I still rather like. I also had fun naming the tracks using a blend of bad translations, bad search engine suggestions and heavy text glitching.

I’m glad I did it, it was a great experiment and a motivating starting point for more musical exploration in the future.

#theWorkshop
narcanthe.bandcamp.com

@ice

Giving these a listen now. Lovely stuff. Reminds me a bit of Hang drum.

@RussSharek Thanks! Long story short: the steel tongue drum was invented as a cheap alternative to the Hang. I fell in love instantly with its sound when I first heard it and decided to give it a try. I've made a bit of progress since I recorded this, but I lack time to compose actual tunes, which I'd really like to do at some point. I'm still amazed by my own journey to learn a physical instrument after decades of using only computers.

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@ice

I *think* I've seen these before. Do you have a picture?

(I find it interesting that people who really seem to dive into toki pona have a lot of interest in simple things outside of language too.)

@RussSharek Here's my rather outdated mini-wiki on the topic: steel.lectronice.com

There's a picture of my drum at the bottom (it's probably the smallest possible layout, most steel tongue drums have at least 8 notes, but I was looking for quality, not quantity) My profile banner and album cover are also made after pictures I took of my drum, with colored light reflections from my keyboard LEDs.

@ice

Yes! I have seen these before. I knew someone who had one locally, which was made out of a fuel can by some metalworker in Austin, TX.

I was really into the sound, and wanted to see about incorporating it into my contact juggling performances.

I ended up going another direction, but I've always enjoyed the sound.

We used Hang drum music as the intro to a show in 2017. I loved the atmosphere it created.

@RussSharek Yes, originally steel tongue drums were made with gas tanks, and a variety of other techniques have appeared since. Mine was built with a handmade kind of steel, it can vary a lot depending on the maker.

I've discovered this instrument during a group activity for young children, they were totally hooked by the sound, and so was I :)

@ice

I've been enjoying your music on and off all night. It's good and soothing stuff.

@RussSharek Glad you like it! I have various older albums scattered all over the web, mostly ambient and down-tempo experiments, I can send you a few links if you want.

@RussSharek I have a couple of old ambient albums here: streamsofeurope.bandcamp.com/a (and there's more on the website, but my crappy old WordPress install has been hacked recently and it's a pain to fix, it's half-broken at the moment.)

There's also some slightly less old stuff here: lectronice.bandcamp.com/

And some darker/harsher vibes here: methodsformourning.bandcamp.co

@ice

Thank you. I've added them to my "listen" queue.

@ice

I read a bit about your experience of getting one. It reminds me of a hybrid of my experience getting an accordion (which I can barely play) and learning to make (and kind of play) cigar box instruments.

@RussSharek Cigar box instruments seem to be a lot of fun, I've seen a few pictures over the years but I didn't think it was a whole instrument family! It must get along pretty well with your performances.

I've heard accordion is hard to learn. I never had the opportunity to examine one, but it sure looks like a rather complex instrument.

About learning music, something that helps me a lot is melodics.com. It really took my rhythmic skills and my motivation to another level.

@ice

I enjoyed exploring the accordion, but never got very far with it. I have a Bayan, which means I have an unlimited number of buttons that make weird noises.

@RussSharek This looks like a really beautiful instrument. And yes, so many buttons! It tickles my interest for mechanical keyboard :)

@ice

They are wonderfully noisy things covered in buttons. I can absolutely see where they might inspire thoughts of keyboards.

In my case, I'm lusting after simpler keyboards at the moment. Have you looked at chording keyboards like the asetniop layout?

They are a genuinely inefficient input device, and yet I can't seem to not want to play with one.

@RussSharek I remember stumbling on it a while ago, I really like the ten fingers concept. At some point I had started to try to develop a chorded firmware for my mechanical 4x4 numpad, but I couldn't figure out how to code the thing.

This reminds me of this very cute Toki Pona keyboard: i.redd.it/gzwza9o1ek251.png

@ice

There was a toki pona braille concept I saw that got the minimalist keyboard at my head. I laughed and thought I could do toki pona as a keyboard in six or so buttons. Little did I know the rabbit hole I was standing near.

@RussSharek And yes, I never thought about it but getting into Toki Pona makes sense when I look at what led me here... That's good food for thought.

@ice

I seem to have a taste for simplicity, minimalism, and steep learning curves.

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