The Talking Bodhrán

Cormac Byrne playing the Talking Bodhrán photo: Tom Griffiths

When we began designing the BODdrum, we showed Cormac Byrne, whom we knew from the folk music circuit and percussion workshops, an early prototype. He was so intrigued, we let him take it to have a play around. One day he was in a recording studio with Kafaya and his usual traditional bodhrán was not giving him the sound he needed. He grabbed the prototype BODdrum, began playing with that and all of a sudden, as he explains in the video, “it became a whole different instrument.”

The result was the development, together with Cormac, of the Talking Bodhrán.

Like the BODdrum it has a spun aluminium shell, 100mm deep and fitted with a head of the edge control power spot centre type. But the Talking Bodhrán shell is just a bit thicker than the BODdrum, which gives a warmer tone than you might expect from a drum just 14 inches in size.  The drum has been further customised with a fabulous hand-painted airbrush finish.

But it is when you use the Talking Bodhrán together with the exclusive sound bar – shaped differently from your usual slider – that suddenly you can move beyond the typical English/Irish folk bodhrán sound and into a world of sound without boundaries.

In this video, recorded at the Craiceann Bodhrán Summerschool of 2015, Cormac demonstrates the drum and the use of the sound bar to create sounds like those of the Indian tabla or West African talking drums.

Read Cormac’s own description of the Talking Bodhrán, learn more about making a purchase if you would like one of your own, or contact us for more information or to set up a meeting so you can try the Talking Bodhrán yourself.