Exciting news from BOD to start the new year: until now, Cormac Byrne’s Talking Bodhrán has only been available as a complete kit, comprised of the drum, a hybrid maple/walnut beater, the Sound Bar and a carrying case. For 2018, in addition to the complete kit, the drum and the Sound Bar are now available for individual purchase (carrying cases and the beater have always been available individually).
The Talking Bodhrán is a 14 inch BODdrum modified to Cormac’s own specs, notably using a slightly heavier aluminium shell than the classic BODdrum and finished with a gorgeous airbrush design inspired by glass full of settling stout. Read full details and Cormac’s discussion of the possibilities on the Talking Bodhrán product page.
But we are especially pleased that you can now buy the Sound Bar, which has never before been available alone. This product is unique to Blackwell Original Drums – no one else makes anything like this. It is a hollow, shaped cylinder of heavy aluminium with a glossy black automotive powder coat finish, one end open and the other closed. In Cormac’s own words
This is used on the back of the drum head to produce incredibly warm bass tones that mimic the Indian Tabla Baya (lower drum) as well as lively mid-range tones that can bend and change to mimic vocal tones in much the same way as the West African Talking Drum.
In the following video, Cormac is using the sound bar throughout. At the start he is holding it horizontally against the back of the skin, and at 30 seconds you can see him tapping it in and out as he plays. From about 2:35 you can see he switches to holding it open-end-on, and is getting an incredible range of fantastic popping “talking” sounds by beating in and out of the area covered by the mouth of the sound bar, and by moving the sound bar from the centre to nearer the edge of the drum skin. The video was taken informally during a photo session when Cormac was just having some impromptu fun, but is a joy to see and hear despite the less than ideal quality.
You may recall our prior blog post featured a video of Cormac presenting the Talking Bodhrán at Craiceann. At about 2:45 he explains the development and use of the Sound Bar. In fact, the header photo for that post shows him using an early prototype in performance.