Having been attracted to the mysterious dynamics of the sound of saxophone at early childhood, in postwar Germany my parents simply could not afford to treat their son with a rather costly instrument of that kind and so had to wait to my late teens before being able to buy myself a second hand old french horn.As experimenting with the sound possibilities of this gorgeous but tatty instrument had to compete with my thirst for discovering new places and continents time came when the horn had to go.During one of these travels through european south in the still amazing city and realm of artistry of Florence an Italian artisan astonished me with one of his art pieces, a reed instrument made from bamboo with this amazingly intriguing velvety breathy sound pervading the night at the industrious,gaiety filled Ponte Vecchio – I was hooked.
A few tips in a nutshell, how to do, by Daniele, as I remember,were the ignition to get me on my way working with handcrafted instruments, refining my reed skills and keep on travelling.
Being able to pass the feeling of amazement to musicians like Richie Havens, Taj Mahal,Don Cherry, Ornette Coleman and others, who became my customers ... only strengthened my determination to persevere with earning my livelihood as a fulltime musical instrument builder.
Despite limited access to resources of instrument suitable bamboo there were ways to change the shape of instruments from the initial 6 piece,straight version into different sizes of saxophone-like curved ones of 16-20 pieces of bamboo rings with rising diameters,following the idea that the conical shape creates richness of sound characteristics...different from many self declared one piece „bamboosaxes“ on the market, today.
Having set up shop and family in the hilly surroundings of Northern Thailand’s city of Chiang Mai since the end of the eighties- with endless resources of instrument-suitable bamboo in the vicinity,we keep on following the idea of producing one of a kind, aestetically unique musical instruments from organic sources for people who want to just getting initiated to reed playing without learning all the technical aspects of a brass sax,musicians who look for that extra amazing sound as well as accomplished reed players who want a handy instrument for their travel gear.
Cordially Dieter Clermont Indochinamusic
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