This instrument was made by shaman, sound healer, and master wood carver Agustin Rivas. He calls it a Fairy's Bow, or El Arco del Duende. It makes incredibly subtle and rich harmonic overtones. It sounds like it plays between all the dimensions - a rainbow of sound.
It was gifted to me, by a totally magical sequence of events. One of them being that I understand how to move the muscles in my face in great detail, as an experimental vocalist, so I can really play the harmonics. I am in awe of the powerful shamanic tools, instruments, and protective garments that I have been gifted to do my work in the world and be safe. They all have unbelievable stories behind them.
When I first received this instrument, I could barely hold its power. The first time I visited Grass Valley, I was sitting at the bus stop with this, and a guy walked by and said "is that a mouth harp? you need a super cardioid microphone if you want to play that in a band", so it picks up only the close-up subtle sounds and not the other instruments around. I haven't tried that yet.
I don't even know if I'm playing it right - if anyone else has one of these and can teach me how to get the harmonics to project louder, please let me know!
These beautiful photos were taken by Carolyn Ferris at the Women's Visionary Congress. You can hear a sample recording of the bow on my soundcloud - https://soundcloud.com/mufaor/fairys-bow-1
If you'd like to make your own simple jawharp, here's a beautiful how-to:
A friend of mine shared this video with me, with a killer berimbau solo at 16:30 in. I <3 the 70's.
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