March 25, 2021 3 min read
Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, and Space inspire creation in an entirely new way this time, by taking the form and shape of musical instruments. EarthMoments is proud to present 5Elements, an innovative library of instruments inspired by the very elements that make our world, made for Kontakt and the free Kontakt Player.
5Elements Began with Original Handcrafted Instruments Built in India.
Inspiration for 5Elements starts with the instruments themselves, built by craftsman Aurelio C. Hammer. Based in Auroville, India at Svaram workshop, Hammer dedicates himself to building custom instruments inspired by nature, space, and indigenous cultures from around the world.
After studying firsthand how different cultures craft their instruments from earthy elements such as woods, stone, and metals from surrounding areas, and the way those instruments interact with their environment, such as echoing in canyons, Hammer was able to implement these different aspects into perfected custom instruments.
The library of 5Elements features 8 such custom instruments meticulously crafted by Hammer. These instruments are typically inspired by the stunning nature which surrounds the Svaram workshop, other instruments from different musical traditions, and the space in which the instrument is to be played.
The Story Behind Each Instrument in the 5Elements
What started off as a project to gather sound recording in South India soon evolved into the discovery of spectacular and unique handmade instruments that EarthMoments was eager to bring to the world. “It isn’t often that one comes across instruments that are created from scratch, indigenous to the region. We grabbed the opportunity to share these sounds with the world. Perfectly recorded for any project, production or score, the 5Elements library of instruments will enhance your work to give it an otherworldly feel, since the sounds are fairly unheard”, says Kris Karra, Director at EarthMoments.
Let’s take a closer look at the instruments that make up the 5Elements collection:
Ananda is a wooden stringed instrument which has 4 strings resembling an Indian tamboura, as well as 8 strings tuned to a pentatonic raga scale inspired by the Japanese Koto. On the bottom of the instrument, 36 strings tuned to an E, allow for a richness of natural harmonics to unfold.
Golden Plates, or plate gongs, positively influence the atmosphere by transforming any space with majestic tones and regenerative energies. After years of perfecting their harmonic tunings and overtones of these brass plates. Originally inspired by Russian flat bells, the proportion of the plates was eventually determined by meditating on Russian icons.
After asking himself, “can we create the touch of sound?”, Hammer was prompted to create the Healing Bed, an elaborately constructed instrument the size of a massage table. A person will lay down on the bed to encounter the vibrations of the 50 strings.
The Lithophone is one of the oldest instruments in humanity and ancient litophones have been uncovered across many different cultures. This particular Lithophone used in 5Elements is made from granite and sounds of metal, ceramic, and glass creating a deep resonance in the body and bones.
The Octave Tubes were inspired by the movement of sound. They are an array of nine metal resonant tubes tuned in harmonic overtone series. They can be swung and rotated creating an amazing doppler effect.
The Silver Plate is a large aluminum plate that captures the vibrations of the earth’s rotation while resonating a fundamental sound of healing.
The Singing Stone is a large 200kg stone which produces a primordium sound. The stone is played similarly by rubbing the rim of a crystal wine glass.
The Tubular Bells create a mesmerizing sound at the intersection of chaos and precision. Mathematical tunings based on C pentatonic scale are used when building the tubular bells, however, since the overtones of this instrument can’t be tuned, the result is a combination of clarity and disarray.
Bringing These Custom-Built Sounds to You
You’ll find these instruments live at the intersection of nature and precision. Each instrument took months, sometimes over a year to perfect, from picking the perfect sample of wood, to meticulously tuning the instrument and its overtones. This dedication to perfection has resulted in this rare collection of instruments which transport the listener into inner realms.
EarthMoments is proud to be able to share these custom instruments with you in a medium which allows for even more creativity. With the 5Elements instrument, you can manipulate the space, tuning, tone, articulation, and octave of each instrument. Additionally, you can combine instruments to create your own custom sounds. It is our hope that with this new tool, musicians and creatives can find new ways to express their ideas and the sounds of Svaram find new touching grounds.
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