DRUMS

Its been a long way since I traveled for the skins and timber, prepared them into desired form, weaved them together, photographed, recorded and delivered here in front of you. And longer even since I first sensed the call to create a drum myself.

Thank you for being here, there would be no purpose to my work otherwise. 

Sound recordings are to be listened to with a good quality stereo or head phones else they are misguiding!

Instruments are oriented from smallest to biggest.

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The Drum-maker

One autumn morning of 2012 I received a call from a friend about a deer being shot. 

 ,,Do you want the skin” he asked.

And so the fourteen day process of making my first drum began.

 

Some weeks after that in a little village in southern Spain a woman with small boy stoped me asking if Im Filip the drum-maker. I started laughing but agreed to make a drum with her boy as a present for his 6th birthday. 

 

And so my journey as a drum-maker began.

 

Later on, after settling in Scandinavia - following my yearning for expressing the spirit and beauty of nature - drum crafting together with artistic carpentry, woodwork and music became my profession. 

 

I feel proud to be able to share with you some of my work.   

With love and respect

Filip

 

Choosing a drum

Often people know which one is their drum when seeing it. But here are some (also practical) aspects to consider:

 

Sound and general appearance 

This is a very personal choice so there is not much advice to give. The rule is

the bigger the drum the ‘bigger’ the sound.

 

Size/Weight

Are you going to travel with it? Does it need to fit in a cabin luggage (It is possible to use it as a storage for clothes,though), can you hold it comfortably for longer periods of time?

 

Affordability 

If you feel like there is an instrument that you really want and you can't afford it in the moment let me know and we can find a solution (paying in smaller amount for ex.)

 

Tuning System

The skin is a living organism and its keeps accommodating itself to the surrounding conditions all the time. Too humid = the skin softens = sound goes down.

Too dry = the skin gets harder/tenser = the sound goes high. 

Traditionally, fire or sun would be used to bring a drum into playable conditions. 

To adjust the sound in an easy way I add a bike tube put in between the frame and the skin (with the valve sticking inside the drum). By blowing air in you tune it up, by letting air out you tune it down. 

In case all the air is out and the sound is not low enough yet, little bit of water could be by applied over the skin surface. With couple of minutes sound begins to lower.

 

Maintenance

It is a rather sturdy instrument but there is still few things to keep in mind:

 

  • Do not leave it unattended exposed to strong heat (fire, stove, car parked on direct sunlight..), it may break the skin or frame by over tensing.
     

  • I strongly recomend to release the air out of the drum after every playing even if the instrument is stored in the same space all the time. Humidity and temperature changes can be huge from one day to other and and what was a perfect amount of air in today's rainy day may cause an over-tension in tomorrrow's sunny one. 

  • A drum bag, fabric, scarf will prevent your instrument from scratches. 
     

  •  Cream/fett needs to be applied onto the front and back skin surface. Could be any fett you won't mind the smell of-coconut works great. No need to oil the strings. Twice a year is good enough.

 

About the materials

 

Frames:

 

Im making the frames myself using a steam-bending process. 

All wood is sourced from a local sawmill. 

 

 

Skins:

 

The skins Im using come from Scandinavia, mainly north of Norway and Sweden. With occasional exceptions I only use deer, reindeer and moose skin.

Non of these animals was shot for its skin, its a matter of regular hunting where skins would be normally left behind as there is very little use for them

 

Workshop

Let me know if have interest for making a drum yourself and we see how can we meet. For groups of around five people I can travel, else there is posibility to come to my home in Molkom/Sweden.

Contact me at holytree.crafts@gmail.com

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