What's the deal with Aquavinas?
I realize this is not a perfect test but may help you sort thru many pan types to see which has greatest effect...i feel the thinness and depth and the flat bottom all contribute....the flat bottom is not as stiff as the curved bottom so the gentle hum of the strings can stimulate the pan more.
I do feel the Bundt pans are Much better looking, am in no way am I trying to steer you away from them. Your very talented and perhaps you have all ready devise your own way to select pans best suited...I had fun playing around with these today and thought I would share my findings...please keep those sound test video's coming!
The second is you could build a very decorative dulcimer with the Bunt type pan or similar...my personal favorite color metal is Copper. Aluminum and Titainum are likely acoustically superior but who knows.
Anyhow just wanted to give a big thumbs up and keep up the Great work...I may try one of these myself after I get a few more builds under my belt. Thanks for the inspiration!
WOAH, I loved your playing and demo. I loved that you created such an instrument and most of all.....I loved that you made this video that we could see your smiling face. NO KIDDING. you are a creative man that will do many things in your life. Keep creating and experimenting and show us all along the journey. I like it even without the water at all....I'd be concerned with water getting on my woodwork and varnish and all that "jazz". Thanks for sharing with us all. aloha, irene
Nate, thanks a million for this demonstration! And your play is really nice. I could hear what you were saying about the smaller amount of water giving more of that tremolo like sound. Such a cool experiment. I look forward to hearing more from you!
one of the Moderators here :)
Keep a song in your heart!
Never seen, played, or heard one, but, I suspect the amount of water in the pan would affect the sound quite a bit....something I'm sure you must've found out.
The best I understand it is that as the water moves around the pan, it alters the vibration in the places it is in contact with the pan. What I think this means is that to get the most effect you want the water to be moving around as much as possible. When i fill the pan nearly all the way it 'muddies' the tone and as it sloshes does not change the tone very much at all. Just enough water to go across the bottom has almost no noticeable effect. Putting about 1/2" of water at the bottom of the pan seems to have the most pronounced effect of any level. I have also noticed that the thinner the metal of the pan, the louder the effect is.
Heard of it in passing, on one of the Farcebook pages and thought it was a joke at first. But someone thought it sounded neat. Sounds just a bit too cumbersome for the ordinary player -- something you'd want on a stand rather than your lap I suspect. I'd certainly listen to a recording, to hear these, but I would never personally build one.
At some point I found myself on the Wikipedia page for mountain dulcimers where I saw a description of a mountain dulcimer variant called an "Aquavina." The description given went as follows: "... essentially a variant of the Appalachian Dulcimer , but with a metal resonator body partially filled with water. The player would agitate the instrument while playing, resulting in a constant acoustic phasing effect within the instrument's harmonics"
I had already made dulcimers out of things like coffee cans, cookie tins, and frying pans so immediately this seemed right up my alley. A bit of googling later I was only able to find indication of one actual song recorded by the inventor called "Naïades" which I was unable to find any recordings of. The only audio I was able to find at all was a video of a so-called "junk aquavina" which had very primitive design, two strings, was played with a slide, and seemed to have audio effects added on, as well as other instruments played over it. Basically I have no idea what this thing is supposed to sound like.
I figured if no one else knows what it sounds like, maybe I can find out for myself, and when I considered the definition I quickly thought of an idea that's been bouncing around my head for a while that utilizes a bundt pan as a resonator. Once I built it, I poured some water in the bundt pan and started playing and WOW. Very difficult to describe. The best I can articulate is that it's a lot like having a mild "wah wah pedal" electric guitar effect every time you slightly move the instrument. It adds a dreamlike ambiance.
The first adjective I thought of was 'dreamy' yet the wiki page uses the term "eerie" and the 'junk aquavina' video also sounds quite ominous, though I am not assuredly convinced that either of those are definitive. I'd love to find out more. As it stands I've made a few using bundt pans filled partially with water. I'll include an image of one of them, and will make a video soon to show how mine sounds, but I'm very curious about what you guys know. Have any of you folks ever made any? Played one? Ever heard one? Seen one in person? Does anyone know where I can find any videos of them? Images?