On-stage touring instrument setup
The on-stage set I use for the current tour and more recently, is a real mix of percussion, reeds and strings. It may look like a souk from somewhere in north-africa, but there is some sort of logical order in there! Most of the drums are mounted on the central rack, and I have the didge mounted as well to free up my hands and feet while I'm blowing. In front of me I usually have darbuka drums of vaying pitch, a set of bongos, and often a "basin" drum from morrocco slightly to the right. I'll often have a set of congas in there as well. The mounted "tom" is tuned right down for timpani like rolls.
The shakers and effects table is pretty much beside me and chimes and various bells and gongs (all of which collected on the road in various asian countries) are to my right. The only drum not mounted is the senegalese talking drum. I use a set of indian bells strapped to the left thigh, and the other foot commands a string of large seeds hung from the usual hi-hat stand. I will usually sit on a cajon.
Apart from the classical flute, I use a deep bolivian wood flute, Tenor and soprano saxes, differently tuned bansuri or indian cane flutes, an ocarina and the scottish pipes, border pipes, and scottish tin whistles. I sometimes have in the set one of my favorite flutes from Indonesia called "suling". The chromatic harmonica is a relatively new entry as is the Bul bul tarang (or indian banjo). This is frequently heard in indian pop music and films, and consists of a hollow-bodied rectangular sound box with six strings and one bass string, all of which are tuned to the same note and strummed with a plectrum.
I have mounted on a stand the indian Santoor, a wonderful string instrument but at times a nightmare to tune! The Thai Saw-U which characterizes traditional thai music but belongs to a vast family of instruments of similar construction with different cultural identities, completes the group of stringed instruments I use on stage. It has a resonating chamber made from a coconut shell, and its two strings are bowed.
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