Hello again, I’m sharing this improvised “Wind incantation” I recorded in Samhain, 1st October 2015. Wind has always been an inspiration and a personal “obsession”. I even wrote a song called “The Wind song” in one of my albums. As I mentioned in my introduction post, I love to collect and play rare and folk instruments to layer the sounds in my work, so here is a “Capella” improvisation just with a “wind-band”.
What are wind-bands and bull roarers?
Wind bands are in fact instruments inspired in the “bull roarers”, an ancient music instrument consisting in a piece of wood attached to a cord that you just spin to make it buzz. There are archaeological evidence of their existence since the Paleolithic period in several continents. From Scandinavia, to Ancient Greece to Australia, it is found in many cultures with different names. It was used to communicate over distance (the low frequency can travel and be heard several miles away) and also in rituals to keep “evil spirits” at bay and summon good forces.
Wind bands are a modern type of “bull roarers” and belong too to the same category of music instruments called “aerophones” as the sounds depend on the vibration caused by air against the surface of the instrument. They are very easy to build and the sound it produces is somehow a mix of the didgeridoo and the classic bull roarer. They are usually constructed of wood with a rubber band resonator. It doesn’t require any special technique except twirling it with the handle, depending on the speed it can create a variety of sounds and is tune-able to different pitches.
When you spin it it produces a drone sound, kind of eerie and ghostly, the pitch can be changed adjusting the distance of the “dividing piece”, if you place such piece in an angle it can create harmonics too. Some stores sell “double wind bands” to mix two tones. As you can see the building plan is rather simple. I love to bring it with me when I hike and I just improvise along with the drone. I love rare instruments, fantasy, myths, legends and music.