COLLAB FEB #2: Salamandir

[audio link]

Salamandir on harmonic flute (didjeriflute), Ranjit on harmonic bass (tromba marina)

“The harmonic flute is a very simple instrument that makes very, very complex sounds. It was made from a piece of 1-inch PVC tubing, about 7 feet long, that I rescued from a construction site dumpster.” – Salamandir (

The tromba marina is a bowed instrument from the 15th to 17th centuries with a single very long string. It’s fingered below the bow, so you get harmonics that sound a lot like a trumpet – thus the name. My version is made from a 7 foot long piece of lumber – also rescued from a dumpster – and a cello string.

instrument-a-day 19: tromba marina

(video link)
I made a trumpet marine, or tromba marina from a maple beam, a cello string, a leftover bridge from the 8-bit violin, and a styrofoam cooler as the resonating body. This one’s a bit fancier than the one I made during instrument-a-day 2008.

The tromba marina is fingered below the bow, creating harmonics by lightly touching the string at the nodes. (I tied little bits of thread at the nodal points to make it easier for me to find them.) The bridge is unbalanced so that it vibrates and rattles against the body, making a buzzing sound. It’s an amazingly weird instrument. I love it, but I can’t really play it.

(Here’s a youtube video of a performance with a real Tromba Marina.)