After almost a year of downtime and struggle due to an injury, I've got materials and am making drums again! This first batch will fuel the workshop, pay for supplies and get everything on track again. So happy to be back.
First drum in the new batch - finished!
This one is tuned to Akebono and is a bit larger than I usually make them.
Texas is HOT!! It's like 90 degrees but that's OK.
I'm out here in the Sun working on a batch of Zio's and NeoZio's for my awesome customers. They're coming along well.
If you've been considering a LotusDrum, remember that in August/September the Holiday rush begins and spaces fill up quickly so it's good to get on the list early, there are limits to how much I can produce by myself so place your summer order soon
I recently visited a Crystal Shop here in town and came face-to-face with some Chinese mimic instruments. My suspicions were true. They sounded like junk. The notes interfered with one another and were almost painful to the ears. I'm proud to be making an instrument of quality and had no clue just how bad the sweatshop creations were until I played them myself.
$420 Special on the 16" NeoZio!
My hand isn't improving very much and I'll really be needing y'all's support to get me to a doctor and to help cover my helpers time so that drums can keep moving forward.
Indiegogo didn't work very well so I'm going to try GoFundMe.com.
I've got a couple of drums for sale which will help keep things moving once sold but in order to cover so many lost workdays, the volunteer's expenses, past due bills and past due drums I'll really need your support.
It's hard to admit to myself that I need help but it's plain simple reality at this time.
I still haven't been able to afford a revisit to the doctor or and the longer I wait the higher the odds of long-term chronic injury.
It's not easy for me to type so if any of you put there could help me prepare a well written GoFundMe , that also would be very helpful.
Love donations, drum purchases and simply helping to get the word out are all extremely helpful.
In the meantime I will continue to train the volunteer and we will be making drums from the few materials we have in hopes of supportive sales to cover a fresh load of supplies but in order to cover all necessities we will need a bit more considering that much of any revenue is currently going toward old orders which were stalled by the events.
Any helpful ideas are appreciated.
Any time/effort donations also appreciated.
Feel free to call me if you'd like more info and would like to help out.
The portable 12" is in the center, behind it, unfinished are what will be the miniature 10" and a new 16" concept. All composed of the new specialized steel which I am very happy about. The steel's tonal qualities are so far outstanding. I'm eager to explore it further.
I'm navigating toward independence and stress-free, laid back creative existence.
Undecided on the exact route I'll take but I really like the idea of taking my time and having more opportunities to really explore the physics of sound waves/resonance ;)
Pricing on these new drums will be mostly based on the drum itself as I'll be pre-making them to my preferences rather than commissioning. This will certainly bring not only more uniqueness by being more of an open canvas, but will also allow for greater innovation and fun. Whether it will be sustainable long-term is a question time will answer and effort will determine.
This is the letter I was forced to write Etsy after they did some very crooked things without explanation to-date.
no response whatsoever from them.
Recently I had the opportunity to try out varying steel types and found one with some very positive qualities.
I've decided to bring back little drums incorporating this new steel with the intention of also modifying note layout and a few other elements in the coming days, this one is 12", working on a tiny 10" and a new type of 16". All in the new steel type. Upcoming drums in this category will evolve and be different from each other throughout a transformative journey during which this newborn Lotus unfolds into it's final form.
I welcome any sketches you may have of what you think would look cool in terms of aesthetic design; the shapes of notes etc. Simply email them to me -- firstname.lastname@example.org -- If enough ideas arrive I may post them all in a collage or other presentation for the world to enjoy and yes, I will give you credit for your creativity :)
Recent experimentation also gave way to fresh concepts including three "game changers" which, though 100% developed, I can't immediately implement without first considering the risks involved in not holding expensively acquired patents to my own ideas. Another justification for a future kickstarter campaign, all I need is a little proof-reading and a video.
Without doubt, two of these concepts could, if released, revolutionize an entire market. that's pretty cool.
Here's a few pics of the very first of the new series. No pre-orders for these, only pre-made readies so keep an eye out or request to be contacted as they become completed by sending me an email with "join the circle" as the subject.
Vallejo High School incorporated the Lotus Drum into their performance and secured the 2016 NCBA Championship.
More improvements coming soon, all current orders will be receiving the new additions as the progression continues.
G3 Hijaz (D3), G3, G#3, B3, C4, D4, D#4, F4, G4, G#4, B4
F#3 URSA Minor (B2), F#3, G3, B3, C#4, D4, E4, F#4, G4, B4, C#5
F#3 Natural Minor (C#3) F#3, G#3, A3, B3, C#4, D4, E4, F#4, G#4, A4
F3 Akebono Pentatonic (C3), F3, G3, G#3, C4, C#4, F4, G4, G#4, C5, C#5
F3 Major Pentatonic (C3), F3, G3, A3, C4, D4, F4, G4, A4, C5, D5
F3 Harmonic Minor (C3), F3, G3, G#3, A#3, C4, C#4, E4, F4, G4, G#4
F3 Minor Pentatonic 9 (C3), F3, G#3, A#3, C4, D#4, F4, G4, G#4, A#4, C5, D#5
F3 Dorian (C3), F3, G3, G#3, A#3, C4, D4, D#d, F4, G4, G#4
E3 Phrygian (B2), E3, F3, G3, A3, B3, C4, D4, E4, F4, G4
E3 Akebono Pentatonic (B2), E3, F#3, G3, B3, C4, E4, F#4, G4, B4, C5
E3 Hijaz (B2), E3, F3, G#3, A3, B3, C4, D4, E4, F4, G#4
E3 Integral (B2), E3, F#3, G3, B3, C4, D4, E4, F#4, G4, B4
E3 Major Pentatonic (B2), E3, F#3, G#3, B3, C#4, E4, F#4, G#4, B4, C#5
E3 Pygmy Pentatonic (B2), E3, F#3, G3, B3, D4, E4, F#4, G4, B4, D5
E3 Golden Gate (C3), E3, F#3, G3, B3, C4, D4, F#4, G4, B4, C5
E3 Kiavara (B2), E3, F#3, G3, B3, C4, D#4, E4, F#4, G4, B4
E3 Minor Pentatonic 9 (B2), E3, G3, A3, B3, D4, E4, F#4, G4, B4, D5
E3 Silverado (C3), E3, F#3, G3, B3, C4, D4, E4, G4, B4, C5
E3 Dorian (B2), E3, F#3, G3, A3, B3, C#4, D4, E4, F#4, G4
Throughout my life, I've always found it difficult to ask for assistance. Even as a child, I would rather figure things out on my own and deal with the challenges rather than simply asking for help. If I didn't grasp a concept or missed a vital piece of information in Elementary School, I would never raise my hand for the answer. Deep inside, ego considered it an act of defeat to procure assistance by hanging my head in shameful acknowledgement of inability and need for guidance. The very act of receiving a failing grade due to my prideful stubbornness felt much more empowering and successful than the humble admittance that I may have missed a vital piece of information. Oh, and I someone DARED try to help me as a child, they would quickly be treated as an offender of my virtues.
I have a very good memory and one of my oldest recollections goes back to the diaper days. I was clenching my milk bottle and my oldest brother told me "you drink milk because you are a baby"... My toddler self then responded(possibly unintelligibly but I do remember my words), "do not call me a baby, I will never drink milk again", and hurled the bottle to the ground. I did not drink milk again until my early teens, because not holding fast to my promises would go against my nature, even if the very act was self-destructive. I'm sure other Scorpios will relate, the ones born in November mostly. I've found that October Scorps tend to be much less extreme.
This is part of the Scorpio's evolution, we are naturally prideful people, apparently from the day we are born.
The information above is a precursor to deeper perspectives I will address below.
I had reached the point where my injury seemed to be only getting worse, I began to prepare myself for the possible reality of having to make some major changes and possibly not being able to handle the physical aspect of making drums any longer. I rationalized that the only way to continue would be to ask for assistance and gain control over my intolerance for anything less than perfection. I tend to expect the same from others as I expect from myself, and this means get it right the first time and listen well the first time, because I will not repeat myself often.
A dramatic and oddly synchronistic recuperation from my back injury happened upon awakening on my birthday. I was not at 100% but somehow went from 10% to 60%; from inability to get up to walking around and not feeling any pain.
I had no choice but to ask for help from friends since I couldn't even lift a drum on my own during the first few weeks. This took a level of humility and acceptance that I had never allowed within myself. The gravity of the situation allowed for it's justification, the lesson was life-altering and transcending.
The challenge of getting the drums made was accepted and faced head-on. I was in the first stages of post injury recovery and in the midst of Physical Therapy but downtime from the injury and prior severe weather events had me dreadfully behind on Lotus Drum orders.
"I will not rest until xmas. I may not finish them all on-time, but no time will be wasted and I will push myself to physical and psychological limits. This year will end with achievement, not defeat."
The battle ensued and I worked daily from dawn till 3am and took no breaks or days off till Xmas day.
My helpers were at my side until I felt comfortable to fly on my own again.
At this point within the experience my viewpoint had shifted into a more metaphysical and spiritual place. I was running on little food and little sleep. My thoughts were within concepts of energy flow, meanings of holidays and sun/moon cycles..
The regeneration on my birthday was a sign of Hope and an acknowledgement.
The lesson; humility, admittance of weaknesses and openness to receive assistance gratefully.
The next lesson was Sacrifice.
My helpers had given me not only physical aid in tasks I could otherwise not complete, but watching everyone working together in a flowing motion and so efficiently taught me the power of working with others and the vulnerability of sole-dependence. They had given me their time, and in doing so, subliminally gave me a perspective.
At this time I thought about the deeper meanings of Sacrifices and gave each of them a gift.
One of my helpers was working on a homemade motorbike, so I gave him a set of suspension forks.
The other helper was a single mom who had recently lost her job. During the time of assistance her car stopped going beyond first gear, the transmission was clearly going to stop functioning, but she kept coming to help.
I said to myself "She has never had a reliable car in her life, so I'm going to find her the best car I can"
After searching the local ads for days, I came across a 91 Accord and visited the people. I explained the purpose and they told me that in 23 days, no one had come to look at the car and that they felt it needed to go to me. It was immaculate. Not a drop of oil leaking, everything in perfect order and they gave it to me as a gift.
Driving the Sacrifice(the car) back home I realized how great this car really was. It drove so well... It was 10 times better than my old 88 Civic. Never in my life had I ever owned a car in such great condition and from such a reliable year. This car was truly a gem and a needle in a haystack.
Temptation set in, and the Ego emerged. I began telling myself "my car is old, the roof leaks when it rains. This new car is nicer than any car I've ever owned... shouldn't I just give her mine, and keep this nicer one?"
I really wanted to keep it, I mean.. it was NICE and better than the car I'm currently driving.
Akin to finding someone who is barefoot and giving them brand new shoes while your own shoes are in shambles.
Why not just take the new shoes and give them your old ones?
I'll tell you why,
Because keeping the better ones and passing down your old ones is NOT A SACRIFICE.
Keeping the better/new and passing down the old is kind, but does not challenge your EGO.
When you give to someone else things that you feel are better than your own you come face to face with your Ego and in order to complete the giving, you are forced to shove your Ego aside and give that which you wish to keep, in full love and understanding. This is Sacrifice, and if you think about the concept of gifts during Holidays and stories of Martyrs, you may see the similarity and attempt this Ritual of release.
Back to the drums...
The lack of sleep combined with the driving-force of the mission(dozens of drums with one single due date) led to an explosion of concepts and revelations
I'm looking for a School Bus, I'll be adding a second floor and making it my home and workspace.. :D
Anyone got any leads?
I shouldn't do anything physically demanding right now so I'm going to have someone on-site to help me.
It's about time I stopped working entirely alone and this is the type of situation required to facilitate that.
What happened is I fell forcefully and landed flat on my upper back, Xrays showed no broken bones(lucky me!) and they diagnosed me with a "strain of the thoracic spine". I was in a ton of pain for a few days. I could barely move and everything hurt but then I ate some organic sulfur and the next morning I was substantially better and now feel almost 100% recovered!
The injury halted progress on the drums but things are moving forward again.
I apologize for delays, everything is better now and I'm back on track
This PDF contains basic instructions regarding care and playing of your drum including technique and also the arrangement of notes on the instrument.
*I'm still limited to a webcam and built-in laptop mic. I'll pick up a new microphone this week to better capture the sound and make more videos*
Every season I hold contests giving away FREE Lotus Drums. These are the two currently active Summer Contests:
I'm holding a contest to win a FREE lotus drum in the color and tuning of your choice!
For more details visit the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/488652441161239/videos/826264920733321/
Time for an experiment...
I know there are artists out there.. I'm going to hold a second contest but it will be more private exclusively for those who have "Liked" this page. This will be an ART competition. All entries will be included in future instructional manuals and other publications.
I want to see what you can come up with in terms of LotusDrum logos, inspirational images and any other related ARTWORK!
Send me your drawings and once there are enough, I'll put them all on one post and YOU will vote them up to decide the winner of another FREE Lotus Drum.
If I receive at least 10 entries a winner WILL be decided and someone will get a free Lotus Drum.
Submit entries via email or through Facebook :)