Website back online

by Mathias D. Clain

The website has been offline for a while and I gave it a new design. I did not wrote much but I have copy pasted the previous writings and finally made a couple of proper website pictures for the instruments I’ve built.

Seasonal Greetings *2019

I wish all good souls safety, passion and continuation for goals, a good spirit and health and dreams to reach, love and happiness.

Website Updated & Violin Zither built, December 2017

I have finished successfully a new instrument wich I call the Violin Zither. It is an instrument with strings. Hand - built in the garden and with help of a 40 year old sanding power tool!

It can be played in several ways: 

with a bow, a mallet, hands, a plectrum and so on. I am satisfied and pleased with its sound and possibilties. It has a mahogany wood finish (Honduras for the surface and the borders are pyramid mahogany) and various steel strings (originally meant for Harpsichord and Zither). Acoustically the instrument its soundboard has a beautiful dark timbre but the idea always was to play it with echo. I made two sections on the instrument with replaceable bridges, one is for the eerie part and one is musical. There's not really a rule on how to play the instrument and the tuning is fixed untill it is retuned to another sound. I'll make some sound examples in the coming time and place them on the sound page. Not really tough looking but I’ll try a tougher look for the Electronic Violin Zither. :)

Website Updated, August 2017

The website is updated after a long while and I hopefully will be more active again. A lot of ideas where made however during the past months without planning out something specific. I have been searching new things for the studio as well - activity in other ways, people don't see or hear but is often the heart of everything! I found a few new signal processors and some other stuff. Hunting..

Another thing would be; I've met with Chris Maene because of a family meeting at his place (he is the father of my bro in law). So.. it wasn't the Ondes Martenot (when we talked) but it is the Ondioline ( Both have a speaker wich must've been the confusion. They are yes, similar and I was equally impressed! The Ondioline is one of the first synths ever built roughly speaking, invented in 1941 by the Frenchman Georges Jenny, and is a forerunner of today's synthesizers. Robert Moog was a pioneer and his modular stuff came to be around 1964. Truly an honour to see it!! Sadly it is in very rough condition and should be serviced but Chris wants to keep it as a museum piece. I can understand it but it took me a couple of weeks to get it haha.. I am a musician you know, this thing should be played and making drones with it..for hundreds of people to enjoy if not safe a few souls with the music but that’s but a personal opinion and my own emotion on this. Again I understand..

Much congratulations to Chris. A very impressive museum. A work covering decades of work and passion..

The Horror Waterphone, September 2016

Me and my Father made another Waterphone a while back but this new one is much better. Materials are bronze and copper. The welding was difficult: the materials are hard to weld well together unlike stainless steel. The waiting is rewarding though. The sound is rather cinematic and I often miss the deep long tones that can sound like a horn (Listen to the Megabass Waterphone for example). My echo has a shorter decay but in some way warmer, simply put it sounds different..two different waterphones. The echo grows a lot though when bowing all rods simultaneously and repeatedly. The instrument has quite a weight but it is a lush studio instrument!

Some waterharps are called the 'The Whaler', 'The Megabass', 'Orca' etc. I decided to call this one 'The Horror Waterphone' because simply that is how it sounds, ha! A Waterphone is known to sound eerie allready but you get the idea. 

Thank you Richard Waters, inventor of the Waterphone, true honour to play the waterphone..Thank you.

(Richard Waters - Sept. 9, 1935 - July 4, 2013)

Stringed Instrument (prototype), June 2016

A while back I handcrafted a stringed instrument. The idea came because of an old guitar I had here. I used the humbuckers from this and started to draw with pen and paper. Then with cardboard I drew measurements at real scale, so it started. The idea is to do it over and bring better aspects to the shape of the design and building it with more elegance (better wood and finish etc.), also smaller. Should be more pleasant too to play it. It can create beautiful drone sounds wich was my idea but becomes a mess easily too because of the string positions. The strings are made from bronze. My Father helped me when I started to string it up. The pull is a lot of force and is not to be underestimated, wich I did. It would had eventually bow. My idea was good too but he made a metal shape to hold inside wich is way stronger. 

Still no name but it sounds sometimes like something deep..and creepy often.

The instrument needs to be played through echo/ reverberation.