Wednesday, 24 November 2010 15:30

Timbre Presents

Art in Preview

While it may be deemed to be the simplest of instruments - there is no denying that a well-made drum can be a thing of beauty. Not just aurally, where a single hit can suggest the rhythm to follow but also visually. Just ask Timbre Percussion's Raymond Turner, who has handcrafted nine cajon drums that have since been decorated by a variety of visual artists spanning the length of the country. Native to Peru, they are unlike most other drums in that they are made entirely of wood.

Coupled with their speakerbox-like structure, it gives the drums a distinctive look and sound - and they also provide the perfect canvas for art. Turner - who has a history in both fine art and joinery - sourced recycled timber to make each instrument, before sending them away to be transformed by the artists. “Each one probably takes a full week to make but you spend time beforehand sourcing the material and preparing it,” Turner says. “Then you pretty much focus only on making the drum … before sending it to the artist. But some of them have used oil-based paints, and that has affected the sound, so I have had to work with the drum again to get the sound right.”

The artists have each applied their individual style to a drum and these serve as the centrepiece for the ‘Timbre Presents’ launch at Metro Arts. “There is a good network of artists taking part in the exhibition … and there are a whole range of different styles on display,” Turner says. “We have painters and there is also tattoo art, fine art, graffiti and screen printing.”

The launch will not only show off the work done on the drums by Turner and the artists, but the opening night will host performances from local West End musicians, highlighting the versatility of the cajon.
“There will be a live performance on the night, and an ensemble will showcase the warm tones that can be achieved with the cajon,” Turner says. Turner said he also wanted to encourage people to get in touch with their percussive side and so will lay out a number of his instruments for people to pick up and play at the launch.

The ‘Timbre Presents’ launch will take place at Metro Arts on November 26. The exhibition will run through until December 3.



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