El Bombo πŸͺ˜

Latin Percussion 16″ Bombo

I recently added a very cool hand drum to my ever-growing list of things to hit. LP (Latin Percussion) recently added it to their so-called ‘world percussion’ line of instruments.

The term Bombo applies to a broad range of large drums derived from the European bass drum, often played by large orchestras’ percussion sections. The specific make of the instrument depends on the regional tradition.

The drum is a beast, and I had to make a heavy, custom stand to bring it to the playing height of my other drums. It has a natural 16-inch drum head secured like a traditional conga drum. The head is so big that you can get a rebound like playing with sticks! The tonal differences between the three traditional types of strokesβ€”slap, open tone, and marchaβ€”are superb!

Puerto Rican musicians play Barril de Bombas.

More accurately, this is called a Barril de bomba and comes from Puerto Rico. It is meant to be played sitting down with the drum tilted forward while playing. Two are used in traditional music from that region, one playing a constant beat while the other plays over the rhythm.

Bombo legΓΌero πŸͺ˜

This was actually my second Bombo. I’ve had the first one for a while now. It is very different than this one. It comes from Argentina, has a horse-hide head (complete with fur), and is tuned with a rope. More accurately, it is called a Bombo legΓΌero. It is the traditional bass drum in music from that region. It is played with beaters and has a very low, muffled thud when placed. It also looks great in my living room!


Merkabah Crystal

Play the sounds….

Merkaba, also spelled Merkabah, comes from a Hebrew word meaning chariot or vehicle and can also be defined as light, spirit, or body. The origin of Merkabah is attributed to the Old Testament prophet Ezekiel, who described his vision of the throne of God, or Merkabah.


The Merkaba Symbol is a shape made of two intersecting tetrahedrons that spin in opposite directions, creating a three-dimensional energy field. Hidden within these combined tetrahedrons is the whole divine self and divine knowledge. The star tetrahedron is a 3D representation of the Star of David. This shape is believed to be a tool to aid us in merging with the Source, helping us connect our ethereal and physical bodies.

The Merkaba is a powerful protection tool for light-seeking and deep healing. According to its description, “From helping activate your third eye chakra to encouraging you to access higher dimensions and embrace unconditional love, there’s a lot in store for those who welcome the Merkaba star into their lives.”


Merkaba Crystal

Crystal Merkabas are made of pure Quartz Crystal. According to Gongs Unlimited:

“Mer” means Light, “Ka” means Spirit, and “Ba” means Body.

Merkabas represent the spirit and body surrounded by fields of light that transport energy from one dimension to another. Each combines and embodies the raw elemental and spiritual power of Quartz and the Merkaba.

Quartz has long been sought after for its spiritual and energetic healing qualities. It is known to have Piezoelectrical properties. Piezoelectricity is an electric charge that accumulates in crystals in response to applied mechanical stress, like pressure and heat, which converts into an electric charge. Clocks, record players, and all kinds of other technology have used piezoelectric crystals. Crystal healers use them to help regulate and balance their spiritual energy and EMF field.

When used in meditation, a Merkaba-shaped crystal enables one to experience expanded awareness, connect with one’s Higher Self, and achieve elevated states of consciousness.

The Dude Abides!


I have been working on some videos from our recent Excellent Adventure. I use iMovie, which is quite good once you get the hang of it. It has a good library of sounds, including music, but they really do not fit my style.

At the same time, I have been hunting for a good audio source to accompany my drumming. I can produce drone-like sounds typical of the Didgeridoo on my electronic drums. I like that it provides a backdrop without forcing me into a set rhythm or tempo.

Finally, I have been sleeping with white noise for many years now. I found that playing the background noise in the house adds a very pleasant yet non-intrusive touch.

Along comes myNoise. It was developed by a Dutch guy who is really crazy about sounds. Travels all over the world, recording and collaborating with other like-minded people. The result is like the answer to my dreams.

Sample Indian Drone

There is a catalog of hundreds of different titles. Each title can be manipulated to add, remove, or change the level of different components of the sound with slider controls. The slider controls can be animated to change levels over time cyclically. Pitch can be accurately controlled. You can play multiple titles together to create combined sounds. It is truly a remarkable piece of programming.

Lark’s Tounge in Aspic turns 50

As discussed elsewhere, modern music has long been a passion for me. Early on I was drawn to artists and bands that were unusual. Fancying myself a musician of sorts (aka a drummer!), I was also intrigued by the technical mastery of the musicians playing.

In The Court of the Crimson King

I was fascinated with King Crimson’s first album In The Court of Crimson King – especially the song 21st Century Schizoid Man. I had never heard anything like it. Led by guitar player Robert Fripp, the band had a broad musical palette and excellent musicianship. The album cover also stood out with the 21st Schizoid Man himself making an appearance. I remember bringing the album into school for a class where the teacher let us play songs we liked (it was a civics class!). The teacher – Coach Kelley – couldn’t get over the album cover 🀩.

After that Fripp & his varied band members produced several good albums including In the Wake of Poseidon, Islands, and Lizard.

After Yes’ legendary Close to the Edge was released in 1972, drummer Bill Bruford left for King Crimson. He joined King Crimson together with an amazing percussionist and Buddhist monk Jamie Muir, a violinist David Cross and an amazing bass player and singer John Wetton. I was a huge Yes fan and disappointed he left Yes, but he more than made up for it with what he did in King Crimson from that point forward.

Muir, Fripp, Cross, and Buford recording Lark’s Tongue in Aspic. Check out Jamie Muir’s eclectic set on the left with a big sheet of metal as a hi-hat!

They released Lark’s Tongue in Aspic in 1973 about the time I graduated from high school. At that point, I was very heavily influenced by progressive rock and jazz fusion. I was a purveyor of unusual-sounding instruments, complex compositions, and highly skilled musicianship. This album fits the bill nicely!

Lark’s Tongue in Aspic, Part I

I was also struck by the name and album artwork. Lark’s Tongue in Aspic is a legendary culinary delicacy with the added aspect of requiring an untold number of beautiful, delicate songbirds to sacrifice their fucking tongues. It was apparently invented by the Romans – or at least as myths would tell. Can you imagine?

Please pass the Lark’s Tounge, my dear!

In my mind, as well as others, it represents obscene excess. Stories are told about how courtiers would sit for hours watching French royalty eat meals like this prepared to try and impress them. Like some kind of really fucked up circus.

Sort of reminds me of what internet billionaires are doing now. The ultimate in excess and instant gratification, without anything but token regard as to environmental and societal consequences. At the same time, social media ready to spew vitriol to secure the spot for the next generation of influencers 🀑. 21st Century Schizoid Man and Lark’s Tongue in Aspic, indeed.

The Excellent Adventure
The Excellent Adventure

In stark contrast to this is the gorgeous album artwork. In my mind, it brings together humanity and nature in a powerful way. It has always been a favorite up there with Yes’ Fragile. When I moved back to Florida ten years ago I quickly landed on this becoming my own personal sigil.

Brother Sun and Sister Moon.

🌜Dear Moon*

What’s not to love about Peter? He takes his time but nobody can craft songs like this guy…

β€˜Some of what I’m writing about this time is the idea that we seem incredibly capable of destroying the planet that gave us birth and that unless we find ways to reconnect ourselves to nature and to the natural world we are going to lose a lot. A simple way of thinking about where we fit in to all of this is looking up at the sky… and the moon has always drawn me to it.’

Peter Gabriel – New Release 2023

Check this out:


* This is also fucking awesome: dearMoon Project