The Triolin is an acoustic bowed metal instrument designed and built by Hal Rammel in 1991. He has described it as a nail violin gone awry. Thin metal rods sit perpendicular in a circular arrangement on the top surface of a triangular wooden resonator and the instrument is held in the other hand by an ornately carved chair leg attached to the bottom of the resonator. Thus, the rods can be bowed as the entire instrument twists and spins underneath. Several years later, when he began to experiment with amplification inspired by the live electronics of cellist Russell Thorne and the amplified table top arrays of Hugh Davies, he attached wooden rods to a flat wooden artist's palette. His amplified palette can be heard on the 1994 CD Elsewheres(Penumbra Music) and, more recently, on "Like Water, Tightly Wound" (a Crouton Records 10"). In 2013 the triolin and four amplified palettes by Hal Rammel were added to the permanent collection of the National Music Museum in Vermillion, South Dakota along with many other acoustic instruments he performed with in the 1990s in Chicago.
Recordings of Rammel's music created with the triolin has been published by Penumbra Records, a Wisconsin-based label dedicated solely to experimental music. The instrument is featured in CDs with John Corbett, Van's Peppy Syncopators (his trio with John Corbett and Terri Kapsalis), and Steve Nelson-Raney. There are a total of thirteen compact discs from this label, some of which feature Hal Rammel. His CDs on other labels can be found through the site as well. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triolin
Science has made it quite clear that drumming has some profound and holistic uses to enhance physical, mental and emotional health, as demonstrated in a series of studies and research papers.
Immune boosting and stress reducing: Drumming has been found to increase immunity whilst reducing stress, a condition which plagues the 9-5 work-centric environment of Western culture. A paper published by researchers at the Meadville Medical Center’s Mind-Body Wellness Center in 2001 notes: “Drum circles have been part of healing rituals in many cultures throughout the world since antiquity.” A total of 111 age and sex matched volunteers (55 men and 56 women) were recruited for the Meadville study. Group drumming was found to result in increased immunity, boosting natural killer cell activity and increasing lymphokine-activated killer cell activity. A reduction in the stress hormone cortisol was also found.
Reduced blood pressure: A 2014 study on the benefits of djembe drumming published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine found that drumming may improve cardiovascular health due to the physical nature of playing the instrument, without posing the risk to unhealthy or older populations that may be experienced with more intense forms of exercise. The same study also determined significant decreases in stress and anxiety in both middle-aged and younger drummers.
Reduced pain: A 2012 study published in Evolutionary Psychology, conducted by the University of Oxford’s Department of Experimental Psychology, details how the act of performing of music — as opposed to passively listening — elevates the pain threshold and is connected with endorphin release. The researchers concluded that it was the “active performance of music that generates the endorphin high, not the music itself.”
Transcendental experiences: A 2014 study conducted by the Department of Cognitive Biology at the University of Austria in Vienna states: “Exposure to repetitive drumming combined with instructions for shamanic journeying has been associated with physiological and therapeutic effects.” As well as “a significant decrease” in levels of the stress hormone cortisol, volunteers who were exposed to repetitive drumming combined with shamanic instructions reported experiencing “heaviness, decreased heart rate and dreamlike experiences.”
Increases white matter within brain: A 2014 study on the therapeutic benefits of drumming and rhythm exercises for patients with Huntington’s disease, found that after two months of instruction “improvements in executive function and changes in white matter microstructure” were observed.
Improves socio-emotional disorders: A 2001 study published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine hones in on how group drumming can impact low-income youth whose social and emotional problems are linked to chronic stress. The authors note that, “Drumming is a non-verbal, universal activity that builds upon a collectivistic aspect of diverse cultures and does not bear the stigma of therapy.” Following 12 weeks of school counselor-led drumming, vast improvements were observed in disorders such as anxiety and PTSD. The authors concluded that the findings “underscore the potential value of the arts as a therapeutic tool.”
by Luke Sumpter Flickr