Inspired by the African Marimbula, a large resonating chamber with tuned metal keys, the ∼Cloud Nine∼ Marimbula uses a different shape and tuned wooden keys to produce a sound similar to the plucked upright bass.
This new instrument offers powerful profound acoustic bass tones. Playing technique is simple, plucking the wooden keys to suit the music. The keys may be retuned to accomodate any musical mode, it is tuned F, C, G, D, A, E, B as new. This circle of fifths pattern makes basic accompaniement simple, find I and IV and V are on either side. Tuning is precise, and is accomplished by sliding the keys in or out to raise or lower the pitch.
More about the Marimbula!
Michael Sisson, Ph.D., has written a very informative essay which details the history of the marimbula, and also includes a guide to playing the instrument!
The ∼Cloud Nine∼ Marimbula may be held for playing between the knees like a cello or in any other way that suits the player. Some hold it on the lap, others play with the instrument lying flat. The best most powerful sound results when the top and back are free to vibrate, and the instrument is close to the floor. The body is 30" tall, 24" wide, and 6" deep; weight is 8 lbs.
A cello endpin is available which allows the playing height of the instrument to be adjusted to suit the player. This involves installing an internal tail block during manufacture which supports the endpin assembly. The cello endpin is removable.
The ∼Cloud Nine∼ Marimbula is available in three different models: