I don’t often do custom work, primarily because clients typically don’t know what materials are available, or what limitations are necessary to maintain the integrity of the instrument in creating their vision. MG of Norwalk CA. persuaded me to depart from that policy because one, he was willing to help in the build, and two, has a vast knowledge of Mesoamerican history and culture. It was too interesting to turn down.
This instrument is cut from a Peruvian hardwood known as Huangana Negra, and is one of my favorite tonewoods. It is tuned to Em, with a 1” bore diameter. Materials used to form the mouthpiece, include macassar ebony, curly maple, and purple heart, while each side of the compression chamber is accented with 19mm discs of SE Asian amboynia burl, and 6mm round abalone cabs. lThe fetish block is cut from the HG, to include overlays of two varieties of abalone, yew, mappa burl, and additional purple heart. 6mm amber cabs are set to both the head of the fetish and the sound chamber, while the eyes of the bird are set with 2.3mm hematite beads. Lastly, both the oval and teardrop spiderweb turquoise cabs set to the sound chamber and mouthpiece were mined at Battle Mtn. NV.