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Presenting a new Creek musical instrument for the Green Corn Festival

Presenting a new Creek musical instrument for the Green Corn Festival

 

Ladies and gentlemen,  I present to you THE SLUG!

In March 2017, a tornado struck my cabin directly, ripping off the roof and rafters.  I looked up from the ceiling of the bathroom, where the dogs and I had taken refuge and soon saw stars . . . after the rain that followed the tornado had flooded the hovel and shorted out the power.  The tornado also blew down a Sugar Maple near my cabin.  A year ago, I cut out a 48″ curved section of the tree and began to carefully hollow it out.  The instrument was finished just as I was moving away from the Rat Hotel.

THE SLUG can reproduce the tones of at least 10 drums, so it sounds like several drummers are playing together.  I can get much more mellow tones, like a marimba, if I attach a guitar microphone to the Slug’s Belly.  However, so far, I have not figured out how to connect the mini-amplifier of the guitar mike to the Bus Port of my computer.  There is bound to be a way.

Here is my first attempt at recording the sounds of THE SLUG! Click the URL below:

Slugtest1

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Richard Thornton is a professional architect, city planner, author and museum exhibit designer-builder. He is today considered one of the nation’s leading experts on the Southeastern Indians. However, that was not always the case. While at Georgia Tech Richard was the first winner of the Barrett Fellowship, which enabled him to study Mesoamerican architecture and culture in Mexico under the auspices of the Institutio Nacional de Antropoligia e Historia. Dr. Roman Piňa-Chan, the famous archaeologist and director of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, was his fellowship coordinator. For decades afterward, he lectured at universities and professional societies around the Southeast on Mesoamerican architecture, while knowing very little about his own Creek heritage. Then he was hired to carry out projects for the Muscogee-Creek Nation in Oklahoma. The rest is history. Richard is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the KVWETV (Coweta) Creek Tribe and a member of the Perdido Bay Creek Tribe. In 2009 he was the architect for Oklahoma’s Trail of Tears Memorial at Council Oak Park in Tulsa. He is the president of the Apalache Foundation, which is sponsoring research into the advanced indigenous societies of the Lower Southeast.

7 Comments

  1. jamesrhodes666@msn.com'

    Now I recognize you as one of my music students!

    Reply
      • syblcranford@gmail.com'

        Hey Richard, you may have invented a new crazzz! Not bad for a drum and it is beautiful too.
        Market it. Loved listening to the drum. It has a very ancient sound to it also.
        Good going, Richard. You never cease to amaze us. lol

        Reply
  2. speakingarrow@gmail.com'

    Osda brother… aquaduliha. Guess I better get a downed tree and get to work. Love the sounds of the instrument.

    Reply
    • Niyaawe brother! The difference between The Slug and the Mesoamerican/Polynesian tongue drums that I carved four sound chambers instead of one.

      Reply
  3. duannkier@windstream.net'

    Oh my goodness! How awesome, but would like to have be able to see you play it as well! Can we expect some videos soon?

    Reply
    • There is no one to operate the video camera. I tried to get Seana the Wonder Pup to do it, but she started chewing on the leather strap instead.

      Reply

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