If you are a drummer or musician or just love percussion and you are ever in Bali (or on line) you owe it to yourself to check out Bali Treasures. I was recently in Ubud Bali where I had the pleasure to meet the owner of the Bali Treasures retail store Ed A. Balma. Ed also is owner of what is probably the worlds largest djembe manufacturingcompany.
The store is in Ubud and is filled with every kind of percussion instrument you could imagine or ever want and I was in heaven. You could spend days in there playing all the different percussion instruments and experimenting with their different sounds, textures and styles. As a collector of percussion instruments for over 30 years I really appreciated this incredible variety of percussion effects and toys! A percussionists and djembe players dream come true. There is Middle Eastern instruments as well as a full range of West African drums, too. Every size shape colour and type of djembe is right there for you to try! There are digeridoos, rainsticks, kalimbas, gongs, chimes, you name it!
I gave an informal drum class with his workers. Everyone had knowledge of the west african instruments and could play. What a pleasure to teach them! We played Kassa, Diansa, Soli Slow, Wolosodon and othr Guinee and Mali djembe and dunun music, too. You can see the videos on youtube or here on my blog.
We played the Toca bound djembes and dununs both in wood and the new PVC with fibre heads. Both wood and fibre drums sounded great. The wood drums in Bali keep getting better and better. Every time I return to Bali I am surprised at how good they sound. From what I understand Ed is the sole provider of djembes to Toca.The drums Ed is producing are all from sustainable, replenishable wood supplies, not bootleg or smuggled in wood. The wood supplies are documented and checked regularly by the government. Unfortunately from what I am told, all of the other shops in Bali are using wood that is not sustainable.
What I love abut the PVC drums is they are so light, loud and you do not have to worry about the elements such as water, moisture, etc. If you live in a humid area, like to play on the beach or get water or rain on your drum then this may be the drum for you. The sound has gotten quite good n dhas come along way over the years as well. And for the purest, as far as I am concerned the wood shells Ed is producing and drums I have mentioned are ready to give the African shells a run for their money.
Ed and his staff are constantly developing new and unusual percussion instruments and new ideas on old concepts as well, I played a terrific talking drum as well as some new sheker inventions that really rocked my world!