Naga by Cameron Perry Fraser - Fall 2017

Naga is an electric metallophone consisting of five twelve-inch long high carbon steel bars. The bars are placed through a central axis point creating harmonic ratios determined by the displacement of each bar from the central axis. This creates a total of ten playing surfaces with ten possible pitch variants. Naga's variable tuning system uses wing-nuts to clamp each steel bar through a mahogany center bar. This fulcrum is centered on a twelve by twelve inch steel plate and framed in a mahogany box. The bars come in five different gauges, capable of wide tonal variation, between the thinnest and thickest high carbon steel bars. The thinner bars produce a springy tone which take advantage of the ferrous “spring steel” attributes, while the thicker bars have less spring, accenting deep infrasonic fundamental tones rather than the rich overtones characteristic of the thinner bars. The instrument is not acoustic and is meant only to be amplified. Under each of the ten playing surfaces is a custom wound pickup. Each pickup is connected to a volume and tone control potentiometer breakout box, which splits the signal into a left and right hemisphere. This allows for stereo interplay between the left and right sides of the center bar. This Naga is the newest iteration of several Naga metallophone instruments Cameron has created. These instruments are noted for their deep thundering bass and bell like overtones. Naga is named after the oft multi-headed snake deity whose importance is fundamental to many mythologies and their importance is central to Cameron’s instrument building cosmology.