Music

Unique Yaybahar acoustic instrument sounds like a digital space violin

Unique Yaybahar acoustic instr...
Gorkem Sen's extraordinary Yaybahar: an acoustic instrument that sounds like a digital synth
Gorkem Sen's extraordinary Yaybahar: an acoustic instrument that sounds like a digital synth
View 2 Images
Gorkem Sen's extraordinary Yaybahar: an acoustic instrument that sounds like a digital synth
1/2
Gorkem Sen's extraordinary Yaybahar: an acoustic instrument that sounds like a digital synth
Gorkem Sen's extraordinary Yaybahar: an acoustic instrument that sounds like a digital synth
2/2
Gorkem Sen's extraordinary Yaybahar: an acoustic instrument that sounds like a digital synth

Here's one out of left field. Turkish musician Gorkem Sen has invented a new kind of musical instrument that incorporates fretted strings, coiled springs and drum membranes to create a range of haunting, evocative and beautiful sounds we've never heard before – at least, not this side of a synthesizer.

In an extraordinary video we've embedded below, Sen demonstrates how you can scrape or hit the springs for space-like sound effects, or beat the drum membranes to hear reverberations pass up and down the springs. But these merely sound like atmospheric sci-fi sound effects. Where the Yaybahar really takes off is when he starts bowing the fretted strings. The sound is like a distorted middle-eastern violin, with a wild springy echo and reverb.

Harmonics in particular sound absolutely amazing, and when Sen begins plucking the strings at around 3:45 in the video, the echos sound incredible, beginning to emulate a police siren as they course up and down the springs. He's recorded it using two digital Zoom H4N recorders, and the effect is even more evocative in a set of headphones.

This thing would make a stunning addition to an orchestra – if it's loud enough for the unique overtones to come through, and indeed if you could fit it on a concert hall stage!

Source: Yaybahar

Yaybahar by Gorkem Sen

20 comments
Forest Fab
WOW!
Rehab
Does Jack White know about this?
Milton
the movie industry needs to hire this guy. They could use this sound in a LOT of films.
Geoff Lemon
Pink Floyd would kill for this.
Caveat Emptor
Interesting and really different, but just a comment on the title "sounds like a digital space violin"... In the space there's no atmosphere, so no sounds can be heard.
Mel Tisdale
It must be a bit of a bother taking it on the bus to gigs.
windykites
I would imagine that these sounds could be synthesised, but it is an intriguing instrument. No neighbours, presumably?
Soylent
Pink Floyd, definitely, also Dead Can Dance.
Bob Ehresman
Plant and Page would love this!
Art Toegemann
Hard to believe these sounds are made without electronic effects, in post production say. But, that is the point. Hmmm...