Monday, February 27, 2012

Don't Settle for Boring White Tubes!

I'd posted earlier about Heather Stoker's great Bass tubes:

Now here comes more painted tubes, from the collection of Val Barton Ellet:

The marimba was built by the Ellet clan. A veritable rainbow of colors.

Here is a set of Bourne Marimba tubes with tons of color, creatively 
dripped by one of Val Barton Ellet's 5th graders. WAY better than plain vanilla!

Chromatic Bass

Was cleaning up the office and came across these shots from several years back - a Chromatic Bass Marimba I built for a school in Federal Way, WA. These are a blast to play, makes you want to join a band. A real handful to set up and transport, with lots of odd parts to fit together!

Note the angled bass tubes, otherwise this unit would be 6 feet tall.

..... not sure the angle cut on the tubes for the sharps and flats was necessary, but it looks cool.

... kind of has an Art Nouveau look about it.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Friday, February 24, 2012

Last Day in Antigua

Five Marimbas built and delivered in ten days and now one day off. First things first:

Rendevous Beach is reachable by boat or on foot (a mile walk). 
I had it all to myself all morning. Hard to leave a place when it is all your own.

Then, off to Island Academy to see the completed instruments in situ.

Teacher Gilly with her son Jack and friend Alex - natural musicians.

Some 5th graders with new Lowriders. Gilly says the new instruments are 
already having beneficial classroom effect.

Next, a late afternoon visit to Half Moon Beach, site of the only glitch in my visit. 
An unexpected wave stole my prescription shades! Fortunately this shot was taken 
BEFORE the event, thus it is in focus. The rest of the afternoon was an impressionistic painting. 

Two beaches in one day!

Afterward I bought pizza for all at Famous Mauro's. 
Best pizza this side of Village Pizza in Roslyn, Washington.

And finally, a parting message (click to expand):

this spotted on the road to Rendevous Beach.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Day at the Races

Started out with a hike along the bluff....

Yachts of various sizes and types congregate for the big race: The RORC 600, a 600 mile race that ranks as one of the world's most prestigious.

A buoy forms the starting line with the judges tent near our bluff. At 11AM the judges fire the cannon and off they go.

Four different classes leave at 10 minute intervals, from catamarans to the really big boys:

Click this shot for fuller size to see the furious onboard activity. The winners will be first to return to English Harbor in around 40 hours.

Monday, February 20, 2012


The 5th graders arrive
 Last Thursday was payday. That is to say the 5th graders from Island Academy paid a visit to the shop to see their newly completed Baritone.

First contact
The first instinct is to touch and tap the new instrument. Makes for a very interesting sound.

Everyone takes a turn
Following my demo and question answering, everyone gets a chance to try it out.

Post demo
 Apparently I and the instrument passed muster.

Afterwards, we posed with shop owner and parent Andrew.

One marimba down, four more to go.....

Saturday, February 18, 2012

You are correct Professor Corey!

Two thin panels glued together. Wrap in plastic, duct tape completely and pump out the air. (Subject's head cropped to protect privacy)

Two blue stars for you ...

if you can guess what these boat wrights at Woodstock Boats in Antigua are doing.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Antigua from the Inside

So now I've been in this tropical destination for five full days and have yet to hit a beach or hear a steel drum band. Haven't quaffed any rum daiquiris with an umbrella swizzler either. I'm too busy working to get ahead of the curve on the assigned duty that brought me here - working next to boat wrights from around the world and performing my awkward daily interactions with the locals. Shuffling home to meet Gilly for a sporty drive into St. Johns to rustle up some tone woods, (rumour had it the best lumber was available at an unsigned  seafood outlet) I passed the Risk Takers Superette and appreciated that I am experiencing a new land from the inside, as a working stiff mingling on equal (if less confident) terms with the island working class. So as any teacher in an international school knows, I will leave with a fuller sense of the place than I could get from the deck of a cruise ship and the window of a tour bus. Still, I am on track for at least couple days sightseeing.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Working in Antigua

Got to the island a couple days ago and have been quite busy getting a handle on the work situation. Here's home for the next two weeks....

...the estate of Gilly and Jay Rainey - music teacher and commercial photog.Great folks, great family. Gilly drove me about today to track down a much needed random orbital sander. We ended up at Mike's house - he's a teacher also and has this view out his veranda:

.... Sheesh! Other views in the neighborhood:

Gilly and "The View"
Tom and another view
OK, time to go to work:


At Woodstock Boats. If I kick butt here for a few days and finish my assignment I can earn a few more days seeing more sights, maybe visiting a neighboring island or two. Hopefully I will finish just as Patty arrives.

So here's my world for the next week plus. Hey, not everything in paradise is glamorous.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Warning: Gloat Alert!

If you need to contact me in February....

.......  my "office" will be somewhere in this environ. This is a working vacation, as I will be on location here to build 5 instruments for a local school. Can you guess what part of the world this is?

Also this month, within a few days in fact, I should have my work schedule for the coming year worked out, so that patient customers can finally know when they will get their instruments!