These drums are classified both as idiophones (sonorous objects) or instruments whose bodies vibrate to produce sound and as aerophones (wind instruments) or instruments that enclose a vibrating body of air.
To begin to play all you need to do is drop the palm of your hand over one of the holes making sure you get a seal. This compression of air will create different sounds depending on the length of time you hold your hand there and the size and shape of the chamber.
Try filling the drums with beads or water to achieve different notes and sounds. Other effects can be achieved by tapping and slapping the rest of the drums surface or rubbing its textured areas. The sounds are infinite and only limited by imagination. Some people enjoy singing into the pods as they are great resonating chambers. They may also be played with drum kit brushes and rubber mallets if not used too hard!
In a performance situation one might want to use a condenser microphone to fully capture the drums range of sound. Since Podrums are quieter than skin drums I have found them to be perfect for apartment drumming or any other time that noise level is a concern.
Each Podrum is hand thrown on a potters wheel with a specially formulated, ever evolving clay body, fired in an electric kiln to give it strength and then reduction fired in a large can surrounded by recycled paper and a variety of dried vegetable matter including sage.
The carbon from the fire soaks into the clay to give it it's dark colors. This is not always the procedure but it is the norm.
The entire process from start to finish can take up to one month.
Of the hundreds of these that I have made, no two that are alike. They are often made in a series of at least seven so they have brothers and sisters but they all have their own characteristics and unique voice.
Listen for Podrums being played by many inspiring musicians, including Joseph "Pepe" Danza, (featured on his album Emerge and album with group JOU TOU), Mandido (on his album " Time on Our Hands" ), Sal Ferraras, T.H. "Vikku" Vinayakram, Russell Shumpsky, Paul Davis, Sheighna Anderson, Andreas Kahre, Louise Richardson, Alcvin Ramos, Barry Taylor, David Humphrey(Victoria Symphony).
Keith's Poddrums are for sale at The Kingsmill Studio Pottery, and at Banyen Books and Sound in Vancouver BC.
They were featured in the book "From Mud to Music" by Barry Hall.