Soma Laboratories brings us all sorts of wonderful nonsense and unexpected machines that can both delight and boggle us. Their latest creation is an Electro-Acoustic stringed instrument called Dvina.
What I’m really waiting for is the Pulsar Drum Machine. But until that arrives we have this extraordinarily simple 2-stringed instrument to ponder over. Made from a couple of pieces of wood, 2 strings and a wing nut it can generate amazingly emotive sounds when bowed or plucked. It was inspired by Hindustani classical music as you can see in the video below, but of course, it can play anything you like.
What’s interesting about it from a “gear” point of view is how the sound is captured. It doesn’t use a pickup. Instead, there’s a neodymium magnet built into the neck that generates a strong magnetic field in which the strings vibrations are converted into electric signals. The signal is then boosted by a step-up transformer. Dvina will come with a custom built pre-amp with a one-tap delay and soft distortion. You can also route it through whatever stomp boxes you like.
It’s a wonderfully simple instrument. Vlad Kreimer of Soma says: “Two sticks, two strings, no frets, it’s as simple as possible, everything unnecessary has been removed. It’s only you and your spirit, mastery and imagination. This is a very simple but powerful instrument, with a strong connection to your body.”
Dvina is lightweight and portable, you can just fold it away which they say is the only bowed instrument that can be assembled from pieces.
Soma is testing the water with this instrument. If there’s enough interest then they will be looking to manufacture Dvina with the transformer for around €200-€500 and then the pre-amp/delay-distortion for €200-€300. If this interests you then do let them know.