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A herd of Huaca on the loose

Invented in 1980 by Sharon Rowell in the California bay area, this multiple chambered pan-cultural vessel flute, based on the thousands of years old idea of sound in clay, is a radical innovation. Chambers are tuned to a specific key and to each other in a tempered fashion like the piano. The shape of the instrument reminds some of lungs or the heart, while the finish looks ancient and earthy. The huaca has three large chambers with a split mouthpiece allowing one, two or three notes to be played simultaneously.

The premiere composer of the Huaca is Alan Tower. Some of his specially commissioned Huaca's have all three chambers tuned to different musical scales, providing the potential for more unusual harmonies.

Alan Tower has released a solo Huaca CD, a 6 year project also containing sounds of unknown origin, many of them from the depths of the oceans. The CD "Waves" is released through his non-profit organization Octave Alliance

Octave Alliance is a nature/world music record label, as well as a resource network for musicians interested in social change.

Click here to listen to a sample from Waves

More sound samples available at Octave Alliance

You can buy the CD here or email Alan directly to save a couple dollars: atower@casmail.ucsf.edu


All proceeds benefit Octave Alliance


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