Ever heard the word “Darbuka” before, or even came across a musician blasting the tunes from a Darbuka? “Darbuka” is the name given to the drum used to create those oriental tunes we all love; indeed, the Darbuka is an integral part of our musical and cultural heritage.
There is one problem, however, with the Drabuka: the top part in some Darbukas – i.e. the part that produces the sound – is made from animal skin. This means that it can be easily influenced by weather changes and other external stimuli. Indeed, exposure to certain elements– like humidity – may render the instrument unplayable (unless, of course, the animal skin is heated and left to dry). Given all this, the Darbuka is a very delicate instrument and maintaining one in pristine condition is often a daunting, and near-impossible, task.
This is where the innovative local invention, Tablona comes in to save the day! The creative name is a combination of two Arabic words: Tabla (the Arabic word for “drum”) and Balona (the Arabic word for “balloon”). As to how Tablona actually operates, it basically replaces the tension lost via humidity with air. This not only prevents the depreciation of the Darbuka, it also allows Darbuka players to adjust the tension of the skin in only a few seconds. As such, Tablona is a reliable and time-saving invention, as it does not require heating for the purpose of tuning. Given all this, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Tablona has been praised by some of the world’s best Darbuka players.
Practicality and innovation aside, the thing we love most about Tablona is the inspiration behind the invention. As part of his strong belief in maintaining our Egyptian heritage and local culture, Akram Al Sharif – composer, music producer, Darbuka-maker, and one of the founders of Cairo Jazz Club – has decided on preserving the essence and sound of our old traditions by creating Tablona. Given all this, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Tablona has been praised by some of the world’s best Darbuka players.
Al Sharif has already been producing Tablona on a very small scale, out of his own house. Al Sharif. However, is dreaming of starting a sustainable production line for his invention by establishing a factory in El Gouna, Hurghada. In the factory, Al Sharif would create the Tablona from scratch and would need to a hire a minimum of 10 staff members.
All you need to do in order to support the first inflatable Tabla in the world, and keep both your heritage and traditions alive, is visit the project’s profile on Zoomaal Crow Funding by clinking this link.
That being said, there are only 20 days left folks for you to give Al Sharif a helping “hand” (pun intended)!