Hello Kindred Spirits! My name is Brynn, and I am the creator of Kindred Spirit Steel Drums, an instrument fabrication company founded in November of 2014. We are lucky to be at the forefront of producing a new kind of instrument that is growing in popularity and gaining larger traction with musicians everyday. I discovered melodic steel percussion in the winter of 2013, and from the first moment I laid my eyes and ears on these instruments, I was completely captivated. From the enthralling sound they create, to their smooth and symmetrical forms, all aspects of these instruments drew me in, exciting my mind and igniting my curiosity.
When I look back to where I started all those years ago, and see where Kindred has evolved to now, the word that comes to mind is gratitude. I am grateful for everyone that has come into my path, helping me to succeed and to be able to do what I love everyday. Each of the instruments I create is a physical manifestation of this gratitude; a heartfelt thank you to the world we share, and for everything and everyone in it. I hope when you play your instrument you will feel the same sense of wonder, love, and gratitude that I experienced while making it for you.
At Kindred Spirit Steel Drums we are striving to create "Vitality Through Sound”.
Vitality means to be in a state of “Strength, action and energy” which I feel comes with the excitement of playing a Steel Tongue Drum, Tonguepan or Handpan. The world is in great need of a resurrection of the unhindered experimentation with music, to return vitality to the people, and to help remove the apathy that the modern-world seems to foster in the human psyche.
Today there is a separation in our society between music players and music listeners and this does a great disservice to the collective consciousness as a whole. The ability to freely create music is one of the most healing things we can do as humans, as music has been a vehicle for spirituality and personal growth for thousands of years.
Hand-based Steel percussion has the ability to create a connection between the player and their own inner-world regardless of age or musical experience. They can be used to attain a deep meditative state, for sound healing purposes, and for the care-free experimentation with music. In this way, I believe Steel Tongue Drums, Tonguepans and Handpans can be a vehicle for transcendence and healing in ways that other instruments cannot.
I feel there is something very special about steel instruments, that resonates on a deep and profound note for many people. Iron and subsequently steel are children of the industrial age of humanity, and they have helped our species attain heights of technological precision that were thought impossible for many generations. For this reason, steel holds a special place in the roots of our collective imagination and is a visible achievement in many different facets of human endeavours.
Thank-you for considering Kindred Spirit Steel Drums. May we soar to ever greater heights, on the wings of singing steel.
Meet Our Staff!
Ivy is a tuner, patina expert and finisher extraordinaire here at our workshop...though her vast skills go far beyond what is mentioned here. Originally from Texada Island, and now a resident of the Sunshine Coast, she comes from a highly musical family and has a very good ear for tuning. She also has a keen eye for finishing details, and was integral in getting our workshop rebuilt in the spring of 2019, and set up with all the new processes we are using today. Ivy is in charge of most of the organizational aspects here at our shop, and is the shipping manager. If your package has been shipped, she will have had a hand on it!
Her 3 favourite things are rainbows, ravens and rocks from Shingle beach on Texada island.
Meet Baeden Shendebray!
Baeden is my current full time apprentice, and is a beloved Sunshine Coast local. He comes from some very diverse roots, and his family has ties through his grandmother to Trinidad, the birth place of the steel pan, and the inspiration for what we are creating today. Baeden has been learning a lot about the world of singing steel since he started working with us last year. From the initial fabrication of the shells, all the way through to the fine-tuning of overtones, each instrument we send out has undoubtedly been touched by his hands. I am excited to see what we can create with his highly developed ear and endless imagination.
His 3 favourite things are cheese, linguistics and old jazz classics.
Baeden is also a very gifted musician, and offers online music lessons, on various instruments for those who may want to expand their musicality.
Our Production Process
Our production facility is located in Roberts Creek on the Sunshine Coast, which is a beautiful peninsula on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada. The Sunshine Coast is on the traditional and unceded territories of the Squamish (skwxwú7mesh), the Sechelt (shíshálh), the Tla’amin and Klahoose nations, whose people dwelt here long before the arrival of European settlers.
Our beautiful range of melodic steel instruments has been developed over the last 5 years as we have researched and explored the sounds of singing steel. We have worked hard to provide the most refined playing experience possible, and know you'll love our products just as much as we have loved making them. Our greatest wish is that these musical tools will help create "vitality through sound" for those who need to hear it most.
Our instruments begin their journey as various raw blanks. Carbon steel, high-carbon, and stainless are just some of the materials we use for our products. Each material type provides a specific purposes for our products, and we have spent many hours defining the best material for each instrument series. Our steel blanks are then processed with a waterjet cutting machine, using our own proprietary tongue layouts, with ratios we have developed over many years of experimentation and research. We then pre-tune, and hand-hammer every tongue for best timbre.
Once we are satisfied with our pre-tuning, the shell geometry and note construction, our instruments head into our forge to get the first heat treatment in a multi-level heat treatment process. We find this process gives our products the best sound and longest sustain. The different materials we use all react in unique ways to the heating processes we use, and each heating cycle is unique to each instrument.
The Birth Of Ripple Sound Sculptures
Last year I filed a successful trademark application for the name under which my Handpans will be produced and managed: "Ripple Sound Sculptures". I wanted them to have an identity separate from Kindred Spirit Steel Drums, as each new handpan brought into the world has it's own unique sound and feel as production methods can vary a lot between makers. Globally these instruments are known as either "Handpans","Pantams" or "Sound Sculptures", and taking that into consideration I have chosen the name "Ripple Sound Sculptures" for the next phase of growth for my company.
When I first heard the sound of these instruments, and subsequently fell in love, I was blown away by the exquisite timbre they have. From the soaring "wah" sound, moving from point-source to larger waveform like a ripple, it was completely captivating. Pairing this rippled sound form with the aesthetics (layered circles in geometric harmony when viewed from above), and the liquid-like "light-touch-cool-feel" of connecting with the steel, and you can begin to see how I began to formulate the intention behind this creation. These instruments have always generated the image, feel and sound of water droplets striking a tranquil surface, and this is why I have chosen the name "Ripple Sound Sculptures".
These last 5 years have been an extreme labour of love walking the path to create viable forms of singing steel, and although it has been quite difficult at times, I feel that this year I will achieve all the goals I set out to accomplish. One day soon my sound sculptures will be at the level of refinement that I will feel comfortable sharing them with the world, and at that time the world will have its first Ripple.
With A Deep Bow Of Gratitude,
Founder, Kindred Spirit Steel Drums
Ripple Sound Sculptures