Michael Scott Jones — Massey University Wellington
Patō is a unique percussion instrument that brings the sound of the South Pacific into the modern digital environment. This new concept in drumming brings indigenous knowledge and performativity into a contemporary musical experience, allowing sampling and remixing for the digitally savvy muso who is looking for a Pasifika inflection.
Academic Brief - To ultimately diversify and enrich music and its creative process through rejuvenating and modernizing a traditional Tongan Lali (wooden drum) – enabling musicians to generate new sounds and offering a unique perspective for creation.
Personal Statement - Patō is tunable, generating at least two pitches simultaneously through a polyurethane resin pitch adjuster; digital through the use of an omnidirectional electronic pickup, and streamlined for portability, offering an enhanced and diverse perspective on the creation and experience of making music. The pickup is located in the left end cap where it is controlled with a rotating walnut disc. Patō’s electronic technology enables the drum to be connected to a computer and easily recorded. Patō also features a slideable tuner which alters the pitch of the drum at given points with circular mother
of pearl reference points - eliminating the need to manufacture multiple drums for various pitches. A polyurethane resin block sits underneath the walnut top of the tuner, and with a pinch, allows it to be easily moved and adjusted to the desired pitch. The cylindrical Maple body of Patō allows musicians to strike the drum from various angles, unlike the traditional Lali - enabling a wide range of possible tonal qualities.