Dima Babayev is a young jaw harp master blacksmith from Saint Petersburg (Russia) whose hand-forged instruments are among the world's best mouth harps. For more than 13 years Dima has been forging jaw harps now. In this year's Vargan Makers Competition he took first place with his instruments in the overall evaluation. He even could outpace the time-honored competition from Yakutia.
We want to help Dima Babayev publicize his crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo and find more supporters to improve his workshop and buy new machines.
Dima is interested not only in the production of Vargan (Russian: jaw harps), but also in the development of the mouth harp culture. He is keen to improve existing manufacturing technologies and to establish new ones, to provide stage performers with the best sound instruments and to take part in projects of interest to cultural history, i.e. the replication of old Russian jaw harp finds from the 14th/15th century.
Dima has decided to participate in the development of a "mouth harp culture" because he sees it as a tool that can connect age groups and nations: "In Russia the Vargan had its widest circulation in the 19th century. I think that this great instrument is almost forgotten nowadays and I try to do everything that people can be inspired by the sound of the jaw harp and get the opportunity to play it." In addition to the high sound quality, Dima tries to offer a wide range of models so that both beginners and experienced mouth harpers can enjoy their instruments. For collectors Dima manufactures particularly beautiful and elaborate models with unique designs.
Now, Dima needs help to buy new, better tools that help simplifying the manufacturing process, working faster and more precisely and focussing on the most important issues: sound quality and design. He has a lot of ideas for new series and beautiful unique pieces, which are cheaper to make by using new, high quality tools.
For this purpose Dima and his assistant Daria have initiated a crowdfunding campaign at Indiegogo for his new workshop, which ends on 14 January 2017. As a reward for your donation you can not only expect a lot of small perks, but also individual mouth harps, which are customized to your needs and even complete mouth harp sets.
More information about the campaign can be found on the Indiegogo project page and in Facebook. You can listen to Dimas Vargans at Soundcloud. In Vimeo you can watch a well done feature about Dima Babayev making a jaw harp.
Unfortunately, we do not have any jaw harps by Dima Babayev in our shop, but they are already in work :-)