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Shapes, designs and materials of jaw harps motivate Steev Kindwald to always new, creative creations. He is particularly taken with the traditional Susap plucking jaw harp, which is played by numerous peoples on Papua, mostly in bridal courtship. The Susaps are traditionally made of bamboo or palm wood.
The playing technique of the Susap is very special, as it is plucked towards the face. The narrow end of the reed is placed on the slightly open lips, while the string is used to pluck towards the nose. The mouth serves as a resonator and by modulating the air through the opening of the mouth, the movement of the tongue or the larynx the tones can be varied. This requires a certain amount of experience or practice, but then the playing itself and the percussive sound are especially enjoyable.
Steev made the Susap Giluwe from Japanese Madake bamboo, which is also used in the Shakuhachi flutes. He has roasted the already dried bamboo in several steps over fire in order to make it more sturdy, removed the bamboo skin and decorated the inside. The result is a particularly beautiful and well-balanced jaw harp.
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