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About DAN MOI

In this category you can read all posts about DAN MOI World Music Instruments. We also try to gather all information about DAN MOI published in the press and media here.
  • Clemens from DAN MOI demonstrates more than 20 Jew's harps in the TV series "La ruta del trompe"

    In South America, the Jew's harp is called the "trompe". It was the bold idea of the Chilean architect, video artist and musician Nicolás Matzner Weisner to follow the Jew's harp on its way around the world. The result was eight 15-minute video episodes, the second series of which is already being aired on the Chilean TV station Canal 13 and which can be seen online at larutadeltrompe.com with English subtitles. It is rare to find such an unconventional and fascinating TV programme as "La ruta del Trompe". Clemens Voigt of DAN MOI was given the role of Jew's harp guru in the series.

    La ruta del trompe

    "La ruta del Trompe" goes in search of the origin of the Jew's harp. For this purpose Nicolás Matzner travels to various different cities and places all over the whole world: He begins in his grandmother's museum in Santiago de Chile, travels to Brüssels and Barcelona, to Sicily and Bali, Vietnam and China, and in Leipzig, too, he stops off in Taucha at the Ancient Trance Festival. Everywhere he goes, he meets male and female musicians. Playful, surprising, and immanently musical. Because Nicolás doesn't just speak and describes to the audience what he sees and experiences. Everything that he says is made up of rhymes, speech song and rhythm.

    Each series is a note on the scale and is given a colour: "Red: colour of colours. blood and fire." – in the fifth, red episode of "La ruta del Trompe" the path leads to Madrid to the fanzine scene there, accompanied by the pulse of the Jew's harp. Light blue, the tone Ton "Si" (B) travels through Sicily in search of the Marranzano. Episode eight deals with the"Jew's harp players' conference" (Encuentro de Tromperos) in Taucha near Leipzig. The film documents the 2014 Ancient Trance Festival and shows Franz Harrecker making a bamboo Jew's harp.

    By profession, Nicolás is actually an architect. His eye for the art of construction can be seen in his videos: domed roofs, house arrangements and open public spaces form the backdrop for the production. "For me architecture and music are one and the same thng", the Jew's harp world explorer says, "architecture divides and organizes space, music divides and organizes time." His passion for playing the Jew's harp was awakened by his grandmother's collection, who, as an ethnologist always brought back instruments from her travels. "Later then, when I began travelling myself, I always had a Jew's harp in my baggage", Nicolás recalls, "the reason one encounters Jew's harps all over the world is perhaps precisely because people simply throw the instruments into their bags and take them with them everywhere."

    Anyone who enjoys these virtuoso videos will not be able to stop watching them one after the other. The drawing power of the images with speech song and the Jew's harp stories is irresistible. On top of that, the end of each video by Clemens Voigt presents the audience an instrument belonging to the DAN MOI collection. In the second series of "La ruta de Trompe", he demonstrates more than 20 different Jew's harps from all over the world. Bien bacán! No lo pierdes!

  • Fair trade is part of the DAN MOI concept

    DAN MOI and Fair Trade

    DAN MOI is an interface for musical instruments and primarily for Jew's harps from various parts of the world. Musicians from numerous countries around the world rely on our range of wind, percussion, and auxiliary percussion instruments. For many of our instruments are not mass products, that is they do not originate from large-scale industrial production, but rather we obtain them through direct contact with the manufacturers. Since the foundation of DAN MOI a little more than 15 years ago, this direct contact to the producers and their home region has been a core concept.

    The foundations for DAN MOI were set at the first meeting with Jew's harps producers in the mountains of North Vietnam. At that time we took on the adventurous journey to the Hmong minority of Vietnam because it was completely impossible to buy one of their fabulous Jew's harps in Europe. Today, just as we have done since the beginning, we still get many of our instruments such as wood instruments directly from the families who make them. For many years we have maintained close contacts with numerous manufacturers. We stay in touch with the manufacturers by means of reguar visits to the local area.

    Three criteria are particularly important to us when assessing how fairly the instruments were produced: the sourcing of raw materials, the surface treatment and the working conditions at the production stage. The materials for our instruments are selected according to ecological criteria: we use no rare wood or other endangered raw materials but rather materials which reliably grow again. Our producers use no chemicals when treating the surfaces of the instruments. (Read more on Fair Trade in the Wikipedia)

    Certificate of Effective Support of Traditional Craft Production in Thuon Tin District, Vietnam Certificate of Effective Support of Traditional Craft Production in Thuon Tin District, Vietnam

    Our instruments, for instance, are manufactured in the workshop of a family business in Vietnam. By giving this workshop a long-term contract, new permanent jobs were created in a rural area. We purchase the finished instruments at higher prices than they would normally achieve on the Vietnamese market. This results in good wages and thereby promotes the well-being of the craftsmen concerned.

    As far back as the year 2006, the regional authorities in Thuong Tin in Vietnam certified us as a company that  "effectively supports traditional crafts". F.A.I.R.E., the regional organisation for fair trade, has also recognized us as a fair trade partner.

  • Jew's harp playing at the dance and folk festival in Rudolstadt

    The Dance and Folk Festival (TFF) in Rudolstadt (Germany) doubtlessly counts as one of the most important world music festivals in Europe. It has a unique profile which, time and time again, emphasizes new music acts and its own home-grown music projects. The festival stages and markets are embedded in the whole town and bestow a flair on the TFF that can't be found anywhere else in the world. DAN MOI regularly has a stall at the festival and Jew's harp fans, too, can hear their favourite instrument played during some of the stage performances.

    The DAN MOI Jaw Harp stand at the TFF Rudolstadt The DAN MOI Jaw Harp stand at the TFF Rudolstadt

    Traditionally Rudolstadt chooses a magical instrument each year. Some of the most brilliant instrumentalists are invited and in the week before the festival they work out a special schedule of concerts for the TFF. If one now asks when it is the Jew's harp's turn, we can at the moment only look back to the year 1999, for then the Jew's harp (as an instrument with a free reed) was a part of that year's magical instrument, the "mouth harmonica".

    Albina Degtyareva with her band Ayarkhaan

    Ten years later, the breathtaking group Ayarkhaan of Jew's harp expert virtuoso Albina Degtyareva took the stage in Rudolstadt. Ayarkhaan come from Yakutia and are capable of creating a musical experience from another world: the imitation of birdsong, the galloping of horses and a rhythmic speed which can leave a person dizzy. In 2011 the Swiss musician Anton Bruhin was a guest in Rudolstadt with his experimental approach to playing the Jew's harp.

    The Jew's Harp player Anton Bruhin

    The TFF was one of the first places in Europe where one could buy a Vietnamese Dan Moi. As far back as 2001 Clemens Voigt and Sven Otto were present at the start with their newly-founded musical instruments company DAN MOI. Clemens now recalls that: "People were curious the moment we unpacked the instruments. They came to our stall to try out the Dan Moi instruments for themselves. Many people were so surprised and fascinated by the sound of the instruments that they decided to take a Dan Moi with them. Back then we knew that the Jew's harp creates a magic with which one can really please a great many people. What was really special was that one didn't really need previous musical experience to play the Jew's harp.“ These first magical contacts of the audience with the Dan Moi have lost nothing of their power, in fact the contrary is the case, playing the Jew's harp is once again very popular. So we may hope that we will soon be able to experience one of the current virtuosi on the Jew's harp scene at the TFF again. What about the Franco-Chinese Artist Wang Li for instance? By the way, the dance and folk festival in Rudolstadt is taking place this year, as always, on the first weekend in July from July 2 to July 5 2015.

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