Freenotes CD

About the Music on the CD

The Freenotes instruments played on this recording are designed to facilitate improvisation. All selection on this CD were recorded live during two three-day sessions and were totally improvised by a group of percussionists who had never played together before. All but one of the musicians had never seen the instruments prior to the first session. Named the Freenotes Gamelan, acknowledging their ancestry in Balinese gamelan orchestras, they are mallet percussion instruments with bars made of steel, aluminum, and various woods tuned to western scales. Built by Richard Cooke, they represent over 15 years of research and development in their design and production. Made easy, playing music becomes alive and enjoyable. Freenotes employ complimentary pentatonic and diatonic scales so all notes are in harmony. There are no wrong notes! Simple mallet techniques produce their pure tones. Create an ensemble of Freenotes and play your own original songs of metal and wood.

On the cover: Designer Richard Cooke playing the Cathedral Gongs
Cover photo by Jake Jacobson, published in Heart & Hands: Musical Instruments Makers of America.