Yesterday, a new toy arrived in the mail, this time all the way from Bangalore, India!  It’s a Radel Saarang Maestro S digital electronic tanpura.  What the hell is that, you ask?  Take a look for yourself.

I purchased a real tanpura several years ago, but the problem is that it’s difficult to amp or mic and I don’t have a pickup for it, so it gets totally drowned out by electric instruments.  The electronic version of the instrument samples a real tanpura and loops the sound to provide the distinctive shimmering drone found in Indian classical music.  Now I can plug it into my Roland KC-550 along with my Motif and pump up the volume!

Does this mean that Thunder Power is going to turn into some kind of psychedelic hippie band because we now have an electronic tanpura in our ever-expanding arsenal?  Perhaps.  Will wrote a song a while back that inspired me to incorporate some tanpura sounds, because the song happens to be constructed in such a way that a drone B will fit with all the chords in the song.  The song is untitled as of yet and has never been played in public, but it will be featured in our SXSW sets and might make its world premiere at O’Leaver’s on March 7th.  If you’re in Omaha, come check it out!

One more look at the dream machine:

You know you want one.