Culture & Art

Mar 1, 2017

RED CLAY - REINVENTING CLAY

2010 witnessed the birth of a brand that, step by step, is turning into one of the most wanted amongst top percussionists all over the world and has the particularity of being produced with a substance viewed as outdated today.

We are referring to Red Clay and how it reinvented clay turning it into one of the musical trends of the 21st century the a brand of choice of internationally recognized musicians such as Rão Kyao, Rhani Krija (percussionist for Sting, Sarah Connor, WDR Big Band, Dominic Miller), Pete Lockett (that has been recording and touring with acts such as Björk, Peter Gabriel, Dido, The Verve, Texas, Pet Shop Boys, Sinead O'Connor amongst many others as well as composing for several Hollywood studios, namely for the soundtracks of several 007 films, and that was voted as the world's "best drummer" by "Rhythm Magazine" and "Modern Drummer" in 2005 and 2010/2011, respectively), Jarrod Cagwin (Sezen Aksu, BBC Orchestra), Rónán Ó Snodaigh (Kíla), Marcos Bosco (Rita Lee, RPM, Caetano Veloso, UFO, Sepultura, awarded with 2 Grammy), Ruca Rebordão (Madredeus, Alejandro Sans, Moonspell, Mike Ryan), Marito Marques (Fingertips, Aurea, Yami) ou Lea Mullen (Vanessa Mae, George Michael).

In mere seven years, pottery master João Sousa, nicknamed "the sounds potter" by his fellow potters, manage not only to revive a material considered as less noble and démodé by the passing of time but also to popularize it from Canada to Brazil, passing through the United States and the whole Europe, recreating from scratch instruments that many times were only available in museums, case of its first success, the ocarinas.

His hard research led him to study wind equipments attributed to the Mayas and the Aztecs, to which followed the discovery of African clay percussion, case of the udu, and Indian clay percussion, case of the ghatam.

Through trial and error he managed to master the technics needed to resurrect all those instruments, create instruments of his own making and recreate other traditional instruments using clay and skins, extending the Red Clay brand to bodhrans, ovni drums, harps, frame drums, snare drums, adufe tambourines and even its only "mistake": clay guitars. They do function properly but are of limited use given that the friction necessary to keep an appropriate tuning end up damaging it, reason why they stopped the production.

Success has been such that not even a decade after its founding, Red Clay was invited by the India Foundation for the Arts to visit India and aid them in the recovery and construction of local clay instruments, sharing its research and construction methods with local apprentices on the cities of Bangalore and Deli, aiding on the preservation of the local musical traditions.

The Red Clay brand has been standing out thanks to its attention to detail, by using the best materials (red clay) and suppliers (for its skins and wood gear) and creating a musical differentiation so sought out in the musical world given that, as example, a clay ovni drum or tambourine will have a distinct sound from the industrial wood and metal options of the competition.

This is the reason that made percussionists (drummers, for the profane) that play and record with some of the greatest names of international music, Pop, Jazz or the heaviest Rock, to see in this brand, as an added value to their compositions.

Its instruments are made from scratch on red clay, hence the name, and turned on a potter's wheel, using ancient technics to recreate instruments originally from all parts of the world and giving it new sonorities.

And, since the instruments are glazed in very high temperatures, the brand reassures that its resistance to atmospheric changes and heavy duty frequent use by musicians turn it into an item that can last generations unless, of course, you throw it to the floor.


Contacts: www.redstore-percussion.com * redstorepercussion@gmail.com * Tel: + 351 913 796 083 * Red Store, Galeria Via Veneto, Avenida João XXI , 72B -Lj30, 1000-304 Lisboa, Portugal

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