Want to hear something new? Ukulele meets bow with a deep and passionate tone. My hope is to add a new sound to the musical world.
The Main Idea:
The Concept: The Fleonalu is an instrumental concept of a bowed instrument that would be a little simpler and easier to pick up and play than the traditional bowed instruments like the violin. I've always loved the violin and how beautiful it is and I have also always loved the way it feels to play the ukulele. So combining the two instruments just seemed natural to me.
If you strum it you will get the traditional Ukulele sound. So you will be able to strum traditional Ukulele songs. If you take a bow to it you will discover a whole new sound. That's the whole idea for me. Adding to the sounds we hear daily. Variety is a gift that I love and thank God for every day!
The Design: I wanted to design something that resembled other instruments but looked completely unique, that way people could look at it and know exactly what they were looking at or at least that they were looking at something new and different. I don't want it to be that people instantly think "Ukulele" or "Violin" when they see it but rather that they are intrigued enough to want to pick it up and pluck or bow it's strings and discover the Fleonalu for themselves.
The Plan of Action:
There are two main things: First I want to perfect the design that I have now. I've invested in books on how to build ukuleles and violins and the prototype is awesome but now I want to perfect the tuning of the instrument that way the sound that it makes is rich and resonates with the sound of the Fleo. Second is to build as many of these as possible and get them out to the public I want people to have access to it so they can discover it.
It is tuned with the same notes as a Ukulele so it's fun to strum. Because it is similar in this way you can make simple uke chords and then run the bow across it which will give out an amazing sound.
The name means Flying wave. Fleo comes from an Old English word for flying and nalu is a Hawaiian word for wave. I wanted to combine the two languages because the instrument had borrowed features from both the violin/viola and the ukulele which are traditionally English/European and Hawaiian.
How You Can Help!
TALK ABOUT IT! Besides the rewards on the right side of this page there are a ton of things you can do to help get this project off the ground! Talking about it is the main thing! Facebook, Twitter, at school or your church, when your at the beach! Where ever you might be! I've designed this instrument so that it isn't to complicated for anyone to pick up and play and so I want as many people to know about it so they will have a chance to try it. I've always loved the bowed instruments and this is my chance! I want others to have that same chance.
GO FOR A REWARD! On the right side of this screen there are some awesome rewards! IF I can get the funding I am going to be able to do a lot of marketing myself and get the sound out there! KickStarter is an all or nothing platform so if I don't get 100% funded I don't get any money and no one gets charged.
Here is the Kickstarter only T-shirt Design
CREATE SOME MUSIC! I really want to do a second project if this one is successful and collaborate with as many of you as possible to make a book full of your songs and stories. This will probably be something that you can only do if you have a Fleo yourself!
Why do I need money?
There are a few things that I will need in order to do this. Some of those include some very nice tools to ensure I make each Fleonalu as amazing as possible. I'm also going to need money to buy supplies to make the Fleos.
SO basically it will cover: Rewards, Kickstarter and Amazon fees, packaging and shipping, supplies and tools and any other contingencies.
About the Rewards
A SINGLE TUNER PEG $5. This tuner peg will have an f-hole branded on the wider part of the peg and a small hole that way you can turn it into a key chain charm or into a necklace or any other idea you might have. Made from Alligator Juniper.
CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT $15. The f-holes are the small slits that music comes out of on violins. It is pretty and classy and this prize will look just like the sound hole of the Fleonalu. The design is below.
CUSTOM VIOLIN TUNER PEGS $20. This is a very special prize for the KickStarter campaign. I will make you 4 Tuner Pegs out of any of the below woods.(1/4 Violin through Viola)
SUPPORTERS T $30: This shirt will only be made available only on Kickstarter.
THE FLEONALU ITSELF: There are a few options so check the rewards for something that works for you!
Special thanks to Simply Abigail for the photo shoot!
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
The biggest threat is time. If I get too many backers it will be a challenge to get them all done by November 2013 but I do know some very talented craftsmen that may be able to help if I need them.
My other challenge is going to be getting them all perfectly tuned but that is the point of this project. Tuning wood isn't the hardest thing in the world but getting the dimensions of the strings so that they build on the sound and don't deteriorate it will be a challenge. Some math and attentiveness should do the job though.
A risk to you! It's a new instrument and there aren't any songs written for it as a fleonalu. Which means you have to provide the talent! However, it is an awesome ukulele with a deeper tone because it is tuned an octave lower so you can use it like that in the meantime while you develop some awesome fleonalu songs!
Great question! We have tried many combinations and types of strings, but the Viola strings won our hearts with the richest tone and ease of tuning them like a Ukulele. The Tenor Fleo that you see in the video is using Viola strings, and I plan to use Violin strings once we get the chance to make our Soprano Fleo.