One of the manuscript sources for the medieval Irish instrument, the tiompán, refers to it "being touched by the fronts, sides, tips and nails of the performers." I take this to mean that, like the North African guembri and the West African akonting, the tiompán's rawhide soundboard was sometimes played like a drum. On this recording, therefore, the strings are plucked and strummed with the nails, then the soundboard is played like a bongo drum with the fingertips of both hands, or by rocking the hand from side to side, striking the hide with the sides of the thumb and little finger. One of the neat things about this is that the strings resonate as the soundboard is struck. Recorded on my Zoom H4nPro in luxurious stereo.
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