N.B. company unearths richer sound by burying cymbals
A New Brunswick company that supplies cymbals for drummers around the world dug up some buried treasure on Monday.
In an experiment to see if Mother Nature could improve what man had made, the Sabian Cymbals company buried 100 drum cymbals eight months ago in a farm field along the Saint John River.
Sabian chairman Bob Zildjian says it's the first commercial test of an old drummers' legend.
"The old Bob Crosby Band, the drummer was Ray Baduke and he used to bury every cymbal in his mother's backyard. It does something to the metal," he told CBC News.
On Monday, an audience gathered to watch as a perforated metal box the size of a double-door refrigerator was lifted out of a hole in the field near Meductic, N.B.
Inside was a lot of dirt and 100 muddy cymbals.
After they were cleaned off, Sabian technician Nort Hargrove checked to see if the eight-month hibernation had made a difference.
"Absolutely," he said, noting a different sound in his playing.
"What it is is the high register seems to be a little more dominant. When you play it, the edges of the cymbal are wavering."
That's supposed to provide a richer sound, especially for jazz.
The success of the experiment is good news for Sabian and for the drummers and collectors who've already put their orders in for buried cymbals.
All 100 are already spoken for — they retail for $800, about a third more than the regular price.
The company plans to donate some of the proceeds to the Children's Wish Foundation.
Zildjian said it's a payback, because in 2001, his grandson Harry went through two years of chemotherapy for leukemia and the foundation made his dream of visiting Iceland come true.
Harry was there, in fine health, to see the buried cymbals retrieved on Monday.
Fans of Sabian cymbals include Phil Collins, Neil Peart of Rush and Keith Harris of the Black Eyed Peas.
With files from CBC's Michael Stuart