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Arthur Borman (Bordman) Borneo Zither Pratuoan'k

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Published on May 23, 2011

Borman builds these instruments, known as pratuoan'k, pratuonk, or tube zither, from local bamboo. The instrument has five or six "strings" and is struck with a small mallet or with the hand.

A string is made by slicing a thin section of bamboo from the main stem, leaving the beginning and end intact. The resulting string is tuned by adjusting the placement of a small wooden block.

His group, Pingasan'k, played at the 2010 Rainforest World Music Festival.

This video was taken in May 2011 at the Amah Rais Longhouse in Sarawak as he demonstrated the basic technique to two American jazz musicians, bassist Ruth Davies and guitarist Danny Caron. After this brief introduction, Ruth and Danny were able to play a basic pratuoan'k pattern while Arthur played delicate improvisations on his own pratuoan'k.

Arthur was a gracious host and certainly a dedicated musician.

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