Spires - the Aztec 12-Key is our 2022 Limited Edition Holiday drum. Only 12 Instruments will be built and each will be accompanied by certificate of authenticity signed by Michael Thiele himself.
"This season, I wanted to do something to celebrate the Aztec heritage of tongue drums, and I wanted to do something very different from melodic drums: a focusing and meditative instrument." - Michael Thiele
Spires was inspired by ancient Mesoamerican architecture and features 12 pinnacle-shaped keys arranged to create a dramatic diagonal cleft reminiscent of the mid-day sun on the pyramid at Chichen Itza. This phenomenon only occurs twice each year, at the height of both the Vernal and Autumnal Equinox. Spires is tuned in a haunting minor sequence and employs the acoustic principle of the "standing wave," a precise tonal sequence that creates a rich sustaining sound. Rooted in harmonic balance, the musical personality of this instrument is one of peacefulness and centering, making Spires an ideal instrument for open improvisation, active relaxation or meditation practices.