In a set of dueling press releases, Schulmerich and Malmark both released plans for upcoming product launches. Today Schulmerich announced the arrival of their new MelodyCajon. These sleek octagonal instruments feature eight sides made from genuine east coast pine. “In designing them, we decided that by rounding off the corners of each side we could give the musician eight playing surfaces to choose from, doubling the number of possibilities from a traditional four sided cajon” a spokesperson for Schulmerich commented. Since Malmark began producing cajons in their factory several years ago, the traditional Peruvian instrument has become a useful extension to the modern handbell ensemble. Handbell ringers seem eager to give the instruments a try. “I have to hand it to Schulmerich for coming up with such original ideas” commented Caleb Britton, a ringer in Pennsylvania.
However, not to be outdone, Malmark also released plans for a new product today. Based on the legendary southern rock sound, the new Gregg Allman series mallets are designed to give handbell ensembles that crisp, sultry sound associated with 1970’s rock. “Honestly, the new mallet series was a happy accident” said one Malmark employee. “We had a group of kids visiting the factory one day playing with our display bells, and one of them hit the bells with a rubber pencil producing a sound exactly like the sweet guitar licks in the Allman Brothers Grammy winning song ‘Jessica’. We new we had a hit new product instantly”. Gregg Allman himself visited the factory several times during the development process to give the engineers his feedback.
Keep an eye out for both of these products at the National Seminar this summer in Anaheim, California.