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Mandala In their new collection of video shorts, Mandala Drum taps premier musical artists Danny Carey, Amy Knoles, and Ryeland Allison for a discussion on electronic music technology and the new frontier in modern musicianship.

"The drums can get pretty boring as a solo instrument," says Danny Carey, drummer for the bands Tool and Volto (and self-confessed wannabe basketball player). In Carey's video short, he demonstrates how electronic drums have changed the way he performs, both live and in the recording studio. "They're the greatest tool for me to have when writing because I can load in an infinite number of samples … all I have to do is click a button and I have a whole new arsenal of sounds for every song that I play […] To have that and not have to carry around all those instruments is just the greatest luxury ever," says Carey.

Amy Knoles, head of the Electronic Percussion Department at CalArts, also discusses elements of sound in her video short about the teaching philosophy behind electronics. "They don't have to be a sound you've heard before, but they need to have the same characteristics as an acoustic instrument […] Once you start experimenting with synthesis and sampling, things happen that you might not have imagined, just by manipulating the sounds and exploring, getting inside of them."

The series marks the kickoff of 'Mandala Presents' – an ongoing video discussion about what inspires true musicianship.

About Synesthesia Corporation

Synesthesia is led by musical inventor Vince De Franco and his friend Luke Henderson, a former equity trader turned financier. De Franco is the inventor behind the D-Beam, a MIDI controller licensed by Roland in 1998 (and still built into many of their keyboards) and popularized by U2, Peter Gabriel, and Stevie Wonder.  In 2001, Vince founded Synesthesia Corp. to produce the Mandala, an instrument he had originally invented for Tool's Danny Carey shortly after helping create the band's 2001 Grammy winning album Lateralus. Today, Synesthesia is run out of Vince's Southern California Mandala 'Den' in Laurel Canyon where he and Luke hand-assemble every drum that goes out.