Hi everyone, my name is Alex. 10 years ago, I had the good fortune of making my first steel tongue drum from a propane tank, marking the advent of what is now celebrated as Kosmosky's Birthday.
My dedicated team and I have been exploring and studying sound for 10 years, making unique musical instruments spread all over the globe, introducing people to the world of creativity and intuitive music, helping them relax, rest, and get inspired by playing live and doing sound meditations.
How did it happen though?
How did we grow from a small workshop in my parents' old shed to a rock-solid company of 50 people engaged in production, research, and music education activities?
I had no knowledge of the notes, no stage playing or performance experience, and, moreover, no understanding of how a musical instrument works. So what did I have then?
The answers to these and other questions will be revealed in the upcoming series of articles titled Kosmosky’s Story.
IT ALL BEGAN WITH A DREAM
Or rather, there was not even a dream.
What could I dream of then as a 5th-year university student majoring in something that was absolutely boring to me and having no idea of what I really wanted to do? I was supposed to be immersed in my major subjects but a different world beckoned me. My lectures turned into gateways to far-off lands as I delved into books not on my curriculum. Psychology, educational systems, and the art of upbringing became my secret studies, whispering to me about their power in shaping individuals and societies. I was particularly enchanted by the notion of creative education and its transformative potential. However, I felt a major lack of creative abilities in myself, an imbalance towards rational and logical thinking, formed in me by the age of 20.
One day, while reading another book (that time it was on quantum physics), a revelation struck me from its pages. The book spoke of modern scientific studies claiming that thoughts are tangible, capable of crafting our reality. This idea was like a bolt of lightning, illuminating a path I hadn't seen before.
In a moment of introspection, I asked myself, "What do I truly desire? What should the world I want to live in look like if it materializes tomorrow?"
This question set off a cascade of introspective quests, urging me to examine every facet of my being. I realized that if I were to dream, and dream with the hope of making it come true, I needed to understand my desires completely, to not get lost in daydreams. In this quest, I uncovered a profound truth - my biggest wish was to be of service, to help others. This, I believed, was my purpose. Yet, how to manifest this calling remained a mystery.
Looking back, I see now how my diverse interests were intertwining, forming a beautiful tapestry of my future. The concept that captivated me was establishing a creative and educational center. This would not be any ordinary center, but one where comprehensive education would be infused with creativity in every aspect.
The main idea that captured my mind was a creative and educational center providing comprehensive education with a creative approach in all areas of study. I began to envision this dream. I pictured this creative sanctuary in vivid detail, each image a building block of my aspiration. This idea thrilled me, for I had always felt a void in my life - a lack of creativity, a world view too rigidly framed by logic. And here, in my dream, I found a way to fill that void, not just for myself, but for others who might share my yearning for a world rich in creativity and imagination.
SENDING SIGNALS INTO SPACE
Echoing the lessons learned from my books, a phrase resonated deeply within me: "The universe hears you, just tell me what you want." This became my mantra, as I stood at the crossroads of a grand dream.
I wanted to create a haven of creativity, a center that would foster artistic spirits. Yet, the path was shrouded in fog - I lacked the creative spark, the education, the funds. I needed a beacon to guide me. So, I turned my gaze upwards, sending my wishes into the cosmic expanse, not for the center itself, but for the first step, an inspiration to ignite my journey.
Then, as if the stars themselves conspired to answer, the universe whispered back.
A couple of weeks later, I stumbled upon videos that captivated my eyes and ears - handpans and steel tongue drums. Their sounds were enchanting, a melody that seemed to speak directly to my soul. Over the next fortnight, I dove headfirst into learning about these mystical instruments - their rarity, their simplicity, and their magical tones. A burning desire awoke within me to possess one, to learn its music, to let creativity flow through me. These instruments seemed tailor-made for my dream, the perfect fit for the creative center I envisioned. I felt the universe responding, aligning with my aspirations.
My quest for knowledge about these musical instruments revealed a startling fact - I couldn't afford one. But then I discovered that a steel tongue drum could be crafted from an old propane tank. Armed with this knowledge, gathered from the far reaches of the internet, I was filled with a newfound determination.
At the end of cold and damp November 2013, in a corner of the world, under a vast, starry sky, despite the lack of a workshop or any real skill in craftsmanship, I embarked on creating my first steel tongue drum, driven by dreams and guided by the whispers of the universe.
BLESSED WITH FRIENDS
My journey to create my first steel tongue drum began with a simple yet pivotal step: finding a propane tank. I reached out to my friend Misha Medvedkov, asking if he knew where to find one. To my delight, Misha had an unused red propane tank in his garage, and he generously offered it to me.
I immediately dropped by, and there, our first task was to remove the bottoms from the tank. Since I had never used a grinder before, Misha guided me by cutting off one end himself and showing me how to do the same thing. I followed him, removing the second bottom on my own. This moment felt symbolic, as if Misha and I were laying the foundational bricks of what was to become our company.
As our company grew, this principle of timely help from friends became a recurring theme. They appeared at crucial moments, helping to propel various aspects of the company to greater heights.
The next step was to weld the two bottoms together, creating the drum's basic shape. My older brother Kostya helped me there, providing me with a contact for a skilled welder. I handed over the two metal halves, and the next day, I received back what looked like a metallic flying object.
My next challenge was the tongues and notes layout. I drew the tongue design based on my studies of various steel drums, estimating their dimensions. My brother Kostya taught me how to use a jigsaw for this intricate task.
The most daunting part was tuning the instrument, as I had no knowledge of musical notes or tuning principles. This is where my friend and musician, Anton Glazun, stepped in. Together, we used a tuner to measure the sounds of the cut tongues, pondering over the possible notes to tune them to. Our efforts were successful, and the tank drum produced a mesmerizing sound.
Anton and I took the drum, still raw and shimmering metal, to share our creation with friends right away. We sat in my friend's Victoria's kitchen, placed a garland inside the tank drum, turned off the lights, and took turns playing it, basking in its otherworldly sound and dreaming of its future in our lives. It was December 15, 2013.
The ensuing months were a whirlwind of new experiences. I played my tank drum tirelessly for hours, carried it everywhere, met new people, made discoveries, and absorbed new information. Thus, my path towards establishing a creative center had truly begun.
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?
In the upcoming articles we’re going to post in 2024, the Kosmosky team and I will tell you how my hobby turned into a business, how I formed a team and built a company. You will read about success and failure, the instruments' development and use, new plans and dreams, and most importantly, about endless cosmic love.
If you are interested in reading about something particular, write your requests and questions in the comments below - I will be happy to answer them.