Yesterday, Ion Balu (www.ionbalu.com) visited Sewanee! He brought along lots of mutes, his modified Hoyer, and a horn he built himself. We had a great time trying the horns, and feeling the difference his liquid double walled leadpipes make in the low register. The double wall contains a special liquid (patent pending... but I heard it's Jack Daniels) in between that helps stabilize the timbral difference between the F and Bb horns. The horn he built himself was a modified Geyer wrap, called the Balu wrap. The horn was free-blowing and had a great sound, the efficiency was remarkable! It was made of yellow brass with a "Moonstone" finish, a process that involves an acid wash, hand buffing, then baking in epoxy for a unique black color. This particular horn had red abalone valve caps and neon valve strings, so it looked completely badass.
Ion generously donated a mute to be raffled off to one lucky student. Tyler Taylor (University of Louisville) won the drawing, and got to pick out a mute for free. Tyler is holding his prized mute in the picture, he didn't want to put it down!