Maybe not the wheel, but they have gone wild on a familiar geometric shape. The newly released Meinl Liquid Triangle is a space aged adaptation on the trusty triangle. It combines a fairly stock solid steel triangle with a resonating dome filled with water. The sonic possibilities that this contraption creates are vast and limited only by your imagination.
When you play the triangle in a classical fashion it produces a familiar triangle sound with a slight downward pitch bend. The effects that i enjoy most out of the triangle happen when you alter the angle of the liquid chamber after you strike it. This creates a more drastic pitch bend that is reminiscent of a waterphone-like device. As i played with the liquid triangle I found it best to mount the triangle on a cymbal stand with a double triangle mount such as the Grover double triangle mount. This would also work with a Pearl Trio Holder or a Cannon Wind Gong adapter with fishing line added to the hooks. When you suspend the Liquid Triangle you can alter the pitch of the triangle at any rate you choose. The only down side of this is that you have to keep on striking the triangle if you want the pitch bend to happen over a long period. The constant ting of the triangle may get in the way of the full potential of the pitch bend. I imagine that bowing the triangle would allow the triangle to fully resonate over a long period of time while you manipulate the water chamber over a passage. This is a technique that I have not explored yet but I feel will be a winner.
As with any triangle, the playing zone drastically changes the timbres that are produced. If you play on the end of the triangle farthest from the water chamber you get a drier timber that is closest to a stock triangle. If you play the triangle at the end near the chamber you get a more distorted timbre that is uncharacteristic of a triangle. I experimented with a full set of Steve Weiss Triangle Beaters and was able to draw out a myriad of sounds and timbres that were unique unto themselves.
My ultimate question is……”what do you use this thing for?”. Brahms Symphony No. 4……Liszt Piano Concerto No. 1…. probably not. But I think the Liquid Triangle might be a solid stand in for a waterphone at a fraction of the waterphone’s $800 price tag. It may also be a good textural substitute for a flex-a-tone. Bottom line…I think the Liquid Triangle is a unique, stand out, un-paralleled sound in a percussion world that is saturated with special effects. This thing is flat out cool!