Traveling with Orba: My Portable Musical Companion and Auditory Journal

Traveling with Orba: My Portable Musical Companion and Auditory Journal

Orba visits North Cascades National Park, Washington

I know many of you can relate when I say that I have a pesky musical itch that must be scratched every couple of days, but when I travel, satisfying that itch can become quite the challenge.

The Struggle of Traveling with a Guitar

Have you ever traveled on a plane with a guitar? It's nerve-wracking –– enough trying to find your gate and manage all your documents, and now you have to handle this sensitive, 4-foot-tall instrument. If you're like me, this is usually how the story goes...

You pack your guitar in the sturdiest case you own, watch attentively, making sure not to accidentally bump the headstock on the doorway, and carefully place it upright on the seat of your rideshare as if it were a baby in a car seat. You hold it each time the driver brakes, nervously laughing as you make small talk with them. Finally, you arrive at the airport and begin to approach check-in with a sense of dread. You watch the TSA agent not paying attention as you carefully place your beloved guitar on the rough conveyor belt. Standing on the other side of security, you anxiously pray for her safe passage, aware of the curious glances from bystanders who might not grasp your nervous expression or deep attachment to this instrument.

The best picture of Airport staff I could find...

She made it, but it doesn’t end there… You reach your gate only to find out you're in Group 4. The announcer warns of limited overhead space, but there's no way you're checking in your beloved guitar. Boarding begins and you nervously cross your fingers, finally finding a suitable spot for her. You carefully lay your precious instrument in the overhead bin, as gently as putting a baby to sleep with a blanket, and close the compartment. As you settle into your seat, a nearby passenger attempts to disturb your beloved's peace by placing their bag on top. Your heart skips a beat as you politely intervene, "Please do not place your bag on top of that –– It's an instrument."

For those who have the compulsive urge to let out musical creativity, traveling is a struggle. Whether heading a few hours away for camping or embarking on a trip across the sea, bringing instruments becomes a cumbersome, risky, and frustrating task.

Meeting Orba: Perfect for the Traveling Musician

Then I met Orba, and everything changed. With Orba, I could simply toss it into any backpack. While I still play guitar, Orba satisfies my musical cravings when I'm away from home. No longer do I feel the need to make extra room or face the self-imposed creative block of "You brought this giant thing, now you must play it."

Orba goes on a hike at Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

At this stage, my Orba has journeyed with me through over 5+ countries and numerous states. Over time, I've come to realize that unconsciously, my Orba has become an auditory travel diary –– holding grains of sand from the Virgin Islands, traces of dirt from hikes across the Pacific Northwest, and scratches that narrate the journeys on trains across Latin America.

Orba: My Auditory Travel Diary

I've come to accept that, unlike a guitar, my Orba has enabled me to make music in places I never imagined, creating unforgettable memories. It's so portable that I can just toss it into any bag –– something a guitar can not offer. Here’s Orba at one of the world's most stunning beaches, Cinnamon Bay in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Orba visits Cinnamon Bay, U.S. Virgin Islands

Often, online trolls say to us, “Play a real instrument,” but what if Orba were more than just an instrument? What if Orba were a way for you and me to capture a moment musically, like a photo and camera?

In my case when I play back these carefully curated 20-second loops that I carefully made all throughout the places I've visited, they transport me back to those moments. Reminding me of the Bem-te-vi birds chirping in São Paulo, the roaring turquoise waves of the Caribbean ocean, or the crackling campfires amongst close friends in the PNW.

Orba loop made in São Paulo, Brazil

Because Orba is incredibly portable, I can effortlessly stash it in any corner of my backpack or toss it into the cubby of my car's side door at a moment's notice. It has become my small auditory diary. Just like using a sketchpad or notepad, my goal when traveling with Orba has evolved from seeking a portable instrument that satisfies my musical cravings to capturing a musical journal entry that represents that moment in time. Capturing musical diary 20-second entries from all the places I've visited—each one crafted with curated sounds and tempos that go hand in hand with the sounds, vibe, and environment around me at that specific moment in time.

Orba loop made in Honey Moon Beach, U.S Virgin Islands

Orba: A Must-Have Travel Companion

Now that Orba is a must-have on every hike, camping trip, and journey, it has become a fixture on gear checklists and in text message groups among friends, reminding each other, "Don’t forget to bring Orba."

Orba loop made in Deception Pass Campground, Washington

Have you traveled with Orba? How many places has your Orba visited? Leave us a comment below and make sure to share your #orbaloops #chordaloops and @artiphon on social media, so that we can see your travel loops.

Thank you to everyone who has already shared their Orba adventures — from mountain peaks to different countries around the world. The Artiphon team loves seeing how our instruments not only create memories but also satisfy your musical cravings.

Orba loop made in Bacalar, Mexico

Until next time!

Vera. Rostonics
Head of Digital Marketing, Artiphon

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