March 18, 2012
Vol. 7, Num. 2
Kalimba Magic NEWS
introducing new models!
In recent years, Kalimba Magic has stepped slowly into the ocean of traditonal African music - first with the traditional karimba pieces, then the Student karimba, and most recently with the system of mbira and mbira-like song structures. Now we are hugely excited to be taking another big step in the direction of traditional African music with the offering of a new type of mbira perfect to learn on, and the promise of much tablature-based instructional material for it.
While learning the song Bangidza, Claire Jones first taught us a variation of the song that did not use any of the notes on the mbira dzavadzimu's lower course of tines - just the right and the upper left course of tines. She said that playing this way was called kwe pomusoro playing ("in the head" - no low notes) - and within half an hour, I realized that I could transform a Hugh Tracey Celeste Treble into a Hugh Tracey 17-note Kwe Pomusoro Mbira.
The Kwe Pomusoro mbira, which I also call the KP mbira, blends the lines between mbira and kalimba. The Hugh Tracey African-tuned karimba (a different instrument) has the look and feel of a Hugh Tracey, yet is totally in the flow of traditional karimba music. We hope that the Kwe Pomusoro Mbira comes through in a similar way.
The Kwe Pomusoro mbira is a superset of the student karimba - but in reverse, in Bb instead of G, and with a flat 7th. Hence, with a slight retuning, all of the student karimba repertoire is available to this instrument. This instrument lacks the full karimba's upper row of notes - though it has those notes, they are arranged just further out to the right side... so in principle all of the full karimba songs are available to the Kwe Pomusoro mbira. And we expect many songs from the mbira dzavadzimu's repertoire will have variations that can be suitably arranged for the Kwe Pomusoro mbira.
In other words, the future is bright for this new addition to the world of kalimbas.
As a down payment on this future, I offer you this free download of three mbira songs and 10 karimba songs arranged for the Kwe Pomusoro mbira.