Sep 5, 2015
Vol 10, Num 4

Kalimba Magic NEWS

In This Issue

In this issue, Message from Mark talks about one of the big things that sets Kalimba Magic apart from other kalimba sellers: we tune kalimbas in about a hundred different ways. The article on my favorite kalimbas lets you inside my head to see what makes a kalimba special to me. Also in this issue, we introduce two new products: the ceramic Kalimbula from Germany and the new Goshen 17-note karimbas that come in SaReGaMa and African tunings. This issue contains a lot of educational and general interest material as well, including rare documentation on the now extinct but intriguing AfroHarp. In fact, we had so much material that we ran out of time and couldn't post the contest article until next month.


—Mark Holdaway

Tunings 'R Us!
A kalimba's tuning defines its universe of possibility. A simple retuning can transform your kalimba's voice, giving it the ability to speak a startlingly fresh language and dramatically transport your playing into a breathtakingly new musical dimension. Almost nobody else in the world is shipping kalimbas in non-standard tunings, but about half the kalimbas we ship from Kalimba Magic are in alternate tunings. This article tells you the back story of many of our special tunings:
Preferred Kalimbas of a Seasoned Kalimba Lover
I probably have 30 or 40 personal kalimbas that have been taken out of stock, but there are only a few at any given time that I love, cherish, and dream about. This article pays homage to those favorites:
Generalist versus Specialist Tunings
In this article, I introduce a brand new instrument, the Kalimbula (a kalimba with the exquisite Sansula hardware, a ceramic body, and two types of pickups), as well as the Bluesy E tuning that I invented to demo the Kalimbula. I made a snazzy video of the Kalimbula jamming with guitar. I also launch into a discussion about generalist vs specialist tunings. Well worth checking out.
Tucson Loses Beloved Artist
August 17, 2015, Tucson lost beloved singer-songwriter and amazing guitarist Stefan George. He had a gift for the blues, and he loved to jam. I loved playing with Stefan. The kalimbula piece with guitar? I was creating that music right when Stefan was passing. That is my simulated "last duet" with Stefan.
Have Your New Instrument Tuned to Your Choice
Kalimba Magic now offers Sansulas in all of these tunings - watch the videos of each to see which ones you like best: The Pocket Sansula, the Sansula Renaissance, the Deluxe Sansula and the new Kalimbula are all available in these tunings. Believe it or not, more to come!
Playing the E natural minor scale or A dorian mode on the Alto and Treble kalimbas
You have heard a lot about retuning the kalimbas to exotic scales. But you actually have access to many different scales even in the standard tunings! In the standard G major tuning of the Hugh Tracey Alto and Treble kalimbas, you can also play in the E minor scale or in the A dorian mode (another minor-like scale) without moving a single tine. All you have to do is start on a different tine as your root note. This article shows you very simply how to get those minor scales on the Alto and Treble kalimbas.
Lotus, Freygish, Air or African Tuned
The 17-note Goshen karimba is brand new, inspired by Jordan McGary who loves its look and feel. Available only at Kalimba Magic, we are very excited to announce that we have added three of SaReGaMa tunings to the tuning list you choose from when you purchase this instrument. Also available in African tuning. And the best thing about these cute instruments? The price tag at only $59.
No, that isn't Jesus in the photo, it's the New Age musician Serge - better known to you as SaReGaMa, the inventor of the Lotus, Freygish, and Air tunings of the 17-note Hugh Tracey karimba. This article collects together everything there is to click on about these exotic karimba tunings, including articles, instructional resources, staff notation, books, and the instrument product pages at the Kalimba Magic store.
Manual and Patent Info
Following up on our interest on the Afroharp article in the previous newsletter several people wrote in with their memories of the early 1970s kalimba, including Larry Potter who bought one for $12! Ivodne Galatea has supplied the original manual and the patent application (very interesting reading actually) and clues to the story of how Fred Kaz, musical director of the Second City improv troup, tried to market the Afroharp under the name of Song of the Flower, including a song of that name by Odetta in the 1969 move "The Monitors". This is like sugar to the kalimba history buffs!
A Challenging Role That Can Yield Great Joy
I have had the honor of playing music at many a wedding over the years. This summer I had another fantastic experience acting in this special role, which is characterized by a unique set of responsibilities and challenges not to be underestimated or taken lightly. In this article, I share thoughts and insights inspired by recent as well as past experience.
Tyler Van Arsdale & Ivodne Galatea
We got some good feedback in response to our recent article and resources on looping. This article explores the looping methods of two kalimba players, Tyler van Arsdale of Oklahoma and Ivodne Galatea of Australia. They have very different approaches, and much can be learned from both of them.

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