This is the third volume of recordings of my arrangements for the Hohner 1960s lamellophones of the traditional literature of the Mbira, Karimba and Kalimba of Africa. This record is entirely for a duet of Hohner Guitarets, using the techniques I learned arranging the eurocentric classical canon for the Gutiaret.
I have arranged a few of these pieces elsewhere for the Orpharion, Pianet and Guitaret, but these are new arrangements, exploring the mbira tradition of two forms of playing - the lead kushaura and the secondary, interlocking, kitsinhira. The variations on the main theme (ngoma) are couched in considerations as to which purpose the variation will play. I wanted to visit this with a pair of guitarets.
The nine featured pieces are Bunga Utete, Chemutengure, Chakwi, Kariga Mombe, Kuzanga, Mahororo, Shumba, and Taireva.
The Guitaret was designed by Ernst Zacharias for Hohner in the 1960s. It incorporated a set of lamellae (the tines of the thumb piano) within a mechanism designed to make them more amenable to performance within the European musical tradition. The Guitaret lays the tines out in an array designed to play chords in a cycle of fifths, . It was never intended as a melodic instrument.
Since the Guitaret is my main instrument for composing and performing, I have long been interested in how a traditional music written for its ancestors could be made available for those them (in the manner of Brahms' Hungarian Dances, or Chopin's Mazurkas, or the German Dances of Beethoven and Mozart). These efforts were in parallel with my attempts to make a Guitaret literature out of the Western Classical tradition (in my Art Guitaret Series).
This album is conceived of as the sonoral equivalent of petrichor - a concert in the bush, after the rain, in celebration of the end of a drought. The pieces are all treated with a slightly pitch-shifted delay and shimmer verb which makes little upward eddies of sound as an accidental artefact occasionally. It cropped up accidentally but I liked the effect so much I used it throughout.
Thanks once again to the generosity of the members of Freesound for making their recordings available for use by colalgists like me.
This recording (as the others) is made in profound gratitude to the tradition of south eastern African lamellophones music.
Principally playing original compositions of an ambient nature on the Hohner Guitaret as well as other thumb pianos/finger
harps/lamellophones. Interested in orchestration using field recordings, per the great John Cage's suggestions (1937). The pieces are all pataphysical book reviews. They consist of musical essays on books of the same title that haven't been written, but should have....more