Patterns of Intention

by Ivodne Galatea



Part of a series of experimental arrangements and improvisations using the affordances of world string instruments and the speaking mechanism of kalimbas. This set involves the Marovany Kalimba and the Tonkori Kalimba

These are recordings that form part of a investigation of musical affordance This is best described by Hugh Tracey in Ngoma (1948):

"Although we make musical instruments to play our music as we want it, we sometimes find that the instrument plays its own music — notes that we did not expect. It is like driving a donkey along a path. So long as the donkey stays on the path it is our way; but sometimes it refuses to go along the path and goes off into the grass to find its own way. Every musician well knows what this means. The instrument in his hands seems to come alive, and without his knowing quite what is happening he plays sequences of notes which do not come from his mind but from his fingers on the instrument. Then if this new sequence sounds well he may try to fix it in his mind and play it again. So the instrument itself has added something to the music, more than was thought out in the mind of the composer alone. A great number of musical phrases come from the instruments in this way. "

So I wanted to see what new music could come out of thumb pianos that took on the musical affordances of other instruments - the harps of Africa, and the Tonkori fretless zither of the Ainu of Japan.

This Marovany Kalimba was made for me by Ray Vincent of Ray’s Rootworks. It is a kalimba in the tuning and layout of the marovany, a box harp played on Madagascar. It’s suspended on a lavalier mechanism to permit the free use of all fingers of both hands.

The Tonkori Kalmiba was made for me by Darko Korosec of Instruments Korosec to permit the investigation of Ainu Tonkori music. It is a kalimba in the tuning and layout of the Tonkori fretless zither traditional to the Ainu. It has ten keys, 5 in the speaker register and 5 in the harmonic register. The screws permit the retuning necessary playing different scales to be done quite easily. It’s played hung on a thong passing under the bridge, with the tines pointing upwards.


released November 19, 2014




Ivodne Galatea Nedlands, Australia

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.
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