Wild Blue Pixel
If you have a testimonial about the kalimba or kalimba music and what it has done for your life, please share it with me!
I love the karimba, I play it everywhere in the house. This is the first tonal percussion instrument I've ever owned that I can transport easily. I have recorders and harmonicas, but they're not percussion. And my other tonal percussion instruments are vibes, marimba, glockenspiels, timpani and chimes, so you know I'm not walking around playing them!
Mark, Thank you so much for the touching note you left in the box for the Kalimba I bought my son for Christmas. Know that it was played with awe and joy. The smile on his face was amazing, reminiscent of when he was a child. I was on a call with my sister when he was playing it on Christmas morning and she stopped and asked what was that beautiful sound in the background and that it "was nothing like I've ever heard before". Already many were touched by it....
I thought you might be interested in a whole different use for the kalimba. I bought one from you with a pickup. I play vibes and drums with a free-form jazz group. And one night when I was not scheduled to play my regular instruments, I took the kalimba and played two sets with it. It worked veery well, especially one set where I engaged in a duet with a violinist. Just spreading the good old kalimba magic.
Just a quick note to say Merry Christmas and to let you know I played "Silent Night" on my Kalimba in our Church's Christmas Sunday Meeting and it was a big hit.
My grandson loves the Kalimba! Thanks for wrapping and sending it. Happy New Year!
Dear Mark, I just wanted you to know how much I like your Christmas CD. Thanks so much for sending it, and for getting the kalimba to me so fast. It's a wonderful instrument, and you sure know how to make it sing. Merry Christmas to you!
I was listening to PRI's The World, and I heard your music! I went to their website and followed the link here. I think it is really great how you create such a natural resonance with the kalimba. Keep up the work. Your music is awesome!
I am awestruck by your perfomances on YouTube. I am a lover of MUSIC in general, but I especially like folk instruments. I play lap/mountain dulcimer, fiddle, hammered dulcimer, irish whistle, and fingerstyle guitar. I do own a small cedar box 8-tine kalimba from Mountain Melody Thumbdrums. Honestly, after hearing you play...something sparked inside of me, and I haven't hardly put my lil' kalimba down...I need a Hugh Tracey Alto...can you get it to me in Missouri by Christmas? I thank the Lord Above for people like you...You make the Earth a better place to live. If I still lived in Az, I'd definitely be in you Kalimba Klub.
The only valid response to your kalimba music was for me to cry with joy. [Paraphrased from a phone conversation - Mark]
The Christmas Kalimba CD is beautiful, and I would like ANOTHER copy of that (I already planned to give away the two you mailed, but would like one for myself as well). The pieces are sparkling and sound intricate--are they all single-track (one player, one session) recordings?
Hi Kalimba Artiste Extraodinaire, I'm listening to your magnificent talent RIGHT NOW as I write this, and I HAVE TO TELL you that your playing and Kalimba are so utterly SIMPLE, CHARMING, NONCOMMERCIAL AND NON-ELECTRIC, innocent and beautiful, that it brought me to tears. I get crazy nostalgic & sentimental at the holidays, and your gift has made it easier on me, especially with my Mom dying last year. KEEP UP THE MAGNIFICENT WORK, God Bless and THANK YOU for making me so happy
Thanks for the very kind thoughts on back of your card. The kalimba has been a great friend for so many years. The instrument arrived today as an unexpected Sunday delivery from the postman, and it sounds great thanks to your selection I trust. It is a lovely instrument, not to remain in my hands for long as it is intended as a gift to my wife, who as a percussionist also shares the love of kalimba playing. Now finally I can rescue my older and cherished alto kalimba back from her, a gorgeous instrument that has seen me through many years of dance accompaniment.
Thank you. I received the instrument and books in the mail today. It's a beautiful instrument (much like the one my brother first owned 25 years ago. I know the recipient will gain a lot of joy from it!
Wow - fast!!! Thanks so much, Mark. This little dude is way cool!! (Thanks again for the thumb picks.)
Hi, Mark. Just wanted to let you know that my 8-note kalimba arrived today. It sounds even better in person! I look forward to exploring it with your 8-note kalimba book as my guide.
I received it 2 days after you sent it. It has a wonderful sound. And looks real good. Putting it thru the amp is intriguing. This is great. Thanks for the instrument, your advice, and service.
I just submitted the PayPal payment. And thanks as well for the nice discount and the quicker shipping. These will really make nice presents - the best presents are 'educational' or growth-promoting.
Got my great alto kalimba! I am thrilled! Thanks very much! Best to you, a newlywed!
I just wanted to say thanks for the prompt/excuse to finally get the kalimba i've been wanting. I have a sansula, which I love, but have really been wanting one that I could play tunes on too. It worked out really great with the pay pal thing as I had some money in the account that was apparently just waiting to buy my new kalimba. Amazing, just like magic. I'm looking forward to this new path on the journey. Thanks for doing what you do. ps Has anyone else reprted to you on how soothing the sansula is to a baby. I have a 9 month old grand daughter and have played to her from birth on. Now of course she wants to grab it and eat it, but in her first few months it was pretty amazing to witness the calming effects!
My biggest draw to it was to play 'lullaby' style music for my little boys as they go to sleep. My youngest (3 1/2 years) who typically takes an hour or so to fall asleep because of the 'wind down time' he needs fell asleep in around 10-15 minutes on the 1st night I played the Sansula.
I know there are many people like me who didn't know what it was like to have music inside of them until they played the kalimba.
I bought one almost a year ago and it really is a bliss. Shipped to Finland just fine! And supporting him, getting all the nice newsletters and tutorials are highly inspirational. You definitely get what you pay for - A good instrument and support.
Looks like I wrote to you looking for my package just one day too soon- my kalimba arrived
Oh, it is so cool and I've bonded with it already and it's fun to try the exercises in the book.
I wrote a rather breathless report about my new kalimba in my journal tonight that I thought you
might like to see. I hope you don't mind that I photographed one partial page from inside the
beginner book to explain about kalimba notation (about 2/3's of the people who read my journal
are fellow musicians and I thought they would find that interesting).
Here's the link: http://allisona.livejournal.com/362167.html#cutid1
We gave Keith his Karimba tonight. He was so thrilled and man, I could just see how he was going to enjoy having his own. He was putting together some of his own stuff within minutes and then he dove into the book you sent. Thank you! The book I never really even thought of getting. Thank you. It explains a lot! Anyway, he was asking about you and your website and I told him you'd probably not mind if he emailed you about anything or questions. Hope that was ok. I'm just thrilled at how he loves it ;0) Thanks!
Thanks again for the kalimba. The instrument is just great! I've been playing for some days now and the smile on my face keeps growing. Kalimba is a real source of joy!
I was talking to Irene a friend of mine at work the other day and she was feeling a bit stressed, she is a child health nurse and has undertaken further studies as a Psychologist. She does some great work with parents and is hoping to do more work with children who have autism. I reminded her of the joys of the Kalimba and lent her an alto over the weekend. She absolutely loved it and it lead her to a wonderful place of tranquillity and allowed her to refocus.
[Li sent his old kalimba to the Kalimba Doctor for a little tuneup. -Mark] Just wanted to let you know the kalimba arrived back today. Gosh, that was fast! Thank you so much for taking the time to work on it for me. Now I have a reference point of how it should sound (and the sound that it is capable of making). With all the material you provide on your website, I should be able to keep it tuned. (If I have trouble, I know who to ask!) Thanks also for the note cards you sent as well. I look forward to perfecting my playing skills.
I'm going with your advice that an alto kalimba is good for an adult beginner and hopefully the two alto books will show me the ropes! I find the kalimba notation especially fascinating. Thank you, too, for your excellent kalimba website. I've learned so much reading over there in the last two days! I really enjoyed the Tips of the Day, the soundclips and the history and cultural articles about the kalimba. I will certainly be back there to absorb even more, especially after my kalimba arrives.
I actually saw you for the 2nd time yesterday at Villa Maria. I am so impressed by the music you make. I can tell how you literally "feel" each and every note you play or each word you sing. How long have you been doing this? I know you said that you play several other instruments. I can only imagine how those must sound. I am so interested in the Kalimba though. I will be purchasing a Kalimba and instruction book in the very near future. Thank you so much for the time you take out of your busy schedule to come and share a little time with us at the Center. I definitely look forward to the next time you come to perform for us. Have a great day.
A big fan!!!! 2007
I just wanted to let you know that the kalimba arrived safely. It's a beautiful instrument and so easy to get interesting melodies even for a fairly untalented musician like me! Sadly, this particular instrument is a gift for my sister, so I'm going to have to give it up. I suspect I'll be saving up my pennies to buy my own kalimba soon.
Thanks for the tremendously beautiful kalimba. I have been playing it since I got it. I know it will bless me. I will practice it every day.
If old Ephraim Zimbalist
(Ephraim Zimbalist was a world renouned violinist in the first half of the 20th century)
Thank you for the two beautifully played CDs. It is exactly what I wished it to be, thank you very much Mark Holdaway. I hope we may work together in the future.
I saw and listened to "Nowhere Man" on YouTube... very nice too.... but the "First Look Onside" song.. it's very very special..!!!! like a very special meeting inside of me...!! I discovered Kalimba with your song...!! since then i've been looking all I can on the net...!! I would like to study the Kalimba...!
French Guy, 2007
Hi, You are a Sweetie! Thanks
Is just arrived here! This instrument is simply... Fantastic!!!
What great service! My Saturday order was waiting for me today. That's fast. And I have been listening to the CD as I attend to evening chores, and have enjoyed it immensely, so thank you for that also.
I received the Kalimba yesterday. It is a very nice Kalimba with a sweet sound. I already love my Kalimba. Thank you so much for the CD and the booklets you included. I started to play last night. Still need to think that a scale can only be made by alternating both hands. The chords sound great. I'm amazed at how a simple instrument can make such a nice sound. So, thank you again. You were extremely helpful and kind to me in choosing this Kalimba.
Guess what--I heard you on the NPR program today (World...something--forget the name of the program). Was driving and I nearly took the wrong turn, I was so startled to suddenly hear your familiar kalimba playing coming over NPR! That's so cool!!
I got my order a day or so ago, thank you. They sound great. I haven't had a chance to check them out with my pedal board. I'll let you know. It's a sure bet these will be on my 3rd CD. Also I'll be incorporating them into my live solo bass set. Thanks again
The Karimba has arrived.... I think the responsible thing to do is to add a Warning to your site. Apparently a chemical compound contained within the sap of Kiaat wood has made it IMPOSSIBLE for me to put it down... hahahaha... I love it. It's really hard to play my a-little-too-authentic mbira now... The sound of the karimba is so pure and pleasing... I hope I'm not confessing an overly-Western ear.... Thanks again for everything... I love it!
Many thanks for the 8-Note Kalimba book. I'm having fun and learning to embrace something that's gone absent from my life over the last many of years, namely music in many forms. I just did a (really bad) rendition of Jesu after reading the book for about an hour and plucking(?), thrumbing(?) (what's the verb here?) at the tines in experimentation. I can't wait to play with KTabS and de-construct one of my favourite kalimba accompaniments from the mid-80s. I look forward to learning both my diatonic and pentatonic kalimbas with your amazing (and generous) assistance. Perhaps when I've garnered some skill I'll send you a link to a recording of some of my playing. But right now I'm having fun. Again, many, many thanks. Warmest Regards,
Bryan Manske, 2007
Thanks, Mark, for your reply. I'll start working on "Jesu." It's one of my favorites and I'm working on it now on my Bowed Psaltery. Then I'll try "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." I know that one definitely goes outside the octave! I went to your Tip of the Day Archives last night and found the article on harmonizing. Worked a little bit on that and found a good harmonizing tine for each note. I also memorized the chords C,F & G on the 8 note and am working on the others in the key of C. I love stuff like this!!!! I'll be in touch when I'm ready for your lesson. God bless you!
Hope the beautiful sounds harmonize with my husband's life - it would be hard for them not to. Thank you so much for everything, it's been genuinely fun conducting this transaction with you. It seems so wonderfully clear that you deeply love kalimba music and hold the hope that even novices can enjoy the beautiful sounds that seem to be flowing from their own fingers. Good luck in your work -- may your life become as rich as your music.
1993 in Brussels Belgium I saw my first kalimba at a concert of Johnny Klug. At the beginning of the concert I heard a magical sound then Johhny came walking out from backstage playing a dreamy tune. I went to a music store immediately afterwards and bought one. It was a sardine can with a wood top. Crude but beautiful. What a wonderful experience. Alone in a foreign country, not speaking the language and then I found them in a music store. It was my closest friend. I recently (last month) bought another one in France. It is a kiaat solid wood kalimba. I rubberband my pickup for my acoustic guitar on it and plug in to my Fender amp. Not the best but louder. I would like to get another pick-up for it so I can really sail. Any suggestions as to what would help? I love playing it in my studio whem my mind is vapor locked. It's like conscious dreaming, magical.
Thanks for the great kalimba! It's already here! It is by far the best one I have ever played, and the wood, as you pointed out, is beautiful! Thanks for having such a great item. I have left you positive feedback.
Thank you for all your assistance -- it really helped me out figuring what to buy and all.
By the way, Randy's Dad, for whom I ordered the 8 note just to experiment with, unexpectedly decided to keep the kalimba and book out on their coffee table so he can sit down and play from the book often. Who knew?!
Hi Mark It was great to meet you, after all these years of being a fan, last weekend, when I told you my little story. AND--thank you for the fantastic CD! I so rarely buy music (I have the tiniest collection of anyone I know--so that means, your music makes up a fairly big percentage of my collection!). How nice it is to have a CD in the truck and another at home. I've been listening to your music almost non-stop (well, maybe not really) for a week.
I am really eager to receive the CD. In recent years I've had a growing interest in African music - especially west African and most especially Malian. So I have a small collection, but nothing like your CD. You may be interested in knowing that I became aware of it on PRI's The World. That little snatch hooked me. Then went to the website and heard more. Entranced.
Hi Mark, I heard you at IMYM (at creativity night). You have a wonderful talent with the kalimba.
[Editor's note: it is so pleasing when someone from Africa
really appreciates the Hugh Tracey instruments!]
The Karimba arrived last week, thanks so much for sending it
to me and the fast shipping. The Karimba is awesome and in
sound and shape/size is much more like the Kalimba I remember
from the Zambia/Congo border area I grew up in than the Zimbabwean
Mbira. It is much easier to play than the ones the Africans made which
were very uncomfortable to play.
I love the sound of the Kalimba, I have heard it on earth wind and fire tracks...one even named the kalimba story!!! It makes me feel so uplifted to listen to the magical notes play in my universe, it is one of the most carefree and easily accessible sounds to me. I would love to hear some kalimba or attend a performance. After reading your vision I was filled with a excited sensation that you may be onto something that can truly help fill people with the type of good vibes we need take this life to the nth degree. I probably can't afford a kalimba right now, and can't pay for lessons and such or having you come to my college for a performance, but I wanted to at least tell you that I FEEL the kalimba has great power to touch the hearts of people in today's world.
Thanks, I'll be enjoying these a couple days a week, something that I never knew about this time last week. Mucho Gracias,
Thankyou for the responce, AMI are tops as far as quality is concerned. My frend visted the factory in South Africa and met one of the workers who had been there most of her life. Even though she was helping construct Kalimbas she had never heard one played in her life! My friend played it to her and it moved her so much that it put all her efforts into perspective, it's fantastic to know that even in the country of origin it can have that responce. I think because of accesability to those with no previous background this instrument can bring the music out of anyone.
I have just received my kalimba, it is beautiful, I haven't had a chance to seriously explore it. I am 75, I have no ills and for that I am truley grateful. but if I did, I believe the kalimba would be the cure all.
Many thanks, I got the karimba very quickly and was immediately obsessed with it, playing it several hours a day when i should be learning german.
I have played the CD (Two Thumbs Up) several times this afternoon. As a matter of fact, I am listening to it right now as I compose this email message. I love it! Words could never express the way that I feel about the Kalimba music. It is truly a blessing.
Thanks, Mark...I surely do appreciate that. It seems so wonderfully clear that you deeply love kalimba music and hold the hope that even novices can enjoy the beautiful sounds that seem to be flowing from their own fingers. Good luck in your work -- may your life become as rich as your music.
The karimba arrived today along with the book and CDs. The book looks fantastic and I'm sure to enjoy this new little adventure. Now, maybe I can stop biting my nails!
I think of the design of my karimba as: a dozen or so metal oars steering a wooden boat... Playing my karimba, even casually, seems to bring me notes from Asia as well as Africa: fragments of antiquity and new chords I never sensed before.
A dozen steel oars steer a wooden boat-- My karimba goes where it wants to go Sometimes there is no name for the reef it reaches, or maybe it is an island like Madagascar, where Asia, Africa, and Arabia meet, where my karimba meets the seventh continent
In reply to Russle: I know what you mean - Asian sounds. Well, I am guessing yours is tuned in the African tuning, many of those intervals are "out of tune" with respect to Western notes, and this is the same situation for the metalic-sounding Indonesian Gamelon, an ensemble of tuned metal percussion.
I like to say that kalimba's roots are in Africa, but its future lies in a whole other world. Of course, we will travel to every shore to find the strands of melody that we weave together to form the banner under which we sail.
Mark Holdaway, 2007
I was walking through the park one day and I heard this beautiful angelic music. I was drawn to it and wanted to find the source. I saw several people in a circle and in the midst of the circle was an African man playing a wooden musical instrument. I fell in love with the Kalimba music on that very day. Afterwards I searched the website to find this music in a CD so that I can listen to it as often as my heart desires. I thank God for Kalimba Magic and I thank you for providing this beautiful spirit filled music to the general public.
Thanks for all of the beautiful information and music! I can't wait to have the treble kalimba and learning materials. I have been listening to all of your music and sample musics, i've also been reading all of the tips and the many feed backs. I am excited.
I received the Kalimba today !!! I am so excited, it sounds perfect. I do not have a sample of my work yet to send you, but from September I am going to start my project at a place of my own. It is a small house with garden full of children who want to listen old fairy tales and travel through magic, every afternoon. I am 32 years old and I love children and fairy tales, not so much the new ones but the old which hide so much wisdome. I am not an actress or a singer or a musician, I just tell stories. So I need the kalimba because I think that it is perfect for story telling. I also use raining sticks, singing bowl, maraces etc. just to help my story be more alive. At this time I am interested in Russian fairy tales which have a lot of magic, so my new kalimba suits perfectly. Also the book is very helpful and thanks so much for the cd!!!!! As soon as I have a dvd I will send it to you !!! Thanks for your interest. I will be in touch.
With the kalimba, people of all ages and ethnicities can create their song out of themselves.
Hey man, just got the kalimba...amazing. great service, great product. i'm very confident i made the right choice with you. thanks again. kalimba on!
Mark, The compact disc, you sold me, titled "Between the Dark and The Light" was excellent! Not only was it lovely, but it was peaceful as well. The compact disc was "pleasing" in both senses of the word. I hope to play as well as you do, someday! I also wanted to ask how can I acquire one of those cards that are placed under the reeds of an Alto Kalimba? I plan to purchase more of the Kalimba music, on Cd's, as well, in the future, but a little at a time, due to economic budget restraints.
Thanks for the wonderful customer service and the wonderful Kalimba! The instruction book is one of the best instruction books I have ever read. Outstanding Job!!! The CD is out of sight!!!
Yes, I got it! It's beautiful. The pick-up has a nice sound. Its like a Rhodes or a vibraphone, kind of. Thank you very much, I may want another one. Are they all pretty much the same in quality?
Thanks for the mention on the tips page! The 8 note kalimba sounds REALLY cool tuned to those different scales. My Roland Juno-G has a Kalimba patch, and I played Hijaz and Akebono on it to see how it would sound, and it sounded okay, but on the *real deal* kalimba - the acoustic instrument inself - it sounded SO GOOD!
You rock, Mark - you really do!
Thanks for the quick turn around. MAN, that was fast!!! I've been doing my research and all roads led to your website. I'm looking forward to playing this beautiful instrument. I'm spreading the word.
A quick word to let you know that the book and Karimba arrived safely yesterday. I LOVE the tuning and sound!! I'm so happy. This morning I'm heading out to do a school concert for 400 children. Guess what's coming along? Nice to have the pickup option as well.
Gary Diggins, Musician & Music Therapist, 2007
[Editor's note: THANK YOU, Gary, for the idea of the G minor karimba! I love it too.]
Wow - it feels beautiful and the continuing resonance through the Kiaat after the note has faded is ethereal. Thanks Mark, both Josh and I commented instantly on how lovely if feels when you hold it even without playing. I am so thrilled that I explored the Kalimba with you late last year because it has given me my music back. If nothing else I can see I will be ordering your other CD's to keep me inspired.
The Kalimba has safely arrived, all in good order and yes, a very pretty looking instrument. Now to make some pretty sounds as well. Perhaps music if my thumbs can connect with my brain. Thanks, and all the best promoting a product that is such a wholesome, cheerful diversion for imperfect mortals such as myself.
Originally, I was looking for an mbira. Since I purchased the karimba, I've found where to buy an mbira and get lessons. The mbira cost is more than double the karimba and the lesson costs were ... way out there, WAY beyond my means.
Thank you so much for providing an instrument that is built sturdy and has a lovely sound. The book/CD makes learning accessible. I am very grateful you have made these materials affordable to those of us of modest means.
The Hugh Tracey karimba is going to be my instrument and I look forward to a long, happy relationship with it, you and your place of business!
Mark, you are always more than fair!
There is such a sense of peace around kalimba's isn't there - it really feeds the soul. I often sit in my backyard (we back onto parkland) with the glow from the park light at our back fence (open bar pool safety fence) and let the sound drift out to my neighbours around the park. It is a great way to finish the day.
Thanks again for sending out my order. When I am a famous kalimba player, I'll plug your shop for free. I'll be starting from scratch - so it might be a while - but I promise!
Thanks so very much! The kalimba plays beautifully and the pickup has opened up a whole new world for me.
I received the alto kalimba yesterday. Thanks for the prompt shipment. For some reason, I've become captivated by kalimba music during the past few weeks, so I decided to get the best one available. Your site is a treasure, as is the instrument. It looks, sounds, feels -- even smells great. I've played a variety of instruments in my youth -- none very proficiently -- but have only messed with virtual sounds and instruments on synthesizers and the computer in recent years. After a couple of sessions on the kalimba, I'm slowly getting used to the configuration, producing some glissando progressions and trying to pick out the tunes that I want to play. I haven't picked up a new instrument in ages, so it's a little frustrating to not just be able to play it automatically, but sometimes I surprise myself, and I know that I'll eventually improve. If nothing else, it's good therapy, and I can see what you mean about the left/right brain integration that's involved.
Hi Mark, just received your Kalimba, it's wonderful, just what I was looking for, this thing really, really sings. Can't wait to try it thru my Digitech effects foot pedal. And special THANKS for your free CD, I'm sure I'll love it. Just wanted to write you this because ebay just doesn't give you enough space in their feedback to leave the great praise that you deserve. It's been a rare pleasure indeed, doing business with you. Many happy wishes to you and yours and all you do. Also thanks for signing me up for you newsletter, I'll definitely be reading every word.
Anyway I wanted to comment on how excellent your explanations are. I have found myself really excited about reading your articles. I have heard of many of these concepts before, but not all of them. That's really amazing since I have read about music all over the net. Your article is truly delightful and enlightening! You are straight to the point while giving all of the information I need.
Your Sansula gave me goosebumps upon hearing its haunting melody! Im so excited I cannot wait. :)
Thank You Very Much.
Thanks Mark I received it this afternoon. I have been playing it since I got it. Amazingly I am having no trouble playing it. I guess once you learn an instrument it never leaves you. Very fun instrument. I will be getting other Kalimbas from you in the future.
I already received the Karimba - that was really fast coming from Arizona to Florida. It's absolutely beautiful. Very well made. Beautiful in both appearance and tone. This is going to be a deep instrument - the layout and tuning are definitely different than any western instrument I have seen. It's going to be fun digging in. Your book looks great - there is a lot to tackle in there. You have given me the tools - now it's going to be up to me to get acquainted and learn - that will take a lifetime!
Your kalimbas are so perfect for music therapy with kids and/or adults. The music is easy to make, harmonious, gentle and sweet, like petting a kitty.
Looks like you have really tapped into something with the site. All of the links, tools available, contacts, and heart felt expressions of gratitude make for something that you really should be very proud of. I hope you occasionally realize that this effort and it's effects will continue on the net and in peoples lives long after you are dirt. Be sure to give yourself that! No one else can.
Your love for the instrument makes the Gods smile!
Mark: Hi. Just wanted to thank you for your Newsletters. They are interesting and informative. But your personality and excitement over the Kalimba - shows through - and all helps keep my excitement going too - learning and growing.
First off, I'm not a professional musician, but merely an enthusiastic amateur: I play piano, mostly fakebooks but also simple classical music; I play around with flutes and whistles; I sing bass in an ensemble; and I'm beginning violin. I love all the instruments I play, at whatever rudimentary or advanced level, but also the challenge of learning new instruments. I enjoy conveying basics of music theory to tyros.
The Kalimba represents an instrument upon which one can create satisfying noise at once, but if one wants to go deeper, musicality awaits discovery. Unlike violin or guitar, it stays in pitch, mostly, so one can play immediately with no preamble. It's more compact and portable than anything other than a flute, and although not damage-proof, it's sturdy, unlike a violin, I see the Kalimba as an outdoor instrument, unlike piano; I envision personally satisfying concerts by a rushing stream, on a beach or hill, or by a quiet campfire. Unlike the flute, it's so quiet one can play in public and still remain in private musical space; even rudimentary playing bothers almost no one. It may act as understated accompaniment to solo voice. Hugh Tracey makes quality instruments I may bestow upon friends, knowing I have given something of high musical value for a relatively small investment, unlike a Steinway piano or a Martin guitar. Through these sweet little boxes, I am allowed to be musically generous on many levels.
...I've read a lot about the Hugh Tracey kalimbas, and even found some people who bought the MidEast Music ones and advised anyone interested in buying a kalimba to not buy MidEast Music ones, but to buy a Hugh Tracey kalimba, so I took the plunge. The Sansula description on your site intrigued me as well, so I decided to pick up one of those. Boy, what a wise investment these turned out to be!
I got that Kalimba with pick up from you for my husband for Christmas and he just LOVES it. Plays it all the time when we are in the desert house. It was the best gift I've gotten him in years!
I am playing "Two Thumbs Up" right now, and it is still magical for me. Thank you for catching that dream and not allowing anything to discourage you out of it. I pray often for your success and broader exposure of your music in the world. What you have to give is very important....don't ever lose sight of that.
I received my Kalimba and am having a blast with it. More fun than my NAF's. I also discovered that my older sister has an original 17-note Kalimba that she bought in the 1960's, from a toy store I think, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It has the identifying label (made in South Africa) on the back and everything. It is in pristine condition. I have convinced her to pick it up and start playing again. Amazing.
Thanks again for the magic of the Kalimba!
Mark, Your CD [Two Thumbs Up] was terrific! I've listened to it over and over again. Thank you. I loved the way you've blended all the instruments together. The Kalimba's presence was balanced beautifully.
I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your kalimba playing and your music compositions. I am a pianist/hammer dulcimist in South Florida, and am eagerly awaiting my Hugh Tracey Alto Kalimba. Anyway, your work in promoting the distribution and possibilities with this wonderful instrument are greatly appreciated-obviously it's a labor of love.
My heart is being filled with joy as I find your site, story and experiences with the Kalimba. Your words are so true and so needed in this times we live in nowadays in which people begin to open their eyes and become awake. You cannot (or maybe you can) imagine what a big influence you have on the whole Earth and peace with this small instrument in combination with your personal story. Kalimba's are so needed because they remind you of who you really are, and that is the only thing we can truly call magic. I would like to thank you for this.
The Kalimba reaches people straight to their heart, as I don't need to tell you. A friend of mine brought one and I immediately recognized the sound; it reminded me of a land of inner peace, brightness, light, joy, and it took me there. This land I speak of, as you know everyone can experience it (in the end, we all will) and playing or hearing, feeling the kalimba-vibes shows you easily that this land we speak about, is what we can call home...
Thank you for who you are, thank you for inspiring people.. later I will order my own Kalimba, but I preferred bringing you this message first. :)
We are kindred spirits indeed, let us trust the fact that there are many people all around the world that yet experience life in this way, and even more will. Let us believe we can make this Earth a better, even more beautiful place to live in by doing meaningful "small" things like this. I enjoy sharing this view with You.
Thank you for signing me up. Of course you may quote from my message, I will be glad if you do so because maybe it will help break down another brick from the wall we build around our hearts these days, which is no need to, as we become aware of the real beauty that lies within our being.
Blessings to you, too.
I AM having the best time with my Kalimba and I'm enjoying showing and telling others about it as well--it is such a beautiful instrument and one that can be played and enjoyed on many levels. Even when I make mistakes it sounds good!
Thanks for asking about our kalimba progress. We are still on the practice exercises but have practiced together and have so much fun playing together. I did play "What Child is This" with some ease...it is just a wonderful place for me to go to relax and add balance to our ministry...thanks for your concern, encouragement and guidance. Much Love, Peace and Joy in 2007!
Thanks for sending the Christmas book and the note. To answer your questions--Yes, I have K-tabs and I love it. First I got the reader but found that I needed to slow the tempo so I upgraded to make it easier to follow along. The only suggestion I had to them was to somehow have the music play to the notes further down the page. The notes come from the top of the page and I am unable to look ahead at the music that is coming along. Maybe you can pass on to them how difficult it is to follow along when one can't see ahead. I ordered the Christmas book because it is so easy to follow along with the written music rather than having to turn the computer on all the time.
I love playing the Kalimba and have become very protective of my thumb nails! I broke one several weeks ago and was pretty lost without it (the little plastic thingies don't make the same sound, do they!). I've been working with some of the rhythms and I just laugh and laugh at myself when I can't seem to master the rhythm. It's like patting my head and rubbing my tummy when I'm playing 2 notes with the left and 3 with the right. I just sit and say "why the heck can't I get this?!" I finally have it!! I love playing songs as well and I'm looking forward to the time when I feel that I can embellish with my own notes. Right now I don't have enough expertise to do that but I keep trying.
Everyone who has heard and seen the Kalimba is fascinated with it. A woman who is an accomplished pianist spied it in my living room and instantly took a liking to it. She was able to pick out tunes very quickly.
I hope to have my friend, Gail (who just bought a Kalimba from you), play duets with me soon. I'm sure that will be great fun. Hmmm, I know I can play duets with the Ktabs--I'll have to explore that at soon as life settles down after the Holidays.
Jessie Hoadley, 2007