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 bought your book “Playing the Sansula” in a local shop in Vienna. I own and play a Sansula since many years and use this lovely instrument in some of my compositions. I would like to tell you, that your book brought a lot of inspiration to me – I definitely love your book! It is written with so much love and care and full of inspiration! You share your knowledge in a very profound, kind and peaceful way! I am very thankful!
I just wanted to send you a note to thank you so very much for everything that you've done for me over the past week. I got my Kalimba this past weekend and have been having such a wonderful time getting to know it. They way the instrument resonates in my hands makes it absolutely magical! Since my girlfriend now wants one as well, I look forward to shopping with you again before the Christmas holiday. :)
Thanks again for your patience and helping to introduce me to the Kalimba!
I just wanted to say thank you so much for the Kalimba. I have some songs memorized from the 2- 8 Note books that I have. Also Thanks for the numbering system it sure did help. Both my wife and I like the sound of the Hugh Tracey Treble Celeste sound since we both like the sound of old time music boxes that are very pleasant sounds to our ears.
I have also been trying to teach myself the Hammered Dulcimer which I have had now for about a year now and I find the Kalimba much easier to learn. I can not read music fast enough to read and play so I have to learn the song the easiest way I can which is usually bar by bar or line by line. I have been trying to learn some Christmas songs on the Kalimba so I will sound half way decent for the holidays.
I love watching and hearing you play on Youtube.
Keep up the good job Mark,
BTW - While I have been playing my Kalimba really by myself for about a year, I went to an 'Open Mic' this past Friday night at a local cafe in a park (a friend invited me). It was the first time people heard the Kalimba and it was amazing to see their reaction. The owner of the cafe is thinking she'd like to have a 'meditation night' with the Kalimba and few other instruments. Who knows where this jouney will lead but it is indeed fun! THANKS TO YOU FOR ALL YOU ARE DOING!!
Just got home to find my kalimba waiting on the doorstep about an hour ago and I just set the instrument down, it’s so fun to play and sounds awesome! As a percussionist usually gigging on big things like drum set, congas and cajones it’s nice to have something so beautiful and finesse oriented in my arsenal. I’m looking forward to improving my technique and already working on deciding which kalimba to order next.Thanks for being so easy to shop with!
The pentatonic kalimba arrived today in perfect condition. I'm afraid you may have put a little too much mojo in it, though. When I opened the box, the kalimba began to play "Amazing Grace" all by itself. Our church secretary, who is a bit superstitious, ran out of the building screaming. Now I have that to deal with.
But seriously, the little instrument is absolutely beautiful. I took it from the box and just started playing and the music flowed. It lifted me to another level... "shalom" for the lack of a better word. (Shalom means far more than simply peace. It is better translated as a sense of wholeness in the presence of God.)
I can see so many possibilities for creative output. It begs for classical guitar accompaniment (and the mandolin won't be far behind). I can't wait to run it through a stereo chorus and a couple of my Fender amps. I'll send you a recording when I have something good enough to share.
I am grateful that you would take the time to have a real discussion with me about Dr. Morita's passing. I am honored that you would compare my words to those of George Fox, which is actually like comparing a burlap feed sack to the finest linen. I am certainly not in Mr. Fox's league.
I hope we can find time for more discussions. I am glad to count a radio astronomer as one of my friends. Perhaps one day we will have an opportunity to watch the night sky together.
Until then, I pray that peace will always dwell in your home and heart.
The Kevin Spears Kalimba came in the mail today and Anita is very happy with it (and when Anita is happy, Bill is happy). It is a very beautiful, well-made instrument. Thanks for getting it to us as soon as you could, although it sounds like it was not that easy for you. Your customer service skills in dealing with me were exemplary and I was well satisfied. The first time I spoke with you on the phone I could tell that you were a very reputable business person since you gave me options of how you could solve the problem of not being able to fill an order immediately on a backordered kalimba. You really came through on your promise.
All the best,
I´m writing you from Germany. I play the Hokema Sansula and Kalimba. I have your book (on the) Hokema and it is absolutely a perfect book !!! Very good !!
The kalimbas are GREAT, Mark! Thank you sincerely. I am VERY glad to have the copy of your essentials book. It is very helpful to get me off on the right foot technically. I would have made many mistakes without it.
Mark - I received my 2 Hugh Tracey kalimbas today and they are most excellent! I was so pleased, the tines are just right and the wood is beautiful. If you could have ever seen the pieces of garbage I got from the other company you would cry. It infuriates me that they are giving kalimbas a bad name and are cheating who knows how many people. Thanks for a beautiful product.
It's been quite some time since I've corresponded with you...and since today is the one year anniversary since I've received my first kalimba, I thought it to be appropriate to contact you!
Thank you for introducing me to the world of kalimbas. The models that I've purchased from you, along with your support, has helped me grow as a musician. I continue to play all of them in varying degrees, and always one or two every day.
My original Hugh Tracey Alto has been staying at the key of F for quite some time. I really like that key for the alto. I also have a very nice early 60's model that I keep tuned to G. I have three other Trebles, of which two are in Bb, and one in C. I really love my mint square-ended tine version, with the screws in back.
Hello! I just placed an order and wanted to make sure the item has Middle Eastern tuning. Thank you! I have been very pleased over the years with your products and excellent service.
I finally did it, took off leaving my most favorite kalimba on the roof of my car. I heard it slide and watched it tumbling on the road in my rear view mirror. Somehow I do not think African Musical Instruments designed the bottom heavier than the tine side for this eventuality, still it wasn't even knocked out of tune! Kudos to African musical instraments for making a delightful and robust musical instrament!
I just wanted to thank you so much for your great customer service and prompt shipping! Purchasing my husband's first Kalimba (Hugh Tracey Alto) from you guys has been a wonderful experience and I hope to need more books and accessories for him soon! This will be his first musical instrument to learn, and I am certain that your website and products will help him a great deal. Thank you again so much!
The package with Rowan's 8-note kalimba and book arrived yesterday. I tried it, first numbering the tines to accord with the little leaflet, and managed to pick out the tunes in that. Then her father's best friend showed up, a man who has never played an instrument, and within ten minutes, he'd picked out several tunes. I decided it was too great to hold it until Christmas, where it might get lost in clutter, travel (Philadelphia, maybe Accra this year), and the like, so I gave it to her this morning, and she and her father both made music. They were thrilled. Thank you.
I heard you at Atria Bell Court Gardens, with great pleasure. I did not realize you were selling your Christmas book and CD right there. I'd like to get it for my grandson. Every time I hear you I feel transported to another world and wish I could follow!
I just got my 2 kalimbas that I bought about 3 weeks ago. Honestly , they are the most incredible and the most amazing instruments I have ever seen in my life. Thank you for your great products.
Thanks - you are such a genuine person! I love my Sansula, absolutely love the tones. When I get a little more skill, I will move onto other models of the Kalimba. Thanks for being out there in cyberspace. It is like having a truly beautiful heart tug at the other end of the rope - very reassuring.
White Crow, 2011
Thank you so much for the Christmas Story (The Magical Music Box) you sent. It's a wonderful story and I love the music woven throughout! The kids have really enjoyed listening to it too.
I just wanted to thank you for this incredible site. I am having surgery soon, and I have decided that during my recovery period, while I'm doing a whole lot of sitting with my knee up and not much else, I will be actively expanding my kalimba knowledge and practicing!
While surgery is never fun, I am so looking forward to learning more about this beautiful little instrument.
Mark, thanks for the excellent selection and adjustment. I love it. As remarked on the website, this gem almost plays itself! I'm looking forward to many years of inner travels with this. I really appreciate it. Together We Can
First of all, I would just like to say that you are a truly great and talented musician. You have inspired me to purchase my own kalimba, and it was certainly one of the best decisions I've made in my life.
Over time, I've become more and more attached to my kalimba. I feel as though it's becoming more of a "part of me". So, I would like to ask you, why does the kalimba become so personal with the player? Why is it so spiritual?
Mark's reply to Will:
I'm glad you have bonded so well with the kalimba. Frankly, i don't know WHY the kalimba gets under one's skin so deeply. It doesn't do that with everyone, just some people.
I tend to look at it like this: even though the kalimba is a remarkably simple instrument, you do get back everything you put in and more - if you spend 20 years playing the kalimba, you are still digging deeper. If you spend 2 hours playing kalimba, you might get 2 hours of frustration (you will learn something from this) or 2 hours of joy - or something in between.
My husband is a drummer. In fact, his need to play is like an addiction. In 2 weeks we are having our first child. My husbands birthday will fall a week after the baby is born. I was desperately searching online for a gift for his birthday, when I came across your website. What a wonderful and informative pleasure it has been, to learn so much about an instrument so unique. I know he will love the Hugh Tracey Alto W/ pickup as a birthday gift, especially since he can play for our newborn son, unlike his drums. I plan to surprise him with it when we are able to come home from the hospital. I know he will be so excited to have this instrument and be able to incorporate it both with his son, and with his band. Many thanks to you, your passion of the Kalimba, and all the wonderful insite you provide with your website.
My friend and I came across your videos on YouTube and were immediately taken in by the beautiful sound of the kalimba. I see the kalimba as an instrument of friendship, much like the ukulele, but so much easier to have on hand. My friend and I are musicians in the Marine Corps band in Okinawa, Japan, and look forward to sharing our new kalimbas with our fellow musicians and the many people we meet across Japan and the Pacific. Thank you!
Robert M., 2012
A later message from Robert:
My friend and I received our Kalimbas yesterday and we couldn't be any happier! Listening to your videos is incomparable to playing it in person. Also, the instrument livens through an amplifier, I enjoyed the increased persuasive quality to the sound. They are truly beautiful instruments of outstanding craftsmanship. I look forward to enjoy my new kalimba for many many years. I look forward to doing business with you in the future!
My best to you,
Just received the kalimba. Wow that was fast! I'm very pleased with it. It's a beautiful instrument. As soon as I save enough money, I plan to buy a couple of more. Are there any models that have sharps and flats? I'm sure you get that question a million times. Just wanted to let you know how happy I am. It felt so natural and intuitive when I played it. Thanks again!
I really enjoy your newsletters! It is always very inspiring for me and uplifting. I finally made the leap to order a chromatic kalimba (in C) and I'm giddy about getting into it. While I have larger instruments, my little treble kalimba gives me a very personal, connected feel. It's the instant one-on-one feel, like a chat with a best friend. I am having issues getting the "side swipe" chords (all 3 notes at once), but I'm considering acrylic nails to achieve it.
I have recently purchased an array mbira (120 tines!~) and I love it dearly, but I always enjoy my portable, friendly kalimba. :)
Please put me on the list for your chromatic kalimba book!! I look forward to my chromatic kalimba with great anticipation.
I'd just like to let you know that a few years back I bought a Kalimba from you the day before Christmas, I think 2008. You done me the special favor of packing and posting it late in the day to a girl I'd been speaking with in New Mexico; at the time I lived in London, England.
Thought I'd let you know that I'm married to that girl, have a beautiful baby daughter and also now live in New Mexico! I have to tell you, if it was not for your great customer service and generosity that afternoon, things might have been very different for me today!
By the way, the Kalimba sits on top of our book shelf and our two year old loves it! All the best, and thanks!
Sometimes we are responsible for great things without ever knowing or being privy to their impact.
I just bought a hugh tracy alto and I am in love ! I play muti instruments my whole life for real; but playing the kalimaba, sansula.. and being able to retune it to all world scales blows my mind! This is one of the coolest instruments in this world it is the past and the future vibe! IMO Thank you so much!
It's worth the money they are 10 times better then the ones that cost $40! i LOVE MY ELECTRIC ALTO KALIMBA ,,IT REALLY MADE ME A HAPPIER PERSON; AND THATS AMAZING CONSIDERING THESE CRAZY TOUGH TIMES!
I have decided to go with the Heavenly A Sansula. It just took going over Bunga Utete to still my roof brain chatter about the instriment. Having the book in printed and bound form really helps. I think this instrument very well deserves a warning: "Playing this intrument for any length of time is merciless and devastating to ordinary roof brain chatter!" he he he......
Thank you, Mark, for your excellent service at Kalimba Magic. My new B-flat kalimba with pickup arrived yesterday in great shape, well-packaged with instructions and requested book. I'm so happy to become acquainted with this lovely little instrument and its near-endless possibilities. Had I realized how quickly I would catch on, I'd have taken advantage of one of your double kalimba specials. I'm hooked!
A few years ago, my wife bought an inexpensive coconut shaped kalimba for me on my birthday. This got me introduced to an unusual, interesting instrument. I enjoyed plucking away on the pieces of metal, thinking in the back of my mind what it would sound like with a better quality instrument.
A little over a year ago, my wife got exposed to the Hugh Tracey Kalimba through some sounding work she is involved in with Gary Diggins. She told me about it and Kalimba Magic, and the real story starts here. I got connected with you, listened to a bunch of kalimbas being played at your website and decided to buy 2 Hugh Tracey Kalimbas - the 11 note Pentatonic box and 15 note Alto box. I have played my Pentanonic Kalimba almost entirely over the past year, finding the extra spacing between the tines making it much easier to play. As my confidence and skills increase, I plan to start also playing my Alto Kalimba.
My musical experience has almost entirely been through involvement in community drum circles over the past 8 years. I love the community feeling of such drum circles and enjoy playing a frame/buffalo drum when I'm alone. However, playing my Hugh Tracey Kalimba has taken things to a whole new level.
It's hard to describe my experience when I play my Kalimba. If I had a little box and put a bunch of words to describe how I feel, it would include words like ... 'playful, meditative, inventive, peaceful, beautiful, fun, story-telling, easy-to-play' ...and quite honestly 'mesmerizing'. Yes. my Kalimba has become 'my wee little friend'. I find playing in the early morning, in the dark with candles burning, an incredible experience. I do this most Saturday and Sunday mornings and soooo look forward to this!
Thank you sincerely for your wonderful website and enthusiasm for the Kalimba. Your passion comes through in flying colours with your CD music, your newsletters, your instructional books and well, everything about what you are doing trying to spread the word about this incredible instrument, the Kailmba. I encourage other folks to give this simple, wonderful instrument a try - them just might find they also find a 'wee little friend'!
My name is Karla Cornelio. My sister, Bianca bought me a kalimba for Christmas and I just want to say thank you... because...the kalimba literally saved my life. To me, it has the most beautiful sound in the world. Which means a lot...because I LIKE EVERY SOUND IN THE WORLD. I just wanted to express my gratitude and encourage you to NEVER EVER STOP MAKING KALIMBAS! THANK YOU!
I'm always surprise by how serious you are in your work......yours is beyond business - it is passion. When I come back I will order my Alto. Tell how can do to get my karimba in a G so it can play together with my pentatonic 11?
Have nice day
Opened the package took out the Catania 8-note.... AWESOME!!!! Now I know what that word is supposed to mean. The sound is great, but even better, the wood resonates and sustains each tone incredibly. This is music therapy, a vacation for mind and spirit without the hassle of trains, planes, or automobiles... or the expense! What a great way to relax at the end of the day.
"The Best Ever Book of 8-Note Kalimba Music," IS. It actually lives up to its title. The intuitive tablature system does not even require the brief explanation in the text. You can pretty much flip to any page, look at the tab, and play a tune. Anybody who ever struggled to learn standard music notation can only regret that Mark Holdaway didn't live in Europe five hundred years ago. Western civilization would be wholly different. iPods probably wouldn't exist because everybody would just be playing their own music...and enjoying it! Being a believer that a firm understanding of the basics is pretty much required in any activity, I had to read the book anyway. After all, one has to figure that Holdaway has a little bit of useful insight to share.
Yep! There's that passage about the fundamentals of music, the "right brain activity" part. And... the Catania kalimba is such a fun instrument, with its ringing soundboard, that it opens up to the "heart and soul" of the music almost immediately, suggesting new rhythmic syncopation and harmonic notes and fills. This couldn't be more fun.
I received your 12-Note Kalimba Exercises Book Friday. I am extremely pleased with it. Thank you for setting up an outstanding tutorial. Everything is clear and easy to understand. Any questions I had were answered. It is an outstanding asset to anyone interested in the kalimba.
I received my Kalimba today! What a surprise! It arrived earlier than I expected. Its sound is amazing, somehow magic. I just wanted to thank you for the postcard inside the box and for your brilliant work promoting and supporting this fantastic musical instrument as well.
Kind regards from Spain,
About Your videos: My favourite is 'Family Of Kalimbas to Cover Different Keys'. I watched it thirty or forty times. Really, it is not an exaggeration. I didn't understand at all different tunings, but that video explains everything.