TIP OF THE DAY

Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Gifts from the Ancestors
Another Gift - "Night Rider"

In Monday's tip a couple days ago, I promised I would teach you how to play the song fragment that had come to me on my walk that day. That is still on the burner. But I was just given another piece of music that I will share with you today.

I invite you to listen to Night Rider. It has a mystical feel, riding slowly, wearily through the night, but with perseverance. BTW, this is on my F-tuned Alto kalimba - the very one that stars in the YouTube Video of "First Look Inside," but that kalimba is now a whole step lower.

OK, I had loaded my big box of kalimbas going to the post office into my car, and I was wondering which kalimba I should take with me - and the F Alto jumped up "Take me, Take me!" so I did, and at the first red light I picked her up and she gave me the chorus to this song. I was playing the chorus in line at the post office at 5:45 pm. I was hoping for Peggy at the far right, she likes kalimba music. Instead I got Janice. She is by far the fastest postal clerk I have ever met, very bright and a great multi-tasker - but she doesn't like the kalimba music,"It's too twangy!" It is in my best interest to keep on the right side of the postal employees - Kalimba Magic operates under the grace of our customers and the postal service - so I didn't play.

We chatted a bit, and then the radio started to blare out "La Bamba!" The very "La Bamba" that graced these tips a few weeks ago. But surely between "La Bamba" and "Twist and Shout", countless budding new songs have been cut down and lost in unknown memories, trampled by the banalities of the I-IV-V. I realized what was happening AFTER it had happened - I could not remember the melody of my new song.

BUT THEN I remembered the pattern the tines make - similar to what the tablature would look like. I could not remember the song, but I could see the pattern of how to play it. I rudely plugged up my ears and held the kalimba in the silence of my mind - and I could see my thumbs touching lightly over the tines, and then - then! - I could hear the music of my new song in the inner sanctuary of my mind. I relaxed and paid my tab as "La Bamba!" ended. After I got my empty box into my car, I pulled out the F Alto again and found that yes, the song was still with me. The verse came on the ride home.