Articles tagged with: Hugh Tracey Kalimba

12 August 2018

Enjoy This Vintage Hugh Tracey Treble Kalimba

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

This one plays just as nicely as it did in... oh, 1968? Yes, Virginia, old kalimbas can be made new again!

Enjoy This Vintage Hugh Tracey Treble Kalimba

In the 1960s, the Hugh Tracey Treble kalimba was “the thing.” It was new, it was fun, it sounded great.

Hugh Tracey’s sons, Andrew and Paul, both learned to play and love the Treble kalimba. In fact, while Hugh was working on creating this hybrid instrument in Africa before anyone in the world was making commercial kalimbas, he sent Paul one of his first prototype kalimbas while Paul was at boarding school back in England. Hugh admonished Paul not to share this kalimba with anyone. It was top secret. And the kalimba that Paul received was constructed not of wood, but of aluminum! (Just like the aluminum cello of Albert Schweitzer.)

The entire boarding school knew that Paul had gotten a package from his father in Africa, and even the headmaster began to badger him: "SO, what did you get in that box from Africa?" And there sat 15-year-old Paul in his bedroom at night, quietly plucking his brand new, aluminum prototype kalimba’s tines, producing sweet and charming and exotic melodies and harmonies... and there wasn't a single person that he could share it with!