Articles tagged with: Mark Holdaway

11 January 2019

Two Diametrically Different Kalimba Playing Approaches

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

Careful, precise, and planned - or Wild, Free, In-the-moment - both are important

Two Diametrically Different Kalimba Playing Approaches

When I'm asked how I learned kalimba, I tell this story: while I had known what a kalimba was since the age of two, I only discovered how wonderful kalimba music could be when I was 24 and I witnessed an amazing player close up. I immediately went out and bought a kalimba, and then I wandered alone in the wilderness for 10 years, finding my own way.

In that wandering, I found that my path branched in two opposing directions. On one, I tried to learn songs exactly, with precision and repeatability. On the other, I aimed for pure delight in the spontaneous flow that come only from improvisation. And over time I learned that these two approaches enhance each other.

Today we'll talk a little more about improvisation versus learning specific riffs and songs, and see two recently-made videos that illustrate these two starkly different ways of approaching kalimba playing.

11 December 2018

Why Should You Buy From Kalimba Magic?

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

Because of the greatly superior overall kalimba experience that you'll have with us

These days, most people find Kalimba Magic after they have bought an inexpensive Chinese-made 17-Note kalimba from Amazon or eBay, and they are mystified and confused and want to learn how to play it and maintain it. They google something like "Learn to play 17-Note Kalimba," up comes a results page dominated by Kalimba Magic content. There's a good reason for that!

Kalimba Magic is unique. Almost nobody in the world has created quality kalimba instructional materials. I have written 45 kalimba downloads and 25 kalimba books. And these books and ebooks are not small: 40, 60, some are even 100 pages. Most of the books link to MP3 files (older ones have CDs), and all of our downloads have MP3 files, so you can hear what the music that you're learning should sound like.

There are some other things to know about Kalimba Magic that can make your experience with kalimbas immeasurably more worthwhile and rewarding.

12 December 2016

“Kalimba” The Movie

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

AZPM video program about kalimbas, Mark, and Kalimba Magic. And a challenge!

“Kalimba” The Movie

Kalimbas are an exotic and intriguing musical experience to many, and recently Arizona Public Media (AZPM) created “Kalimba,” which was broadcast on their weekly TV magazine Arizona Illustrated.  “Kalimba” features the kalimba and Mark Holdaway, founder and owner of Kalimba Magic in Tucson, Arizona. This quick tour gives a brief overview of Mark's kalimba universe and the history and sound of this diverse family of instruments known as “lamellophones,” with excellent depictions of many fascinating modern and ancient kalimbas and their cousins.

23 May 2016

Titos Sompa and Mark Holdaway: Merging Sound and Story in an Evening of Kalimba

Written by Michelle Hollett, Posted in News and Announcements

Review of a house concert in Tucson, May 2016

Titos Sompa and Mark Holdaway: Merging Sound and Story in an Evening of Kalimba

On the cusp of the new moon, on the evening of May 4th, a group of individuals gathered in the living room of Tabitha Danloe, before performers Mark Holdaway and Titos Sompa, and around the kalimba—the force of the evening. Titos Sompa is a Congolese Master in dance, drum, kalimba, and more. Mark Holdaway is the founder of Kalimba Magic.

My own experience with the kalimba is brand new—just a brush stroke in the air. I am no expert in its anthropological beginnings: the places, the cultures; the spiritual roots and experiences; the sounds the kalimba can make and how they happen. But Titos Sompa and Mark Holdaway are experts—and each in their own way. In this intimate concert setting, each of the men pulled the audience into their individual, and shared, passion for the kalimba. And it was plain to see: it’s a passion that is rooted deep in their hearts, and deep in their stories.   A profundity of story was what I experienced that night, and was what I took home with me. The kalimba inspires story. The kalimba is story.