Feb. 19, 2011

Vol. 6, Num. 2

Kalimba Magic NEWS

Kalimba Magic Contests
Deadlines Pushed Back AGAIN

Holy Kalimba! We STILL have had no submissions to these contests - so we are pushing both contests back by a month - AGAIN!

This is like free money!

Folks, this is like free money, but nobody is jumping at it! Yes, it's true, you will have to do some work: make a video for the first contest, or learn something, write some music, and make a recording for the second contest. But nobody is doing it - so if you just basically submit something, you will have a good chance of winning!


What I Feel When I Play Kalimba Video Contest

New contest deadline: March 1, 2011
Express how playing kalimba makes you feel in a YouTube video. Write a song, play kalimba, give a testimonial, get creative. Send us a link to the video and a few sentences describing who you are. As with part 1 of this contest, there may be 3 winners and the winning submissions will share $150 in Kalimba Magic store credit. (We'll decide if there are one, two, or three winners when we view the submissions.)

Create Original Music Based on the Mbira Cycle Contest

New contest deadline: April 1, 2011
Submit your original music as a sound recording in MP3 or on a CD, as a KTabS file, as written tablature, or in a YouTube video.

The Mbira Cycle
The Mbira Cycle - go clockwise!

What is the Mbira Cycle? Andrew Tracey refers to it as the system of the mbira - a circular chord progression made up of 12 chords positions (some chords are repeated, so there are only six different chords that inhabit these 12 positions). When you get to the end, of course you go back, Jack, and do it again, wheel turning 'round and 'round. Hence, I call it a cycle. There are three different possible start points. And Andrew Tracey states that most mbira music is based on this music theoretical framework. Hence, it is a generative system - once you understand the mbira cycle, you can use it as a tool to create new songs, just as they have been doing in Zimbabwe for centuries.

The mbira cycle was featured in December's newsletter! Well, that article is little more than an advertisement for an ongoing series of Wednesday Tips of the Day where you can learn step by step about the mbira cyle, giving you the information you need to create your own mbira-like music - and to enter this contest! It's like getting paid to learn about something that you probably want to know about anyway.

By the way, I will consider submissions using the shorter karimba cycle as well as mbira cycle submissions.

Here is my own submission to the contest - played on the Bb Treble Hugh Tracey kalimba. It's a bit thin - there is only the basic part - I haven't written any variations yet, but it gives you a solid example of the mbira cycle, repeated four times. (Actually, I forgot to mention that a Kalimba Magic employee isn't allowed to enter the contest.) In this example, I didn't take liberties with the chord progression, but I won't hold you to strict adherence to the chord cycle. As long as I can hear that the music you create is based on the chord cycle, I'll be happy.

To enter this contest, send us a few sentences describing who you are, what your song is, and how you are going to enter (email, snail mail, etc.). As with the other contests, there will be up to 3 winners and the winning submissions will share $150 in Kalimba Magic store credit. (We'll decide if there are one, two, or three winners when we judge the submissions.)

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