The Evolving Story

What is next in the Kalimba Magic story?

The Evolving Story

I first wrote the “Waking Dream” web pages in 2006, and just revised them in 2015. Back in 2006, I saw ahead of me a lot of the work I had to do – all the books, the website development, the tips, helping people select kalimbas, etc. I expected I’d have recorded more music. There were many things I did not imagine – such as the delightful Thomas Bothe “2B” Kalimbas, the success of the Kalimba Magic YouTube channel with 4.2 million views, and the popularity of the SaReGaMa karimba tunings.

I still play kalimba every day. I still play every day for joy (often my old Alto Hugh Tracey), but most of my playing is purposeful. Someone once told me “The kalimba will teach you how to play it” – and I am a kalimba listener, trying to hear the secrets each kalimba has to reveal, and then I capture them in tablature so the rest of the world can learn to play. Or so I can learn to play for that matter. Often when I capture a song in tablature, I am still many hours away from being able to play that song.
The last song in the Freygish-tuned Karimba download was such a song, taking me about an hour to write and several weeks to learn to play:

I am pleased to say that I have finally set up a quality recording studio at “Kalimba Magic Headquarters” – ie, my house – and the recording that goes with this video is the first fruit from that effort.

A further inspiration in that direction: as I have built Kalimba Magic iteratively over 10 years, the content on the web page and in the Kalimba Magic Shop is not homogeneous – that is, I know a lot more now and I am a better player now than I was 10 years ago. I realized that I need to undertake an initiative to make a homogeneous set of support materials for each kalimba we carry, including high quality recordings of every single one, showing how the kalimba sounds all by itself and also showing an example of how the kalimba can work with other instruments. That project will take me hundreds of hours. Why do I do it? I suppose the best answer is: “Because I am in love with the kalimba, how it sounds, what it can do, and what playing the kalimba does to me.” It relaxes me. It gives me a chance to reflect on how I act in the world, lets me see what I did right and what I did wrong, helps me to become a better person. It takes me away from the craziness of the world and into a place of ancient peace. Crazy, but that is what happens to me when I play.

It is my mission to bring that sort of experience to you.

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