Tuesday, February 20, 2007

It's a Kalimba!




Do you know people who collect exotic musical instruments? I scan the Sunday markets for that reason and comes home mesmerised by the new purchase, antique or not.
One of them is a kalimba (see my photos above).
What? A kah-leem-bah..slowly pronouncing it for a friend.


-What does it sound like?

-What?

-That thing!
-I just said it...sounds like kaaah-leeeem-baaah!
-No, I mean how does it sound like? That err..killambah!

-Oh..a twanging sound that distorts at the end.

-What d'you mean? Like dropping a sardine can?

-Haha, no! More like toink-plunk-toinky-toink. Very primitive if not primeval. There's drama in the sound produced with an array of unique tones. Could be meditative for some.

-So how do you use it?

-It's a thumb piano. You just pluck the metal keys.

-Where did it come from?
-The metal keys?
-Nooo! That kambillah!
-Oh, from a Sunday market here in Sydney.

-No, I mean from what country?
-Kenya. Kenya dig it mate? LOL
-How much?

-As much as I treasure it. Not for sale, sorry!

-Oh please let me try it.

-No! It's fragile!

-Pleeease..

-Okay. But be careful, it's hard to tune.
-Come on! This thing has a chaotic keyboard. Where's do-re-mi here?
-Find them!
-But they're all mixed up.
-Maybe you should think outside of the box repapips. If you're gonna make pure, honest music like what the primitives do, then shift out of western music's formulaic mindset.
-Uh, okay
-(Hours passed) Err, can I have my kalimback?:-)
-Aww, I'm enjoying it now!
-Make your own then!
-How?
-That's made of dried gourd right?
-Oh really?
-Oh yes really!
-So what?
-Here's something for you.
-What's this?
-Gourd seeds, hahaha!
I haven't seen my friend since. I hope he took up gardening. Oh I'm so nasty!:-)
BTW there's a story about the kalimba and popular band Earth, Wind & Fire

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