Wednesday, May 29, 2013
The thumb piano (or mbira, kalimba, sanza, likembe), consists of a wooden board with attached staggered metal keys, and is widely heard throughout the Eastern and Southern African continent. However, for this New Sounds, listen to music from Europe, North and South America, as well, using various forms of the African thumb piano. To start, there’s music from Zimbabwe's Queen of Mbira, Stella Chiweshe, a trailblazer who learned her craft in the mid-late 1960's when it was forbidden for a woman to play the instrument. Then, hear music by Nathan Davis which is inspired by the function of mbira music in the life rituals of the Shona people of Zimbabwe.