In this second post, I reflect on my workshop content, method and the feedback I received.
Summer has just come to an end and I'm grateful to be left with some magical mbira memories. Here's some background to my journey this year, and a gallery of photos from the workshops I led. In part 2, you can find out more about what I taught and how it was received...
New to composing? Looking for fresh licks and ideas? Or just fancy picking up a handful of free tunes? This short, refreshing and fun guide will open up new creative directions for you on your mbira journey (suitable for all abilities). Let's get started!
"An accessible, innovative and important addition to mbira literature". Find out what sets this book apart from other traditional Shona song books, view sample pages and check out reviews from academics, recording artists and enthusiasts around the world.
Our funky new designs (and old favourites) are now available across a massive range of products including bags, skirts, notebooks, mugs, stickers and T-shirts. There's something here for every mbira enthusiast. We're also using a new store front with lower prices (up to 30% cheaper than ever before), ethically resourced fabrics and international postage.
This month we offer three new variations for bangiza / bangidza. Inspired by the beautiful songs of Fungai Gahadzikwa and Luken Pasipamire.
November 2015 : This month we're giving away a copy of Kumusha. Recorded in 2014, this album features musicians William Chitauro, Kennedy Chinyere and Prince Mandere. Recorded in Chiriseri and mixed/produced in the UK by Mike Parnell.
This month, we take a song example from the book Unlocking Mbira and introduce an additional funky bassline variation. 'Jarabi' is a love song from West Africa, often played on the Kora. This lesson includes video of Toumani Diabate explaining and layering different parts of the song (bassline, melody and improvisation). An equally phenomenal musician, Derek Gripper performs this and a variety of other kora (21 string) pieces on guitar (6 string!) - video also included.
Hey folks. This month we look at a variation of Chaminuka for Mbira Dza VaDzimu - with accompanying Tab (PDF), Audio and Video. The audio track includes a few slight variations - particularly in the right hand. For support and inspiration, we've included four videos of Chaminuka being played on Mbira Dza VaDzimu, and a special version on Njari by Phillip Nangle.
The must-have book for all mbira players, Unlocking Mbira is now available to buy. Check out our quick overview, example pages and reviews (academic and customer).
October 2015 : This month we're giving away a copy of Tekhaudi Dékau by Toumaranke. Simply comment on any news post at MbiraMagic.Com to enter. Visit now for features on leading mbira artists, unique mbira products, Free resources and more...
Finally, our doors are open, and it's time to hear from the world's top mbira figures, access some great mbira resources and share your journey with the international mbira community.
...you see, I had never touched an African instrument until I landed in Zimbabwe in 2002. Little did I know how much my life was about to change.
Mbira Spirit consists of artists and educators Amy Matamba from Vancouver Island, Canada and Tafadzwa Matamba from Magunje, Zimbabwe. In this feature, readers will find out how their paths met, and learn about their social vision and inspiring achievements.
I set up Mbira Magic in September 2015 to provide a platform for my mbira books, and to inspire and support mbira enthusiasts around the world to create and share their own great mbira products/resources. Visitors enjoy our series of special Nzira Ye Mbira (Path of Mbira) features, on, and by leading mbira figures, regular competitions and a variety of opportunities to Get Involved with our development. We also raise funds to support music and arts projects in Zimbabwe and elsewhere.
Many of our readers will be familiar with the work of Michael Williams. In this feature, we join him on a passionate journey that started almost thirty years ago. Let’s walk through time together and find out where it all began, what he has achieved with the instrument, and how his books and free resources are helping mbira players around the world.
Inspired by advent calendars at Christmas, we shared a series of countdown images to promote our launch in Mbira Month (September) 2015. Each day, we moved to a different note on this special 25-key mbira and revealed something new about MbiraMagic.Com
I was part of a group in Cape Town that began working with African musicians and dancers in 1986 during the apartheid years. Suddenly our frustration and despair with the condition in South Africa shifted into a highly charged creative activism.