Friday, March 20, 2009
For something completely different…
This is a karimba, a type of lamellophone or thumb piano. You hold the instrument in your hands and pluck the metal tines with your thumbs, which creates beautiful bell-like tones.
And here is another type of lamellophone, a kalimba. Both of these are smaller versions of the mbira, an ancient instrument from Africa, mainly from the region around Zimbabwe.
I got the kalimba last fall after hearing mbira and kalimba played in concert (by Kevin Nathaniel, along with Tomas Rodriguez and Hasan Bakr), and the karimba this winter. Playing is mesmerizing, like a meditation. In the future, I plan to post short music clips so you can hear what they sound like. In the meantime, here’s a wonderful piece played on karimba by Teodor Doroba (YouTube).