Tag Archive | mbira

Walkin’ in the Parlor

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a good old fashioned recorded-it-in-my-living-room kind of post.  Partly, that’s because I haven’t been in my living room lately for long enough to record a tune.  But the other evening, Matt came by for some tunes (as well as folk school plotting and scheming), and this is what we made.  Exploring the quiet, the slow, the simple, the serene side of old time music… We’re inching towards the place where old time music meets African music, or at least the kind of African music I love to listen to.  [I reference this mbira post.]  Actually, now that I think about it, most of the traditional mbira music from Zimbabwe I’ve heard is fast and busy… And maybe I’m just really into what Forward Kwenda does when he takes those traditional melodies to a mellower place.  Well certainly I appreciate knowing how to reach that mellower place in old time music.  Matt Evans is the conductor on the express train to old time mellowland…the slowest, quietest, most peaceful train you could ever imagine.  Here’s my first official wish to the universe in 2009: I wish for Matt and myself to someday collaborate with Forward Kwenda.  🙂  Crazier things have been wished for on blogs, haven’t they?

Walkin’ in the Parlor, recorded by Matt and Christie on 18th St., Chattanooga, Jan 11, 2009.

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Mbira for a Rainy Sunday

I’m sitting on my futon with the hot pink tee shirt sheets and an incredibly soft brown faux fur throw on top. Cymba, my gorgeous new kitten is kneading my chest and purring away. His eyes are closed like he could drop his little head and fall asleep at any moment. I’m so glad I took the time to sew silk flowers onto the bottom edge of my curtains, because now when they’re twisted back they make this bright floral frame for the picture outside. It’s not a particularly nice picture otherwise. Lookout mountain is there, sure, but so is the big muddy field recently cleared for townhouses that have yet to be built. And word on the street says we’ll soon be seeing a cell phone tower planted behind our properties…how’s that for beautification? Maybe when it comes, I’ll go sew silk flowers on it.

But it’s beautiful inside my room. The warm, magenta glow as all the pinks and reds and oranges soak up the daylight, even during this morning’s storm. The minidisc recorder seems to have gotten lost in all the commotion here at the house, so another way to share this track from mbira player Forward Kwenda is to link to this YouTube clip someone else posted. This is the music I want to be hearing when I’m taking my last breaths.

Tadzungaira, “We Are Suffering”, played by Forward Kwenda on his 1997 album, Svikiro.