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Re: Marimba/Mbira music


You wrote:

> We sure have a lot of really heavy woods down here (Salvador/Brazil).
> And my partner Bira builds Kalimbas (=Mbira?) and all sorts of 
> He has some reasonable (under used) wood working machines.
> For a resonator he has gourds (is that the big vegetable with the hard,
> thin shell?). He uses them even for Kalimbas! And of course for the
> Berimbaos.

My interest is turned up to 11! Brazil has MANY fine woods. Would Bira 
take a small custom order for some cut wood? Does Bira also sell any of 
the instruments he makes? I don't know what the US or Brazilian laws are 
on such matters. Perhaps it's legally possible?

Yes, gourds! I've grown them, and I've used them to make shekere (large 
African rattle with external woven beadwork). I'd like to make a 
berimbao one day. Gourd marimba resonators are beautiful. The marimba 
plans I've seen recommend the use of PVC tubing. Not as pretty, but 
perhaps more precisely tunable.

> Hoppi recorded a Bamboo Balaphon.

I will look for this. I'm a big fan of the rhizomes! On the 
Philooposophy page I will attempt to describe the book "A Thousand 
Plateaus" by Gilles DeLeuze and Felix Guattari. The book pays homage to 
the grass, and may be important for loopists.

> One of my dreams is to build such instruments "solid body" with piezo 
>pick up's.
> To make the pickups is easy for me. The position of it is easy in case of
> Kalimba, and a bit more difficult in case of marimba, but still possible.

I'd be very interested to know what comes of this good dream. I've used 
a DiMarzio "Hot Dot" pickup into a feedback notch/preamp called "The 
Notch" to amp my hollow body kalimbas. It works, but the solid body idea 
is one I'd like to try. In July I was surfing the net, with Alta Vista, 
and I found, in a "Marimba" search, a page of pickups for marimba. I 
wish I had bookmarked it. Perhaps the page would offer some desinger's 

> We could install instrument builders courses down here:
> Beach in the morning, sawing in the afternoon and 'Plex syncing at night!
> Wana teach?

This sounds VERY good to me! Perhaps building, with some other 
coursework in Brazilian percussion and guitar playing? With plenty of 
beachwork and loop studies! I'd rather be a student; some of my best 
teachers have been my fellow students.