discography

Some words about 'SIX MBIRAS' by F.S.Blumm: 

Six Mbiras is an ordered piece and it’s click to get a big-size version of the record sleeve
label:

Some words about 'SIX MBIRAS' by F.S.Blumm:

Six Mbiras is an ordered piece and it’s functional: Guido Möbius asked me to record some mbiramusic as a complement to miniklon’s '1.5 Farfisa'. Now my job -introducing the instrument according to its inherent nature and (at the same time) empathizing with '1.5 Farfisa'- was not hard, because the automatic expression which arises when I play the mbira has mostly a repetitive, ostinate, metamorph, meandering, minimal-music-like gesture. But first, how does the mbira (a.k.a. sansa, kalimba or thumb-piano) work? Its sound is produced by plucking tongue-like iron appendages which are attached to a wooden resonating box (you may recognize on the record sleeve what it looks like). The front of my mbira has the measurements 28cm x 24cm (11inch x 9.5inch). It’s the classical instrument of Zimbabwe and the shona people. Regarding this, the music of Stella Rambisai Chiweshe ('Queen of Mbira') is my 2nd reference. 'Mbiramusic is basically the interwoven interplay of two sequences of tones linked into the intervalls of each other which produces so many tones in such a speed that the hearing sense cannot perceive all the sounds and starts to hear its own music inside the sound of Mbira: Suddenly bells are ringing (...) fragments of sounds,music and memories turn up. This is the starting point for losing -and finding- your self in the music.'(1) Repetition leads to meditation, ostinato is rotating. ('The spirit will not descend without song'). My 3rd and last reference was -not only by name-: 'Six Marimbas', a piece by Steve Reich. Maybe to put an end to confusing mbira with marimba (which is a special xylophone). But mostly as a compositional inspiration: 'The piece begins with three marimbas playing the same (..) rhythmic pattern, but with different notes for each marimba. One of the other marimbas then begins to gradually build up the exact pattern of one of the marimbas already playing (...) reconstructing the same pattern with the same notes, but two beats out of phase. When this canonic relationship has been fully constructed, two other marimbas double some of the many melodic patterns resulting from this four-marimba relationship. By gradually increasing their volume they bring these resulting patterns up to the surface of the music; (...).' (2) Just like ‘hearing one music inside the other’ My piece (which should be named ‘Six Mbira Tracks’ actually, because I have only one mbira) starts with two instruments playing the same movement; the second one starts at half time of the first one (on the 2nd beat of a 4-beat pattern), which you may hear right at the beginning of the piece?! Each pattern has a deeper accompany (the 3d and 4th mbira), enough to knot a contrapuntal carpet for the 5th and 6th mbira, which do an improvisation bounded by the rhythmic and (overtone-) melodic four-mbira-model and may in this way build a bridge between Reich and Rambisai, mind and flow; or just show a relationship which existed long before.
Frank Schültge Blumm - Berlin 2000

(1) Stella Rambisai Chiweshe Nekati - Piranha Music 42-2
(2) Steve Reich - Nonesuch 7559-79138-2
Issued - 2000


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