Kate Maembe: Kate Maembe specializes in thumbharp and traditional songs from the Wagogo tribal tradition in Tanzania, East Africa. She has been studying with the Zawose family (principally with Danford Zawose) in Bagamoyo since 1999. Kate has a particular interest in music as a healing art, promoting relaxation and wellbeing. Kate gives regular performances and workshops, including music for people in healthcare environments. Visit katemaembe.com and kutuliamusic.org for further details. The Instruments: The Wagogo thumbharp ('ilimba') is a wooden box with metal keys of varying lengths fixed across the top. These tuned keys are plucked using the thumbs of each hand to create a harp-like effect. Three different-sized thumbharps are featured in this recording. The buzzing sound is the vibration of small bits of metal (from recycled oil cans) wrapped around the tops of the keys. All lyrics in this album are sung in Kigogo, the Wagogo tribal language, unless otherwise specified. Wagogo music is one of 120 tribal traditions in Tanzania. Track Info: Karibu kutulia! 'Welcome to a state of relaxation and wellness" (Kiswahili), as you embark upon this virtual journey through the Californian Redwoods, accompanied by traditional thumbharp and vocal melodies originating from the Wagogo tribal heartlands of Tanzania, East Africa. 1. Salome (traditional: arr. Kate Maembe): Siyonene calls to his wife, Salome, to tell her that their baby is crying and he asks her to put the child on her back ('chimpape cum gongo'). He sends the child to sleep by telling stories from long ago. 2. Hoi Baba (traditional: arr. Kate Maembe): Performed by at least three musicians, the repetitive, intertwining riffs of this hypnotic groove are traditionally used to lift depression and uplift the listener. 3. Bembe (traditional: arr. Kate Maembe) featuring Manose (Himalayan flute). 'Bembe les mtoto, analia' ('Don't cry child'). 4. SitaRam (Kate Maembe): A new piece inspired by a visit to Montgomery Woods, an ancient redwood grove in Northern California. 5. Radhe Govinda (traditional: arr. Kate Maembe): featuring Manose (Himalayan flute): The opening lyrics are a sanskrit mantra to Tara, a female deity of long-life in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition: 'om brum sowaha, om amirta ayur, dha dhe sowaha', followed by a kirtan from the bhakti yoga tradition to the divine lovers and forest-dwellers, Radha and Govinda. 6. Baobab (traditional: arr. Kate Maembe): Like the redwoods, baobab trees are spectacular living monuments in their native landscape. Baobabs ('mapera') traditionally held great ritual significance for Wagogo villagers - the subject of the lyrics of this song. 7. Malenga Gwey (traditional: arr. Kate Maembe): A traditional Wagogo instrumental piece which uses both the thumb and forefinger of the right hand. 8. Karibu (Kate Maembe): This new piece - a quick detour from the forest - was created during hours of looking out to sea from Kemp Town beach in Brighton (UK). 9. Chali Matunda (traditional: arr. Kate Maembe): This song traditionally accompanies teenage boys as they set out from their village into the bush to undergo rites of passage into adulthood. Dr Hukwe Zawose particularly loved this ilimba melody. 10. Dunia (Dr Hukwe Zawose): One of a number of peace songs created by Dr Zawose in Kiswahili, Tanzania's national language. His message was that, despite the many problems facing the world today ('dunia mahangaiko'), Wagogo people are still singing and dancing... 11. Epilogue - Buigiri: (Danford Zawose/Kate Maembe instrumental). A field recording of a jamming session which took place in Buigiri village, Tanzania, in 2002, while waiting to meet the traditional Wagogo doctor. Forest sounds recorded on location in Redwood State Park, Oakland, CA. Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Mark Ackermore at the CreationNation VibrationStation in Oakland, CA using Blue technology. Interested in studying with the Zawose family in Bagamoyo, Tanzania? Contact Kate at firstname.lastname@example.org In loving memory of Ian McKay Murdoch, and Dr Hukwe & Charles Zawose. Copyright Kate Maembe 2006.
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