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Free Jazz and Improvised Music

FM26  KalimbaMania
  1. Global Dance* (5:07) [B major mixolydian]
  2. Shamani (3:36) [F# major]
  3. The Upper Room* (13:29) [F# harmonic minor]
  4. Les Sons De Bali (1:54) [unknown tuning]
  5. Joy* (6:38) [G major]
  6. Raga Siva* (9:46) [F# Indian natural minor]
  7. Rio Gango (5:26) [F# major]
  8. Oriental Garden* (5:40) [A-flat melodic minor—altered]
  9. Akool* (3:19) [C major]
  10. Old World Raga** (10:47) [G locrian—altered]

Total Time: 65:48

* Original KalimbaMania
**Previously unreleased

Music composed by EXILES: Jay Zelenka & Greg Mills
Recorded in several sessions throughout 1988 and '89
at Premier Film and Sound, St. Louis
Chris Rathert, Engineer
Tape restoration & digital transfer by Doug Rayburn:
Benton Park Studio, St. Louis
Remastered from the original recordings in 2007.
Jay Zelenka, Engineer
Design: Tony Patti
Produced by JZ/Freedonia Music
KalimbaMania © (P) 2008 Freedonia Music

Jay Zelenka: kalimbas, electronics
Greg Mills: kalimbas, piano, organ, electronics
KalimbaMania was first released in 1989 on the Esfoma Recordings label. This new compilation is digitally remastered from the original studio tapes and includes 21 minutes of additional recording from that era. All 10 compositions are live duet improvisations as are the overdub tracks in Global Dance. Electronic pitch transform programs (Yamaha SPX-90) are responsible for the altered voices in several pieces: In Les Sons De Bali electronic sounds suggest the dark gongs and silvery metallophones of Balinese Gamelan music. Shamani introduces an acoustic grand piano (Mills), pitch-transposed & paired with two kalimbas (Zelenka), also pitch-transposed, to create harmony & bass voices in a rhythmically dramatic piece evoking the mood of Indian jugalbundi. Raga Siva and Old World Raga use an organ and piano to create a drone filling the role traditionally taken by tamboura in Indian music. Tuned snare drums, bottom skin removed, serve as resonators to enhance volume and overtones. In traditional African playing, kalimbas are braced within large gourds for this purpose. Basing the individual improvisations on a variety of tunings, tempos, rhythms, & moods as well as using kalimbas of varied design add further diversity to this music.

kalimba (kah-LIM-bah): a hand held pan-African metallophone with an unspecified number of keys ranging from as few as 6 or 8 to 40 or more played by plucking with thumb and fingers. On larger instruments keys can be arrayed in a double, manual. Traditionally it accompanied the player's singing & was often played in large ensembles. Tuning is flexible within a range based on the instrument's physical size and characteristically relates to the players vocal range and natural tonic. The tines or keys are usually metal and occasionally hardwood or bamboo. The bodies are fashioned from wood boxes, tortoise shells, metal cans, coconut shells & traditionally from gourds of all sizes. Called kalimba in the Bembe language of the Bantu people, the Shona name for this instrument is mbira Some other African names: sanzhi, likembe, nsansi, lisanza, thandi.

mania (MAY-nee-ah): an excessive persistent enthusiasm, obsession, rapturous excitement.

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