music clip of the day


Category: mbira

Monday, August 17th

what’s new

James Brandon Lewis (tenor saxophone) and Chad Taylor (mbira, drums), live, New York (Quarantine Concert presented by Experimental Sound Studio, Chicago), 8/8/20




random sights

other day, Chicago

Friday, January 27th

sounds of Kinshasa*

Konono No. 1, live, London, 2015



art beat: other day, The Guggenheim (New York)

Vasily Kandinsky (1866-1944), Small Pleasures, 1913



*Democratic Republic of Congo.

Friday, November 25th

sounds of Kinshasa*

Baloji with Konono No. 1, “Karibu Ya Bintu,” 2011



reading table

One needs to keep a clear head when facing pirates in the Amazon.

—Hubert Kinski, 43-year-old Polish explorer, quoted in “‘There’s No Law on the Amazon’: River Pirates Terrorize Ships by Night,” New York Times, 11/18/16


*Democratic Republic of Congo.

Friday, June 3rd

Mozart one day, another day this—how lucky to live in a world so various.

Konono No. 1, “Yaya Mikolo,” live, France (Saint-Nazaire), 2009


Monday, January 4th

more sounds of Kinshasa*

Mbongwana Star, “Malukayi” (feat. Konono No. 1), 2015


*Democratic Republic of Congo.

Monday, September 14th

sounds of Zimbabwe

This I could listen to all day.

Thomas Mapfumo, “Chikonzero”
Live (studio performance), Eugene, Oregon, 2015

MVP? That’s easy—guitarist Gilbert Zvamaida. In his hands melody (or “lead”) and rhythm are one.


the beat goes on

2,100 posts—and counting.

Saturday, April 4th

sounds old and new

Nathan Davis (mbira, electronics), Simple Songs of Birth and Return
Live, Chicago, 2014



reading table

In the fifth century, the sun used to rise every morning and lie down to sleep every evening just as it does now. In the morning, as the first sunbeams kissed the dew, the earth would come to life and the air would fill with sounds of joy, hope, and delight, while in the evening the same earth would fall silent and be swallowed by stern darkness. Day was like day, night like night.

—Anton Chekhov (1860-1904), “Without a Title” (translated from Russian by Robert Chandler [Anton Chekhov’s Selected Stories, Cathy Popkin, ed.])

Tuesday, February 3rd

sounds of Mali (day one)

Africa Express, “Terry Riley’s in C Mali,” 2013-15


I am overwhelmed and delighted by this CD. I was not quite prepared for such an incredible journey, hearing the soul of Africa in joyous flight over those 53 patterns of ‘In C’. This ensemble feeds the piece with ancient threads of musical wisdom and humanity indicating to me that this work is a vessel ready to receive and be shaped by the spontaneous feelings and colours of the magician/musician. I could not ask for a greater gift for this daughter’s 50th birthday.

Terry Riley (1935-)

Monday, October 27th

Need a lift?

Konono No. 1, “Makembe”
Live (enhanced footage), France (Festival St. Nazaire), 2009




art beat: yesterday at the Art Institute of Chicago

Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)
Fishing in Spring, the Pont de Clichy (Asnières), 1887



Thursday, April 3rd

sounds of Chicago

Chicago Underground Duo (Rob Mazurek, cornet, electronics, voice; Chad Taylor, drums, mbira, electronics), live (music begins at 4:30), Italy (Venice), 2013

(This clip, alas, has some glitches: at 56:15 both the sound and the picture drop out, returning, with just one of two audio channels, at 58:46.)

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