Apr 1, 2014

Stay A While REMIX's from the new album!

STAY A WHILE is getting some attention!

Gina is super Happy about it!!!!!

Here is #1 REMIX= by Mental Jewelery

and a snip of another REMIX #2 = by Nicorisone

and the original:

Oct 30, 2013

Tribute to Layne Redmond

O Priestess
Let the sounds of our drums lead you into the other world.
As the ancients followed their beloveds to the tomb 
with the drum and song and lamentation,
may the sounds that you inspired
follow you on your journey,
As all our hearts beat as one.

Layne Redmond 1952 – 2013

Aug 14, 2013

MalletKAT-bata-oru seco

Close your eyes...

Imganine you are hearing the real look at what you are really hearing!

eeeeeh!  just an experiment (please don't get upset!)

A malletKAT- bata "oru seco"...  (Electronic malletKAT using samples of our very own bata drums to electronically simulate the "Oru Seco" normally played on the bata.


Shawn Hennessey- Iya

Cito Caraballo Candell- Itotele

Gina Ferrera- Okonkolo 

Dec 14, 2012

Kariga Mombe- "taking the bull by the horns" + the Mbira

KARIGA MOMBE- means "taking the bull by the horns".  This is traditional mbira music from Zimbabwe.  

Kariga mombe, also means "undefeatable---one who can throw a bull to the ground". 


The mbira the process of recording this version of Kariga Mombe I kept thinking how appropriate at the moment... "take the bull by the horns" ;)  

...welcoming in the new 2013 calander year and paying a tribute to "all of our" ancestors!

The Mbira 'Dzavadzimu' (directly translated as mbira of the ancestors) of the Zezuru group of the Shona people of Zimbabwe, Africa.It consists of 22 to 28 metal keys mounted on a 'gwariva' (hardwood sound-board). The mbira is usually placed inside a large calabash resonator (deze) to amplify it. The mbira is played with the two thumbs stroking down and the right forefinger stroking up. Either metal beads strung on a wire, or bottle tops or shells mounted on a metal plate, are placed on the lower portion of the mbira soundboard to add a buzz which varies from a soft hiss to a tambourine-like sound. Bottle tops or shells are also mounted on the deze to increase the buzz. The buzz is considered an essential part of the mbira sound, required to clear the mind of thoughts and worries so that the mbira music can fill the consciousness of the performers and listeners. The buzz adds depth and context to the clear tones of the mbira keys, and may be heard as whispering voices, singing, tapping, knocking, wind or rain.Many different mbira tunings are used, according to personal preference.

Mbira and Healing
Mbira music has been used by the Shona people of Zimbabwe to heal physical and mental illness for more than a millennium. For the Shona, healing results from both the mbira’s sound and its power to summon ancestor spirits who influence the health of the living.The Shona describe that, "when you listen to mbira, you are a spirit. Your thoughts and worries are gone and your body can heal". The sound of mbira will affect you with or without your belief in its healing power.The purifying, healing sound of mbira, which for a thousand years has been a sacred mystical music of the Shona people, is used in Zimbabwe to induce spirit possession trances, in traditional healing practices, for personal meditation, and in celebrations.

Mbira's use in Shona Culture
Mbira (the name of both the instrument and the music) is mystical music which has been played for over a thousand years by certain tribes of the Shona people, a group which forms the vast majority of the population of Zimbabwe, and extends into Mozambique.Mbira pervades all aspects of Shona culture, both sacred and secular. Its most important function is as a "telephone to the spirits", used to contact both deceased ancestors and tribal guardians, at all-night 'bira' (pl. mapira) ceremonies. At these ceremonies, 'vadzimu' (spirits of family ancestors), 'mhondoro' (spirits of deceased chiefs) and 'makombwe' (the most powerful guardian spirits of the Shona) give guidance on family and community matters and exert power over weather and health.Mbira is required to bring rain during drought, stop rain during floods, and bring clouds when crops are burned by the sun. It is also used to chase away harmful spirits, and to cure illnesses with or without a 'n'anga' (traditional diviner/herbalist).Mbira is included in celebrations of all kinds, including weddings, installation of new chiefs, and, more recently, government events such as independence day and international conferences.Mbira is also required at death ceremonies, and is played for a week following a chief's death before the community is informed of his passing. At the 'guva' ceremony, approximately one year after a person's physical death, mbira is used to welcome that individual's spirit back to the community.In previous centuries, court musicians played mbira for Shona kings and their diviners. Although the mbira was originally used in a limited number of Shona areas, today it is popular throughout Zimbabwe. mbira is desired for the general qualities it imparts: peaceful mind and strong life force. The Shona mbira is also rapidly becoming known around the world, due to tours by both traditional musicians and Zimbabwean electric bands which include the instrument.During Zimbabwe's colonial period (when it was known as Rhodesia), missionaries taught that mbira was evil, and the popularity of mbira in Zimbabwe declined. Since independence in 1980, mbira has enjoyed a resurgence of popularity.
-taken from website by Yeshe:

Thank you to mbira maestros:  

May 1, 2012

In appreciation of: Valerie Naranjo

Valerie is one of the most prominent influences upon my art and a constant source of inspiration.  I am truly fortunate to have had her as my mentor.  It is because of her efforts that this specific music has gained exposure academically, throughout the world.  Her performance of the gyil has led to a chiefly decree that grants woman in Ghana permission to play publicly.  Valerie has also published a series of recordings and transcriptions of the traditional gyil music for solo marimba.  Valerie gave me the opportunity to study with her independently for abut 10 years.

Valerie is one of a few people in the world to have gained mastery of the gyil music from her studies with Kakraba Lobi.  Kakraba Lobi, the foremost of gyil players and instrument makers, was one of the first Ghanaian musicians to record and tour outside of Africa.  His teachings have been passed on to Valerie through her extraordinary effort and determination.  Valerie holds the ancient knowledge that Kakraba has left the world.  The mentor-disciple relationship is perpetuating as it should.  

I studied gyil with Kakraba Lobi on both of my independent research trips to Ghana (summer 2001 & summer 2005).  On Kakraba's last U.S. tour, I organized a performance for him and Valerie in Philadelphia for a Crossroads Music Concert at the "Calvery Center for Culture & Community" (March 2007).  It was apparent after Kakraba's death in (August 2007), that in order to carry on his legacy, it will be a life-time of effort and study.  I will continue to research gyil music by traveling to Ghana.  As an apprentice of Valerie's, I have an incredible opportunity to study in the U.S.  Valerie has already gone through the arduous process of cataloguing, mastering and transcribing the musical language.  She is also an expert educator.  As an American, this foreign music, is very challenging to study.  It is important to take into consideration accurate translation across language barriers.  To interpret the traditional music requires dedicated effort and patience.  Learning from Valerie is special because she has created a pedagogy for teaching the music and is an master music theorist.  Her efficiency as a teacher will influence my life goals, for I have much to do and so little time.  Respect and discipline fuel teacher-student relationships like the one I shared with Valerie.  "Master artists" such as Valerie Naranjo and Kakraba Lobi, in many folkloric traditions around the world, have ancient wisdom that must be passed on.

Apr 22, 2012

Expressive Machines- Musical Instruments

Apr 6, 2012

this is incredible...  :)

Mar 20, 2012

Gina Ferrera and Shawn Hennessey- live 11/10 diaspora series

Dec 14, 2011

Gina Ferrera & Shawn Hennessey- Polysonic (duo TrapKATs) @ First Unitarian Chapel

recorded live on a cell phone.  so, the audio is very poor quality.  more like this coming soon... :-) 

Oct 23, 2011

A simple experiment demonstrating the visualisation of cymatics can be done by sprinkling sand on a metal plate and vibrating the plate, for example by drawing a violin bow along the edge, the sand will then form itself into standing wave patterns such as simple concentric circles. The higher the frequency, the more complex the shapes produced, with certain shapes having similarities to traditional mandala designs (sacred geometry).

Oct 15, 2011

Power of the Pentatonic Scale

I highly suggest listening to the audio...& seeing the live installation!

The Gamelatron is the fruit of a collaboration between The Composer and multi-media artist Zemi17: Aaron "Taylor" Kuffner with  Each track has it's own stream/download!  

Modeled after traditional Balinese and Javanese gamelan orchestras, the Gamelatron features sets of classic instruments in ornate frames with custom robotic counter parts. MIDI sequences control up to 170 robotic striking mechanisms that produce intricately woven rhythmic sound. The Gamelatron is presented as a site specific sound installation / kenetic sculpture and as an instrument for live concert performance.