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kibuyu : electroacoustic

by Daniel Blinkhorn (2017)

Audio Sample

From the CD Selected Works by AMC Represented Artists, vol. 90

Selected Works by AMC Represented Artists, vol. 90


This item is not commercially available from the Australian Music Centre. We regret that we cannot offer it for sale.

Work Overview

Off the coast of Tanzania, on the small island of Zanzibar I happened upon a bazaar in Stonetown with all manner of beautiful African instruments. I found myself drawn to a small, hand made mbira. This humble instrument buzzed and creaked and was far from perfect, yet striking a tine was instantly so musically agreeable.

Kibuyu in Swahili translates to 'Calabash' and is the box resonator used in the construction of the instrument. I wanted to use the term as a metaphor similar to the phenomenon of seashell resonance, except in this instance, as one holds the kibuyu against their ear they don't hear sound redolent of the ocean, but rather a more dynamic abstraction of sonic imagery resounding well beyond the instrument itself and deep into the island of Zanzibar and the many evocative soundscapes it contains. All the material within the composition comes from the striking of three tines of the mbira, with no additional sonic material employed within the piece. Zanzibar is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Work Details

Year: 2017

Instrumentation: Multichannel/ 5.1 surround sound playback system.

Duration: 12 min.

Difficulty: N/A - Not for live performance

First performance: 12 Feb 17. Composer's home studio

The composer notes the following styles, genres, influences, etc associated with this work: ecoacoustic composition, acousmatic, electroacoustic

Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for/to
2020 International Computer Art Forum 2nd prize + public vote award Daniel Blinkhorn
2017 Concurso de M├║sica electroac├║stica 2nd prize Daniel Blinkhorn
2017 Iannis Xenakis International Electronic Composition Competition Honorable mention Daniel Blinkhorn
2017 PRIX CIME Honorable mention Daniel Blinkhorn

Performances of this work

5 Oct 17: Contemporanea Acusmatica Festival, Taukay Edizioni Musicali, Udine Italy

22 Jul 2017: at Interplay by Sydney Conservatorium of Music (City Recital Hall).

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