From Chimanimani to Birchnaugh Bridge / Various
One of the least recorded and heard mbira is the Mbira DzaVaNdau of the Ndau people in South Eastern Zimbabwe. The instrument has a six note scale as opposed to the more common seven note scale of the other mbira. This CD highlights not only the sound of the instrument but an amazing variety of playing styles of four separate musicians/groups. These recordings were done in the field in Chimanimani, and Birchenaugh Bridge. Though considered a subgroup of the Shona, the Ndau people to me seemed to have a very independent culture from the Shona in the cities. Interestingly, there were so many differences between the ChiShona that I spoke and the ChiNdau that was spoken in Chimanimani, the I needed a translator to translate from my Shona to their Shona! The Ndau people are in South-Eastern Zimbabwe, but continue all the way through Mozambique to the coast of the Indian Ocean. In Mozambique, they are often viewed with suspicion by the Shanganni tribe because of their strong spiritual connections-and- some would say- their abilities in magic. Durring the engineering of this CD, I was doing the mastering work with a Shanganni from Mozambique at his studio in Harare. After spending ltereally weeks on a task that should have taken hours, I began to doubt that the spirits were wanting this recording to be made public. I discussed this with my Shanganni friend and he proceeded to tell me that the Shanganni people have a very violent history of oppressing the Ndau people and now there is a lot of fear on the Shanganni peoples part in regards to ngozi-or vengeful spirits that could come back to haunt the Shanganni. I realized that there was more to the story that I had originally known, and proceeded to write a letter to the musicians that I had recorded to explain the situation to them. I asked them to please consult with their spirits and see if they would allow this project to continue. I put the project on hold for a few weeks, and then after receiving word of approval from the Ndau, we proceeded to do the mastering and finished the job in a matter of hours. Thank you very much to the spirits that help us stay firmly on our paths. Tinotenda Chaizvo Vadzimu Veko. Makatibatsirawo. Musicians: Tracks 1 & 5: Temba Kumbula Tracks 2 & 8: Samson Madzivanyika. Tracks 4 & 7: Gideon Musunge Tracks 3 & 6: Temba Kumbula, Zivinai Kumbula. Track 9: Temba Kumbula, Mrs. Maghidii. Instruments: Mbira DzaVaNdau (various tunings), Vocals.