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Africa    Solomon Murungu    World Music at Global Rhythm - The Destination for World Music
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Solomon Murungu
Spirit of Zambuko: Liturgy & Reflections of Mbira
ZMBK

By Bruce Miller

Published March 20, 2007

From: Zimbabwe

Anyone who’s ever bothered to listen to the Zimbabwean mbira, the metal-pronged “thumb piano,” whether on one of Nonesuch’s jaw-dropping ’70s-era LPs or up close and personal, has had the opportunity to truly transcend earthly limitations through music. And because this music appeases spirit—the Shona believe the metal fillings of the mbira are actually a worldly form of the deceased—to listen is to be at peace. It shares with some of Morton Feldman’s compositions a sense of mourning, but also calm. It can cause the eyes to rain tears, for here is something so beautiful it’s almost incomprehensible. Solomon Murungu, on this solo effort, emits showers of notes from his mbira, making music that’s simultaneously meditative, complex and absolutely familiar. That a planet as messy as this one still manages to produce people capable of finding it within themselves to make sounds such as these is almost baffling.

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