Making music with Matt has been the most unexpectedly fun experience. Usually how it goes is this- 11 or 12 at night rolls around. We set things up on the big wool rug in the bedroom. A two foot square wooden box, two inches tall and wired internally with piezos, amplifies the wooden kalimbas that are set on top of it. We call it the "soundboard" and it's plugged into two loop pedals which are then plugged into an amplifier and speakers. A little recorder is hooked into one loop pedal, and sometimes a microphone- we've been playing around with looping whistles the past few nights.
We choose a pair of kalimbas that are tuned together, he makes a beat on the wooden soundboard with his hands, loops it, and then the endless looping of kalimba song begins. We rotate through tunings. It's best when we "talk" back and forth with them. Call and response. Or when he plays something incredibly high pitched and I play deep notes. He also built what he calls an "mboura," a blend between a kalimba/mbira and a tamboura. It has the ability to sound like a grungy banjo or a haunting Indian instrument. Sometimes we'll play really slow improvised lullabies, and around 12:30 or 1am, I start to nod off. But other times we play what we're now calling "post EDM" (post electronic dance music) and the energy keeps me awake. Flow is an amazing feeling, and communicating with someone without words is equally incredible.
Anyway, we've made two albums. He took some of photographs from West Virginia and fiddled with them in photoshop for Arabesque. That one is a bit more lullaby-like, and Trestle has a bit more beat involved. At times it almost sounds Caribbean inspired. Both are free for you to download if you'd like!