Kiwu for Kilama Suite

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KIWU for KALAMA
A local organization in my town is hoping to raise enough money to build a well in Kalama Kenya. The people are badly in need of water and must walk two miles each day to the nearest a river (that is increasingly becoming polluted due to industrial waste) to get it.

After making the trip to the river they carry the 20 liters of water back to the village It is my hope that the creation of new music about the people of Kalama will keep this project in the public eye until the money is raised for the new well. Please check back often to receive more updates and information on this project.

THE WATER
The People of Kalama currently take water from the Athi River below the Yetta plateau. The Women and Children wake early each morning and spend half of the day getting clean water. They walk two miles - not on level ground – to retrieve the water and carry it two miles back to the village for drinking and cooking.

EDUCATION IN KALAMA

Cost in USD for
-
Government sponsored boarding school  - $534

Government sponsored day school - $200

Government sponsored national school - $934

Catholic private school - $667

College teacher training is a 3-year program including boarding school - $533

Nurse training is a 3-year program - $840

A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF EACH MOVEMENT

While each movement is not yet complete  – the “essence” of each has taken shape. Here is the purpose behind each movement and a little information about the cultural influences that generated the musical ideas of each.

 

KIWU FOR KALAMA SUITE

I – KAMBA MEANS DANCING!

This first movement is based on the Kamba Dance in which the dancers move in unison dressed in garments adorned with many small metallic shakers. The upper body movements combined with the footsteps create some very interesting polyrhythms. The other interesting instrument used here is the police whistle (or apito as it is called in Brazilian music). In this dance the rhythm of the whistle is used to indicate the next rhythm change of the dance.

II – ATHI RIVER

The Women and children of Kalama walk two miles to the Athi River to get water each morning. If you watch the video you can see that this walk is down a very steep hillside. A problem under normal circumstances but then to walk back up the treacherous landscape with full water containers on your back is a music different task - and all for water that has been polluted by industry. The tone is somber – and will eventually convey the burden of the return trip.

III – WATER

I was looking for music that reflected a life-giving source. I imagined the taste of clean water and the change in the landscape from the reddish dust of the drought stricken land – the lush green of thriving agriculture.

IV – NINY'E MUSAVIVU WA W'O

This movement is heavily influenced by the music of the IKUTANI CATHOIC CHOIR, Kiongwani Parish, conducted by Father Michael Nzola, Organist Thaddeus Mezza. At first I was not very taken with this CD but the more I listened the more I appreciated the joy, the happiness and the complexity of the rhythm! There are some wonderful 5 meaure phrases and some 2/4 measures inserted here and there. It seems so natural to listen to but adds so much interest. Here you hear a literal transcription of Niny'e Mussavivu Wa W'o for a standard Jazz Ensemble. I was very happy with the piece after it was orchestrated.

Kalama Suite I - Kamaba Means DancingListen!
Kalama Suite II - ATHI RiverListen!
Kalama Suite III - Kiwu Means WaterListen!
Kalama Suite IV - Niny'e Mussavivu Wa W'oListen!

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