Solo Mbira Rider. Backline to be provided by the venue
Laney RBW 300 bass amp or similar quality +
1 Active D I Box.
Sound system: PA system to suit size of auditorium
2 M58 Shure vocal mics, equalizer effects, reverb, mixing console minimum 3 monitors- maximum 4 and, please a sound engineer.
lights to fit size of auditorium, spots with color filters:
red, yellow, orange, purple and white.
to be provided by the venue:
Setup & sound-check: maximum 60 minutes, at festivals line-check possible, mbira works without trebles therefore needs a warm sound.
After sound-check 1hr.is a must to have to refrain from talking and to concetrate before the show. Thanks in advance.
Dressingroom & Catering:
private, clean, full or movable mirror, chair, two bottles of still water
Warm food after show, lacto-vegetarian when provided.
Please, no cooked food in the dressing room before the show.
(Flexible) 45 minutes x 2, with 15 to 20 minutes break, one hour nonstop, 45 minutes or as agreed.
Stella Rambisai Chiweshe Solo:
Started as solo mbira player in traditional Shona ceremonies and, has never stopped for more than 35 years. Mbira is from the vaZezuru people of Zimbabwe, played since the dawn of time before we humans could write. Both the instrument, the music and each key is called mbira. Originally mbira has 22 keys fixed on a hard wood, but some players have added more keys to it. The wood used to fix the keys on, is from a healing tree that heals body pains and, faster than any pain killer. The small stick used for wedging mbira into the calabash for resonance, is a tree used for cleansing the mind. Apart from entertaining ourselves with mbira-music, the vaZezuru who speak Chizezuru (a Shona dialect)use mbira to connect with the source of all being in ceremonies. At such events all people meet, meaning even those who are enemies or from different beliefs. Mbira makes people become a family from same mother the Earth and same father the Creator. Its played then for the whole night to wait for dawn where the music becomes sweeter and more powerful. The next day people feel fully recharged, the same way as one would feel after a long peaceful holiday. The music is therapeutic, reduces stress, comforts, brings excitement and can mesmerise. It can call the ancestors who some call guides or angels for their wisdom. When played on stage, below is what people said after listening to Chiweshe's mbira-music.
So much is clear. But listen as I might, it's surprisingly difficult to arrange any critical thoughts about her music. It exists so much in itself, a complete system, upfront and straightforward for all but still magical and elusive, that it's hard to listen to it in any other spirit than the one for which it was intended. The mbira or thumb piano, small and unassuming instrument from which Ms Chiweshe weaves her sonic fabric, is in Zimbabwe more than an instrument: it is the means through which communication with the spirit world is made possible. This is eminently plausible. Just to take in the somewhat ghostly plinky-plonk notes of the splayed metal tongues, rolling in changing sequence like pocket church bells, is already to take a step out of the ordinary world. This sound can be most effectively incorporated into modern groove music- and like the West African kora, it transforms what it touches." fROOTS.
Workshops and other artistic works. Stella Rambisai Chiweshe is not only a performer, but also an educator. She offers workshops in different aspects of the art as a way to preserve culture. She offers workshops in traditional music, using traditional instruments that play a pivotal role in our lives. Mbira, tribal drums, voice and percussion.
Voice: Workshops are offered in level voice training accompanied by the traditional songs in her language Chizezuru. "Voice is the first instrument that almost everybody has, and can use freely. If one can talk can sing as well" All instruments imitate from the voice. Stella persuades and frees the inner voice. Once the inner voice is persuaded to come out, then it gives itself a direction. Dances are: mbira dance, mbakumba dance is a thanksgiving dance and mhande dance is a mermaid dance. Mbira teaching is done either in groups or individualy.
Story telling: Workshops in traditional story telling for adults and children. All her storytelling is based on ancient stories from the great-grand mothers and fathers.
Meditation: Workshops in meditation exercises with Mbira music.
Acting: Stella Rambisai Chiweshe has always wanted to be an actress since she was growing up, and her main role in the Zimbabwean films "Ambuya Nehanda" and "I am the future" movies fulfilled her dream. This gave her an outstanding reputation.
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