The Celeste series by Hugh Tracey consists of block kalimbas – instruments with tines attached to a solid body of kiaat hardwood (Afrikaans for ‘Wild Teak’). Through their design they are compact, easy to handle, and particularly resistant and robust. Among the Hugh Traceys they are first choice for small hands or kids’ hands.
Although they are slightly quieter than the models with a sound box, their sound volume is still quite impressive. And in case it is not enough you can press the Celeste kalimba to a drum, a window, a solid cardboard, a table, or to another piece of furniture while playing it. That way you create a respectable extended resonating body. The models with a pick-up can be amplified electronically. Another way of playing the Celeste kalimba is the sound massage by just laying the instrument onto your body and playing it… and then letting your mind wander.
The pentatonic tuning in G major is particularly suitable for beginners or people who just play for fun without thinking too much about complex melodies. All keys in the pentatonic tuning match each other, so you can play and improvise whatever you want. By the way, during his long ethno-musicological research trips Hugh Tracey found out that 40% of the Southern African scales are pentatonic.
The 11 tines are attached with big interspaces which make it easy to hit the tines without getting entangled while playing.
The Hugh Tracey Celeste Penta 11 Kalimba is available with pick-up (1/4" phone plug), too.
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