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COLEMAN Christopher


My Grandfather's Kalimba

Birth Y: 1958 Birth C: UNITED STATES Gender: Male

Dest: Concert

Media Specification: Tape

Commission: Hong Kong Composers' Guild

First perf.: Interlochen Centre for the Arts, Michigan, USA, 11 Aug 1996

Duration: 10:30

Perf. Country: UNITED STATES

Instruments: Tape

Perf media: Korg 01W synthesizer, E-Mu Ultra Proteus sound module, and Yamaha TX 802 tone generator

Media: CD

Prog. notes: When my grandfather passed away, I came to realize that while I knew many things about him, I hadn't really known him at all. He was a quiet man in a loud household, always present but never, somehow, a presence. Emotions he held deep inside, at least around the visiting grandchildren, while around him raged torrents. He was a collector of many things; sword-canes, movie props, turquoise, all kinds of odds and ends. When he discovered that I was interested in collecting coins, he would always give me some medal that he had picked up somewhere. This was his display of love for me--not hugs and kisses, but a medal pressed quietly in my hand during my visits--and in the ignorance and arrogance of youth, I sometimes refused his gifts, because medals are not coins. I did not attend his funeral, having moved away for graduate school. His collections passed into the hands of his other children and grandchildren while I read Forte and Schenker, believing my priorities in the proper place. My brother, also being a musician, inherited my grandfather's African thumb piano. Years later, upon seeing my own collection of musical instruments, he offered the kalimba to me. This delicate and subtle instrument is what remains of my grandfather for me, a gift of love handed from grandfather to grandson and brother to brother.

Editor: Ka Lun CHEUNG

Phono: CD:

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