By Lerato Ndlovu
Dzepamvura Mbira Art Centre is to introduce a mbira Orchestra project that will involve more than twenty artistes as a way of preserving and reviving Zimbabwe’s heritage and culture.
The project under the theme Unified mbira melody ( Dare rana Gwenyambira) has twenty one people playing thumb pianos “mbira” and nine playing the other local instruments such as clappers and gourd rattles “hosho”.
The instruments create a sober fusion that relates to the traditional feel that Zimbabwe carries.
Dzepamvura Mbira Art Center Director, Valiant Kandororo said from the project planning, the team is supposed to form a band that will go into exile for thirty days giving their time to rehearsing as a way of preparing for the September Mbira month.
“The team is expected to be ready by the 30th of July and set to go into exile for thirty days, where they will be rehearsing and coming up with new songs for the project album.
“We decided that we should make it a national thing so as to incorporate some of the best players that are in other provinces other than Mash West, and also as a way of boosting Cultural Creative Industries.
“The aim is to ensure that we prevent the traditional instruments from extinction considering that the advent of new generations means an introduction of new things and neglect of what others believe to be old.”
Kandororo added that the objective of the project is to use art as a tool of alleviating traditional music, culture and improve the economic and social welfare of the local communities using an effective historical economical solution and also to boost artists who might have been crippled by the pandemic.
Dzepamvura Mbira Art Centre is appealing to individuals and the corporate world to come on board and boost the project which they hope will grab international attention.
“The fusion of Mbira and traditional instruments are set to market Zimbabwe on its Cultural heritage and thereby putting Zimbabwean Culture on the map. The sweet melodies to be produced by the Mbira orchestra band will be of great value on the export market as we would have marketed our own culture.
“Zimbabwe has a lot to show the world in regards to culture, seeing that decaying before our sight is a mistake, preservation of the little we still carry will never be a mistake. We encourage those who want to join and assist in making this a reality to freely do so, it is not only our project but a Zimbabwean thing.
“At the moment we put out a call for those who want to take part in the Orchestra to send through their work as an application format, Mbira dzenharira team will assist with the selection of those who would have made it in the required 30,” he said.