Twiimbilane Studio update

The studio started the year on a sad note with the death of a veteran Kankobela player, Shadreck Munsaka who recorded songs like "Mwana waDimba Limeka" and "Ndipe mali yangu". His playing and singing will be greatly missed.

There are a number of studio activities that are running and that the studio plans to run this year but cannot do so at the present moment due to lack of equipment. I will, however, just focus on the current activities and not the intended - which we can bring up some other time.

Radio Drama Project with Binga High School Drama Group

This is intended to teach the students script writing skills with a view of coming up with a combined script, recording the drama and editing it, then presenting it to National FM for consideration for some air time. In the process of doing this, the students learn audio recording skills including using a mixer, audio editing and burning the final product to a compact disc (CD). The scripts and recordings will, when done, be placed on the website.

Tonga Ringtones Project with Binga High School Computer Science Club

This project is focusing on making Tonga ringing tones available to cellphone users from the mulonga website. The skill learnt by the students is to use the ringtone making software as well as increasing their skills with regards to practical uses of the computer.

Kankolimba Project

This project, which had slowed down, now has the requisite materials to complete it and will be completed soon after the data collection stage of the ICT4D feasibilty study.

Computer Music in Schools Project

Seeks to make music teachers in schools with computers aware of the availability of music software for teaching, recording, notating etc of music and to help them learn how to use the software.To this end at least one computer at each of Tinde and Pashu Secondary schools has been installed with some music software such as audacity and some limited trial versions of earpro, an ear training program and noteworthy composer. With the migration to Linux based systems in the future for these centres, it will be possible to find and offer similar programs which are not limited by lack of funds to pay for the software as is the case now.

The studio also facilitates the collaboration of artists by providing a practice venue in some evenings and weekends.

Identification of traditional musicians is currently being done alongside the feasibility study in areas that the studio was previously unable to reach and links with the BaTonga Museum are being fostered with the intended activities that will involve lecturers from the Music and Musicology Department of the Midlands State University.

posted by Sengamo Ndlovu

7 March 2007