Skip to content
Need a musical Gift? We have you covered! Koshi Chimes, Kalimbas, handpans, Zenko drums and more!
Need a musical Gift? We have you covered! Koshi Chimes, Kalimbas, handpans, Zenko drums and more!

News

RSS
  • Our newest Kalimba:  The B17 "Mini" by Hokema
    November 13, 2022

    Our newest Kalimba: The B17 "Mini" by Hokema

    Just in time for the 2022 holiday season, we introduce the new B17 "Mini" Kalimba by Hokema Kalimbas. This new model was specially designed with smaller hands in mind! The B17-Mini is more easily playable for children, young adults, and anyone with a smaller-sized hand.

    Another fun bonus of the B-17 Mini is that the metal tines are mounted more closely together. This makes it easier to play glissandos: a musical term which means "a continuous slide upward or downward between two or more notes". You can take your thumbs and run them in a sweeping motion up or down, producing with ease this delightful sound effect where the notes blend seamlessly into each other.

    B17-Mini Kalimba by Hokema

    This new B17-Mini Kalimba has the exact same musical layout and tuning of the larger B17 Kalimba (original): made from a beautiful block of American Cherry wood upon which metal tines fan out to form two-and-a-half octaves of the *C-Major diatonic scale. This kalimba starts with the bottom root note in the middle then alternates back and forth between the left and right sides played by the thumbs building up the scale from the inside opening out to the sides of the instrument. Because of this special layout, chord triads are located adjacent to each other, making different chords easy to see and therefore song accompaniment easily learnable and playable. It also comes with little "chord magnets" that allow you to mark the chords you want to play! Watch this 2-minute video to hear the sweet glissandos and see how the chord magnets function... 

    Read now
  • Why were 118K Souls Soothed by this B15 Kalimba video?!
    September 14, 2022

    Why were 118K Souls Soothed by this B15 Kalimba video?!

    B15 Hokema Kalimba

    New Instrument Alert!

    The B15 Kalimba by Hokema 

    B15 Kalimba by Hokema

    We put an upright version of this video on our new @Hokema.us account on Instagram, and were astounded when it reached 118K views in 24 hours. When we asked folks what they liked about it, many replied the combination of the lower tones together with the visual of watching the tines "wiggle" brought about an incredibly soothing effect. So we also made this 2-minute YouTube version and hope it brings you a moment of joy or repose today. While listening to the video is sweet (shot in the Mountains near Taos, New Mexico), we can tell you the effects of holding one of these kalimbas in your hands and playing it for yourself truly gets the serotonin flowing...
    .
    Introducing the new B15 Kalimba by Hokema Kalimbas. At first glance, the B15 appears similar to its sister instrument the B17: made from a beautiful block of American Cherry wood upon which metal tines fan out to be played by the thumbs. But look closer: you'll see on this instrument there are two rows of tines with the ones on the bottom being thicker, producing soothing lower tones. When combined with the higher notes emanating from the tines on the row above, pleasing chord combination can easily be created on  this kalimba by an intuitive player - simply by creatively combining  the higher and lower rows. 

     

    Read now
  • Play a Tango Rhythm Sansula with Composer Matt Levine!
    June 30, 2022

    Play a Tango Rhythm Sansula with Composer Matt Levine!

    Matt Levine YouTube Video Cover

    .
    We're proud to have collaborated over the years with many incredible music composers who find our instruments - with their unique sonic qualities including tone, timbre, harmonics, natural acoustic sustain and effects - to offer complexity, nuance, and sonic beauty to their original compositions. It’s always thrilling to us when composers and multi-instrumentals who already have massive instrument collections are surprised and delighted working with our instruments! Our friend Matt Levine just added the Hokema Kalimba Sansula Deluxe to his compositional toolbox.
    .
    He made us this fun tutorial video showing us how he personally approaches the Sansula, how anyone can instantly make music with it, and how playing the two rows of metal tines are for him like the "inhale and exhale" of each breath. He then demonstrates playing the Sansula (tuned to A minor) with a tango rhythm.
    .
    Matt demonstrates that the limited 9 notes of the Sansula Deluxe by Hokema  creates a musical structure in itself such that anyone who has thumbs can pluck the tines to send them vibrating and create melodies. Yet by adding a specific rhythm, a specific composition is created - and there’s an endless variety of rhythmic patterns that can be learned and played on these unique and inspiring instruments. 

        Matt Levine, Composer

    Matt Levine is a San Francisco based composer who divides his time between teaching at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and developing sound immersion applications. As an accomplished composer and producer of music for video games, film, television, and other pictured media, Matt possesses the unique ability to compose memorable themes across a wide range of genres and has cutting edge technical skills. His resourceful and collaborative approach have earned him a stellar reputation among producers and directors...

    Read now
  • All About Hokema
    April 25, 2022

    All About Hokema

    Hokema Cropped

    Learn all about these beautiful sound wonders crafted out the finest materials in a solar-powered family run factory in Germany, and how WE PLAY WELL TOGETHER has brought them to the American Market to the delight of music makers. We're now convening an interconnected international community around these distinctive instruments that anyone can pick up and play.

    Peter and Hugo Hokema

    Family-run craftsmanship and innovation

    Founder and owner Peter Hokema was already passionate about trying out different instruments while he was studying music. There he discovered the traditional African plucked instruments and was so fascinated that he wanted to make it known in Germany. He finally invented his own version with the Sansula in 2001.

    Hokema Sansaula BuildingIt has an oval wooden frame, which is covered with a drum skin and in the middle of which a small kalimba is hung freely swinging. The new model met with enthusiasm right from the start and has been incorporated into a variety of different music-making communities ever since that include: professional musicians, composers, sound artists, yoga practitioners, sound-healing facilitators, meditation teachers, music therapists, early-child educators, brain trauma survivors, wellness advocates and more!

    Read now
  • We're back for the NAMM Show's 2022 Believe in Music Week!
    January 19, 2022

    We're back for the NAMM Show's 2022 Believe in Music Week!

    Founded in 1901, NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) has a mission to strengthen the music products industry and promote the pleasures and benefits of making music.

    What is Believe in Music?

    Believe in Music

    Believe in Music is the global gathering to unify and support the people who bring music to the world.

    Building on the success of last year’s Believe in Music Week, this online event will feature a mix of comprehensive programming and professional education as well as an interactive brand pages to connect buyers and sellers – all designed to elevate the innovation and inspiration found across the industry, kick-off the New Year, and look ahead to reuniting in-person at The 2022 NAMM Show (which is scheduled to take place in Los Angeles this June - we hope to attend!)

    The online celebration will be held on Thursday, January 20, 2022 and Friday, January 21, featuring a global livestream, interactive brand pages and unique content. Select content will be available on-demand Saturday, January 22 – Sunday, January 23, 2022.

    Sign up for free at: registration.namm.org

     We Play Well Together

    Then check out our latest video montage featuring our favorite handcrafted musical instruments ranging from pocket-sized kalimbas to handpans, to Sound Furniture from feeltone, Hokema & Metal Sounds.

    Read now
  • Masterful Sound Layering with Koshi, Kalimbas & Zaphir Chimes!
    November 15, 2021

    Masterful Sound Layering with Koshi, Kalimbas & Zaphir Chimes!

    Holiday Gifts: Hokema, Zaphir & Koshi Chimes

    Know what makes the best gift for your favorite person? A custom matched-set of chimes and Kalimbas!

    These delightful hand-held instruments can be combined for masterful sound layering - utilized by professional musicians and sound practitioners as well as by non-musicians who are longing for the power to make their own music. Kalimbas and hand-chimes are safe for kids and delight adults. 

    Koshi Chimes & Matching Kalimbas from We Play Well Together

    Watch our new video to get inspired by these beautiful twinkly tone combinations in triple sound layering... 

    Read now
  • Music Therapists on utilizing our instruments for Music Therapy
    October 8, 2021

    Music Therapists on utilizing our instruments for Music Therapy

    The We Play Well Together family of instruments - which include monochords, tongue drums, handpans, kalimbas and hanging chimes - have all been utilized in a variety of different music therapy applications. 
    According to Music Therapist Katie Down (LCAT, MT-BC, MMT, MM):
    "possible clinical uses of our instruments include: 
    • Bedside for Hospice Care
    • Ameliorate somatic symptoms associated with emotional stress
    • Recreative and Receptive Methods
    • Clinical Improvisation
    • Song Writing
    • Self-Soothing Methods
    • Supporting Children and Adults with Special Needs
    • Early Childhood Development
    • Therapeutic Group and Relational Work
    • Supporting Vocal Exploration and Breath Work" 
    We created a 15-minute highlight video just for music therapists to get an idea of the many different instruments and possible applications for their use, featuring instruments built by Hokema Kalimbas, feeltone and Metal Sounds.
    (Click "READ MORE" below to access the video..) 
    ...
    And be sure to join us in our digital booth this week at the American Music Therapy Association 2021 Conference October 14th -17th! 
     
    AMTA 2021
    Read now
  • How to play the Chord Magnets on the Hokema B17 Kalimba
    July 22, 2021

    How to play the Chord Magnets on the Hokema B17 Kalimba

    Over the past winter, Peter Hokema (founder of Hokema kalimbas) made a charming video in on a snowy day in Germany demonstrating how to use the chord magnets to mark chords on the B17 Kalimba to more easily find the chords to play on groups of tines to accompany melodies.

    We translated Peter's instructions into English and shot our own version to share on Youtube. Now that it's ready, we're now in the height of summer. We thought you'd love to receive it anyway so that watching the snow might cool you off during the hottest summer months here in North America.

    The Hokema B17 Kalimba

    Kalimbas are metal-tined instruments which originated in southern Africa and which can be found there in countless variations. Our Kalimba B17 C-major made by Hokema Kalimbas is meticulously hand-crafted out of solid American black cherry wood. The surfaces is treated and polished with natural oils and waxes. The B17 is ideal for improvisation and intuitive playing. 

    The B17 comes with a collection of tiny different colored magnets. These are designed to be placed at the top of the instrument in order to mark different chords for ease of playing to easily and quickly visualize where the chords begin and end. You can place the magnets anywhere that makes sense to you, depending on the song you're playing. 

    Hokema B17 Kalimba

    Read now
  • Bonus Time Music: Live-Looping of Our Instruments with Brandon Blake!
    April 22, 2021

    Bonus Time Music: Live-Looping of Our Instruments with Brandon Blake!

    Musician, Child Educator and Animal Rights Activist Brandon Blake of @bonustimemusic went live on Facebook during the NAMM 2021 virtual Show "Believe in Music" Week to demonstrate his unique way of working with the WE PLAY WELL TOGETHER family of instruments including: Hokema Kalimbas, Metal Sounds Tongue Drums, and feeltone Monochords & Tinka Tongs - combined with electric bass and live looping. We think you'll find this video truly inspirational and will hopefully give you ideas of how you can utilize your instrument in intriguing combinations. 

    Brandon is truly an innovative musician - having created a specialized playing technique with the Hokema Kalimba Sansula in which he taps and strikes the drumhead of the instrument while plucking and muting the metal tines. Plus - he's figured out a brilliant method to instantly retune the instrument in the middle of his playing - using tiny weighted magnets!

    Brandon is also a bass player who skillfully incorporates live looping. Watch him create incredible soundscapes in real time by looping Kalimba, Tongue-Drum and Monochord accompanied by some satisfying bass-bombs to build a body-moving groove overlaid with rich sonic textures and thrilling overtones. 

    Watch the Video Demonstration.... 

    Live Looping with Brandon Blake

    Read now