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  • 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!

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  • 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.

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  • 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... 

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  • 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
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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • Instagram Challenge - Amazing Free Instrument Giveaways!
    February 5, 2021

    Instagram Challenge - Amazing Free Instrument Giveaways!

    As Part of the NAMM 2021 "Believe in Music" Virtual Show, We Play Well Together is running a contest that goes until the end of February when we'll be GIVING AWAY some amazing products including some of our best-selling instruments! 
    .
    To enter the contest you must: 
    1) Follow @weplaywelltogether on Instagram
    2) Create a Story, Post, or Reel (can be text, photo, and/or video content) where you share which product giveaway you'd like to receive and what's great about it. You MUST tag @weplaywelltogether in your post!
    .
    You can enter multiple times for more than one item. Extra points will be given if you tag others in your post and encourage friends or followers to post as well!
    We'll be announcing the winners live on IG on March 1st at 4pm Pacific Time.
     
    Winners will also receive Direct Messages on Instagram when we'll ask for your mailing address to ship you the products. You must respond within 2 week's time in order to claim your prize. 
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  • We Play Well Together at the NAMM Show 2021
    January 22, 2021

    We Play Well Together at the NAMM Show 2021

    We Play Well Together is proud to have been presented in a virtual booth at the NAMM Show 2021 "Believe in Music" Week in January! 
    We've been attending NAMM in Los Angeles every year for the past few conferences. Due to the ongoing pandemic, The 2021 NAMM Show was all online. Our team got to work building a virtual exhibitor booth and we put together a ton of great video content highlighting our instrument makers and latest products! We'll be highlighting these videos in blog posts and newsletters to our We Play Well Together community in the weeks and months ahead. 

    Be SURE to check out our 15-minute Instrument Maker highlight reel above -produced just for our NAMM 2021 virtual booth featuring the Metal Sounds Company, Hokema Kalimbas and feeltone

    It features portrait videos for all three European instrument makers and gives you a little bit of behind-the-scenes delight at their workshops. You'll also see an interview with the company founders that was conducted by VisionQuest Sound the last time we were able to attend the NAMM Show in person (in January of 2020.)
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  • A Musician's Portrait: Brandon Blake
    August 4, 2020

    A Musician's Portrait: Brandon Blake

    Portrait:

    Brandon Blake, preschool teacher, head of the brain injury support group, writing artist, musician, volunteer for dogs in need and animal rights activist, was interviewed by the Hokema company in Germany about  his daily use of the Kalimba Sansula. Interviewed by: Annalena Horl

    Interview

    Which of the HOKEMA instruments would you call your favorite?

    The Sansula Renaissance because of its durable drum and robust sound. This allows me to use the percussive techniques that I incorporate during the playing. In addition, it's also strong enough to be played by very young children without having to worry about damage. It's the only one of my instruments that my 100 year old grandmother can play.

    Can you see the sansula as a serious tool?


    Absolutely. I don't need to think about that for a long time, beca
    use it is self-explanatory for everyone who hears the Sansula. I took them to Tennessee and introduced them to Victor Wooten's world-famous Bass Nature Camp Wooten Woots. I showed my various playing techniques including the idea with the magnets. People were thrilled - both by the sound and the way they played. Victor Wooten and his brothers (all world-famous music virtuosos and also absolutely great people) said that they had never seen a person play the way I did before. The way I use the Sansula, they called it 'groundbreaking'. Victor later came to Seattle for a concert series and invited me to join him and the drummer J.D. Blair to stand on the stage...

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