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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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  • REBRAND REVEAL! 🎨
    March 24, 2022

    REBRAND REVEAL! 🎨

    Blow the trumpets! Strum the monochords! Bang on handpans, tongue-drums and Tinka Tongs! Send in choirs singing songs of joy while plucking on kalimbas! We have a new look:

    Yes, we've brightened ourselves up to big, bold, modern colors. But more importantly, we've defined what's most important about our company. Sure, we're the exclusive North American Distributor for fine, high-quality musical instruments that are hand-crafted by European Artisans using sustainable materials and packaging. And yes, the instruments in our collection are all intuitively played, empowering anyone from any background to instantly become a musician, while offering skilled musicians the opportunity to play with sound in innovative, intuitive ways.
    🎨
    But most importantly, We Play Well Together is about togetherness: convening in online and offline spaces with other people in order to experience, listen, receive, interact, interweave, converse, revel, cavort, (sometime clown around, sometime mourn), make and create. The melodious tones of our instruments are the medium through which people all over the world can create meaningful connections and to forge the kinds of experiences that make a life worth living.
    🎶
    We supply the tools, but we can only play well, er... together. Our community is everything and we're so glad you're a part of ours!

    With Gratitude

    Gabriele Schwibach + Team

    We Play Well Together: Instruments in Community

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Why you want (need!) a Hokema Kalimba
    February 5, 2019

    Why you want (need!) a Hokema Kalimba

    Hokema Kalimbas at the NAMM Show - VisionQuest Sound

    "If you can text you can play a Kalimba"

    We got to attend the 2019 NAMM Show and the VisionQuest Sound conducted this sweet interview with our friend musicians Brandon Blake which is all about Hokema Kalimbas and their signature instrument creation: the Sansula. 
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    Brandon Blake at NAMM 2019 for Hokema Kalimbas
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    To learn more about all the yummy products currently on offer, check out our latest product line videos giving you a lovely overview of all Hokema's Kalimbas from tiny to deluxe...
    Love the Sansula but the tunings on offer don't go with your instrument setup? No worries! Did you know that Hokema Kalimbas and Sansula can be tuned to pretty much ANY tuning? We offer a "tuning tool" that helps you hammer the tines to change any of the pitches. Listen through to this ecclectic collection of different ways folks have retuned the Sansula... 
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