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
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, because 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...