Classic 'African' Style Kuimba

Kuimba
Lyrics and Music, Lark Bowerman

Story

Salimu! Heshimu! means Greet! Honor! On the last morning of our visit to Itendey, Lark’s home village in Congo, Africa, the most glorious sunrise happened which sent us on our way with a surge of happiness. Salimu! Heshimu! first came into being out of that experience and was later completed during a backpacking trip on a similarly gorgeous morning in California on the banks of the South Fork of the Trinity River.

Personnel: Lark Bowerman, lead vocal, kinubi (African bow harp); Kris Bowerman, vocal, recorder, trombone, recorder, maracas; John Waller, Moroccan clay drums; Don Keller, electric bass

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Salimu! Heshimu! - Salimu! Heshimu!

Lyrics

Swahili: Jua ’na kucha, ana itwa Na sura mapendo, Jua ’na kucha.Salimu! Heshimu! Salimu! Heshimu! Sura mapendo.

Tazama maua, maua ’na itwa Na rangi mapendo, maua ’na itwa. Salimu! Heshimu! Salimu! Heshimu!

Rangi mapendo. Sikia ndege, ndege ’na imba Na nyimbo mapendo, ndege ’na itwa. Salimu! Heshimu! Salimu!Heshimu! Nyimbo mapendo.

Ngia mto, mto ana itwa Na maji mapendo, mto ana itwa. Salimu! Heshimu! Salimu! Heshimu!Maji mapendo.

Sikia upepo, upepo ’na itwa — Sauti mapendo, mto ana itwa. Salimu! Heshimu! Salimu! Heshimu! Sauti mapendo.

 

English Translation:

 The sun rises. It calls, With the face of love, the sun rises. Greet! Honor! Greet! Honor! The face of love.

Look at the flower! The flower calls, With the color of love, the flower calls. Greet! Honor! Greet! Honor! The color of love.

Listen to the bird, the bird is singing! With the song of love, the bird calls. Greet! Honor! Greet! Honor! The song of love.

Enter the river, the river calls, With the waters of love, the river calls. Greet! Honor! Greet! Honor! The waters of love.

Listen to the wind, the wind calls. With the voice of love, the wind calls. Greet! Honor! Greet! Honor! The voice of love.

Kuimba
Music, Kris Bowerman, Lark Bowerman, John Waller

Story

We often play this very typical north African beat on a set of drums made by the Abaluhyia people of Western Kenya. These drums, called Isukuti drums, are covered with Monitor Lizard skin, a not unusual choice of instrument making material in Africa. Tradition has it among many indigenous peoples that to play a drum covered with the hide of a certain creature is to summon the spirit of that animal. That is why sometimes we call this piece The Lizard’s Dance although in this case it would be The Goats Dance because we’ve played on Djembe drums with goat skin heads.

Personnel: John Waller, djembe; Kris Bowerman, djembe, cowbell; Lark Bowerman, kayamba, bullroarer

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Happy Drums - Salimu! Heshimu!

Lyrics


Kuimba
Lyrics and Music, Lark Bowerman

Story

Mawingu means clouds in Swahili. Once I lived for a while in the hilly grasslands of northeastern Congo not far from Ugandan border. Here in the village of Kwandruma, the mist rising from the nearby lake creates some of the most phenomenal cloud formations I have ever seen; but after living in southern Oregon during a drought, clouds began to take on a new significance for me.

One day while looking out toward the Siskiyou Mountains, I saw a bank of Cumulous clouds that reminded me of Congo and inspired this song. This is our second version of this song.

Personnel: Lark Bowerman, lead vocal, guitar, kayamba; Kris Bowerman, vocal, djembe, Ugandan drum, trombone, percussion; John Waller, conga solo; Don Keller, electric bass; Randall Walker, tuba (note at end)

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Mawingu - Salimu! Heshimu!

Lyrics

Swahili:

Kwaheri, Mama! Kwaheri, Baba! Nina tembea mbali. Kwaheri, ndugu! Kwaheri, watu! Nina ’enda safari.

(Chorus) Africa, nina kumbuka Africa — Mawingu meupe kabambi Ku ruka ndani mbinguni.

Si wezi rudi’ ku fika pale Hata na saa ngine. Nina tembea America, Fasi namuna ngine.

(Chorus)

Lakini sasa, mawingu hapa ’Na ruka vile mbingu. Lakini sasa, mawingu hapa ’Na ruka vile mbingu.

(Chorus)

English Translation:

Good bye, Mother! Good bye, Father! I’m traveling afar. Good bye, sisters and brothers! Good bye, people! I’m going on a journey.

(Chorus) Africa, I remember Africa — Enormous white clouds Flying in the heavens.

I can’t go back there Until another time. I’m traveling in America, A different kind of place.

But still, clouds here Are also flying in the heavens. But still, clouds here Are also flying in the heavens.

Kuimba
Lyrics and Music, Kris Bowerman, Lark Bowerman

Story

This is our second version of our original Hakuna Matata. We wrote this about four years before Elton John's version was heard in The Lion King.

Personnel: Lark Bowerman, lead vocal, kayamba, choir vocals; Kris Bowerman, vocal, djembe, Talking drum, percussion, choir vocals; John Waller, djembe, choir vocals; Don Keller, choir vocals; Hayfork Village Singers, choir vocals

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Hakuna Matata - Salimu! Heshimu!

Lyrics

Swahili:

(Chorus) Hakuna matata, Hakuna matata! Hakuna matata, Hakuna matata!

Iko saa ku cheza kidogo! Acha kazi, kuya hapa! Rafiki yangu, pika mikono— Iko saa ya furaha

Ndugu, acha ku sumbuka. Tosa macho ya huzuni! Kuya, leta mikono, kwanza, Fanya muchezo muzuri!

Boka haiwezi bania Wao ’na penda cheka sana. Sahibu, tuna weza jua Kuikala na salama!

 

English Translation:

There’s no problem, There’s no problem! There’s no problem, There’s no problem!

It’s time for a little fun! Forget your work and come! Friend of mine, clap your hands — This is a time of joy!

Sister/brother, stop your worrying. Take off those sad eyes! Come, give me your hand now, And dance beautifully!

There’s no way fear can get a hold of Those who love to laugh a lot. Dear Friend, we can experience living in peace.

Kuimba
Lyrics and Music, Lark Bowerman

Story

It was one of my best things as a kid, to wake up before the crack of dawn and listen in the stillness for the first bird call. Then as soon as the forest air was utterly permeated with their songs I would tip toe out into the misty, dew laden world of an Ituri morning. Kacheche’s voice was always to be heard, hauntingly sweet among the trees. Kacheche, the little black and white wagtail bird. Our second version of this song. More upbeat than the original.

Personnel: Lark Bowerman, lead vocal, kinubi (African bow harp); Kris Bowerman, vocal, recorder, djembe, Talking drum, percussion; Don Keller, electric bass

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Kacheche - Salimu! Heshimu!

Lyrics

Swahili:

O ndege, O ndege, Una imba na furaha. O ndege, una imba Na furaha ngufu sana! Una imba-o!

(Chorus) Kacheche, Kacheche, Kacheche-ka Kacheche, Kacheche, Kacheche-ka

O ndege, o ndege, Una ruka mbali sana. O ndege, un ruka Mbali sana ya matata! Una ruka-o!

(Chorus)

O roho, o roho yangu, We imba vile na furaha. O roho, we ruka vile Mbali sana ya matata! We ruka vile-o!

(Chorus)

English Translation:

Oh, bird, oh bird, You sing with happiness. Oh bird, you sing With happiness so intense! You sing-oh!

Oh heart, oh my heart, You sing with happiness too. Oh heart, you fly Very far away from grief and trouble!

You fly too-oh! Oh bird, oh bird, You fly very far. Oh bird, you fly Very far away from grief and trouble! You fly-oh!

Kuimba
Lyrics and Music, Lark Bowerman

Story

Sometimes in life happiness flows like warm honey on a sunny day on the Coast at Mombasa. At other times it seems as slow moving as the glaciers on the Ruwenzori Mountains of the Moon. This chant is for such times. Funga Roho loosely translated, means: quiet your heart, hang in there, keep it together.

Personnel: Lark Bowerman, lead vocal, kayamba; Kris Bowerman, vocal, djembe, choir vocals; John Waller, djembe, choir vocals; Don Keller, choir vocals; Hayfork Village Singers, choir vocals

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Funga Roho - Salimu! Heshimu!

Lyrics

Swahili:

Funga roho basi

Nyamaza kwanza

Acha ku lia

Una jua vitu vyote imetengenezwa safi

Funga roho basi


English Translation:

Quiet your heart

Hush now

Stop your crying

You know everything is going to turn out so fine

So hang in there

Kuimba
Lyrics and Music, Lark Bowerman

Story

This is one of our most popular songs and version of it! Kacheche is the name of a small black and white African wag-tail bird with a sweet song similar to that of a canary.

SEE THE ENGLISH TRANSLATION BELOW.

Personnel- Lark Bowerman, lead vocal, Celtic harp, synthesizer; Kris Bowerman, vocal, synthesizer, dumbek, Talking drum, percussion

Celtic Harp Magic, Aedan McDonnell

Kacheche - Celtic Harp Magic

Lyrics

O ndege, o ndege, Una imba na furaha, O ndege una imba Na furaha ngufu sana! Una imba-o!

Chorus: Kacheche, Kacheche, Kacheche-ka Kacheche, Kacheche, Kacheche-ka

O ndege, o ndege, Una ruka mbali sana. O ndege, una ruka Mbali sana ya matata! Una ruka-o!

(chorus)

O roho, o roho yangu, We imba vile na furaha. O roho, we ruka vile Mbali sana ya matata! We ruka vile-o

(chorus)

English Translation:

Oh bird, oh bird, You sing with happiness. Oh bird, you sing With happiness so intense! You sing-oh! Oh bird, oh bird, You fly very far. Oh bird, you fly Very far away from grief and trouble! You fly-oh! (chorus) Oh heart, oh my heart, You sing with happiness too. Oh heart, you fly Very far away from grief and trouble! You fly too-oh! (chorus)

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WHAT FANS ARE SAYING

“We have received your new CD and want to thank you.  We love it!  I forgot what a beautiful voice you have. Just so you know, I don't think you sound like anyone.  You are just your own amazing artists.  But for the sake of the request I suggest Angus & Julia Stone.  I think people who enjoy them will enjoy you.”
Melissa Matthews, British Columbia

“Thank you Lark & Kris for your inspiring, beautiful music! With much appreciation…"
Karen McCombe, New York

"The cord that THE BALLAD strikes in my heart is one of music that brings out a deep sense of community, people saying: Hey, this is us. …. The human spirit that will never be snuffed out – no matter the adversary."                                                    Samm Musoke, Nova Scotia

"I fell in love with Lark and Kris’s music the first time I heard it. It has an uplifting, inspiring quality which as a musician and songwriter I appreciate. Subsequently after my grandson was born I started playing him songs and he loved them. We had many a good time dancing to songs and once he was walking and talking he would request the music again and again and loves to dance and/or drum along. Thank you Lark and Kris for your gift of music to the world."                                    Suzanne Lichau, Oregon

"Dear Lark and Kris,
 
I'm writing on behalf of the South Fraser Gogos (stephenlewisfoundation.org) to thank you so much for your fantastic contribution to our Potluck Evening. You made the Grandmothers welcome quite spectacular and one I'm sure they will remember.

Everyone enjoyed the rest of your music and singing and seeing everyone up dancing is a sight I'll always remember. Wishing you all the very best,                       Jesse Pringle, Go Go Grannies Co-coordinator, British Columbia

"Kuimba weaves a magical spell with their enchanting melodies, mesmerizing harmonies, and penetrating lyrics. The music is at once universal and uniquely personal . . . the musicians share themselves with their audiences in an intimate and moving manner."                                       Julia J. Heydon, PhD. Music, Former Music Director, Oregon Shakespearean Festival