Cikira's News

bug news

Fall 2013 -
I love how more hybrid guitars are appearing with a 23.5 inch scale length. Godin's Eskimo-named "Inuk" 11-string lute fits my musical inclinations just as strangely as a Tenori-On practice metronome! Using removable "credit card glue" I added to each Godin a coordinating wood rosette made by Oud and Saz Restoration for an inspiring traditional look. These versatile, multi-cultural instruments have it all now. My chops are a little iffy, though. Awww, do I have to practice?

Summer 2012 -
"...what exactly is it? A fretless Mando-lute-thing?"
That reaction just about explains the extra-OUDinary new wrinkle in my musical life: I'm loving the acoustic-electric, eleven-string Godin MultiOud, sensibly tuned in fourths. Its steel-string counterpart is a warmer Turkish cumbus with luxury features! Melody notes from these superb "odd instruments" complement the sound of my Array Mbiras. It's fun to recall tunes from my belly dance years, too, although without frets there sure are more notes than I need!

Spring 2011 -
I've taken the plunge to work in standard notation. As it turns out, a dedicated Array Mbira teaching book isn't a necessity. It's not hard to adapt existing learning materials for use with the AM, it's simply a tedious matter of picking the right ones from the vast selection out there.

Summer 2010 -
I'm composing in words for a bit, about a rare and under-appreciated musical instrument invented in the USA. "The Array Mbira Book" will feature a notation-free theory primer based on the system of tuning in fifths. I hope it will inspire both children and adults to take up playing music, who may be daunted by the expensive lessons and years of practice that traditional keyboard students face before their instrument becomes "fun" to play. The book will include workbook exercises that teach chord shapes and scale patterns. Enlightened odd-instrument lovers, write me if you'd like to be notified when it's available. If you're curious about the Array Mbira, visit Array Instruments and my Cikira Mbira page!

September 2008 -
I set up the ArrayPlayers Yahoo group. Time to get more word out about it!

mbria Spring/Summer 2008 -
Spring/Summer 2008--I discover the Array Mbira and bring this wonderful instrument into my life. Meet Cikira's Mbiras here!

November 2006 -
My site gets a makeover from England's reknowned synth designer and DSP coder Paul Maddox, who's also a "Vacoloco" of web design. I'm delighted, Paul, thank you!

Setptember 2006 -
I attend an annual concert that shouldn't be missed--the culmination of Different Skies, a week of creative effort by electronic musicians who come from far and wide to Arcosanti, Arizona--a perfect space music venue. What fun to explore this desert "urban laboratory" and meet some old friends for the first time!

Doug Wyatt February 2006 -
Talented composer/programmer Doug Wyatt is a hero to fans of Opcode, the company responsible for the virtual glue of my retro-Mac studio. So a visit to the Mushrooms was surely Doug's, due.
Be sure check out his magnificent new album -
The Dream of 'I'

Moog Lives January 2006 -
How strange the NAMM show seemed without Bob Moog's friendly presence. I miss him, but I'm so lucky to have known him. Another souvenir--one I never would have foreseen--was a gift from the folks at Moog Music. This says it all!

Don Buchla May 2005 -
Did the new Buchla 200e bring on G.A.S. delirium, or did Don Buchla really visit the Mushrooms with amazing gizmos in tow? Read about it here!

July 2004 -
Check the featured "Workspace" in Keyboard Magazine's August issue!

May 2004 -
I update my daily Stairmaster stint by bringing a Bowflex Ultimate into my life. My new workout routine leaves me ready to rock... right over to the couch!

February 2004 -
I stop thinking wishfully about a synth-heads' forum about creativity, and take matters into my own hands. SynthSights "mushrooms"! Beware the evil moderatrix!

Read comments about the SynthSights group here.

Moog shirt January 2004 -
Check out my NAMM show souvenir!


November 2003 -
I answer a juicy set of forum members' questions from the Netherlands, and talk about Gear Acquisition Syndrome (G.A.S.). Read the Q & A session here without having to translate from Dutch. Such a deal!

September 2002 -
Check out my gloriously evil Minimoog Voyager!

August 2002 -
Mushrooms and Gear photo updates!

July 2002 -
Summer NAMM show time in Nashville, where my honky-tonkin' and gear-lovin' worlds collide. Is that why it was so hot there?

May 2002 -I'm featured on TechTV's Tech Live show as the "ultimate AIBO fan". Well, I'm not the most extreme one, but I was handy. Don't miss the video!

January 2002 -
What a way for a Pterodactyl to start the year - by having a ball at the NAMM show in Anaheim, and then coming home to begin inhabiting the Mushrooms!

September 2001 -
Updates to maxWerk are completed with perfect timing. Just as "programmer's ennui" sets in, it's time to worry about house finishing.

August 2001 -
My original AIBO "Toshi" becomes a Smithsonian museum donation, and I get to party with geeks and robots at Robocup!

June 2001 -
The amazing Mushrooms sprout in the hills of central Washington.

May 2001 -
I help pick a name for the long-awaited Minimoog Voyager synthesizer. What an honor!

January 2001 -
The first ever NAMM wedding! A true celebrity marriage, it's all over in a few months.

Email: Cikira [at] Cikira [dot] Com