Mr. Mizu - Loud Paintings & Colorful Music - Denver Colorado

This track was a huge challenge, but it turned out better than I hoped for


Check out the vintage soul sounds over some house beats....

Yes, if it's within my style and capabilities.  I do many custom murals, paintings and live art projects.

One of the first things to consider when ordering any custom project, is price. If you know what you are willing to spend everything else can meet that expectation.

I am really happy how this one turned out

Spotify made a playlist for me!!

The Kora is sometimes desribed as an "African Harp", but is it?


Let's look at the definition...


Harp: An instrument having an upright triangular frame consisting of a pillar and a hollow back containing the sounding board.


That doesn't sound much like a Kora.  A Kora does not have a soundboard or pillar.


So what category is it?


Technically a kora is a "double-bridged spiked lute"


Why? Let's look at the definition...


Lute:  Any plucked string instrument with a neck and a deep round back enclosing a hollow cavity, usually with a sound hole or opening in the body.


This makes sense.  A kora is more like a guitar than a harp.  The two sides to the bridge make it "double bridged" and the neck going trough the body makes it "spiked"






Foday Suso, Kora Griot

If you want to go straight to Hell

You follow the melodies of the Hamelin’s flutist;

If you want to go to Heaven smiling

You’d better listen to the kora griot


With twenty one strings, two thumbs

Hard worked from childhood

His heart, a flexible cow hide,

Melodies tempered as Timbuktu’s steel

Foday will take you back

Through stories dated

Hundreds of years to a land

Where the Mandingoes made love

In the forest under the eyes

Of curious guardian spirits


A kora is not for the hands

Of a tyrant who makes wailing music

Out of the throats of freedom fighters;

A kora is for the hands of a young poet

Who sings to the beauty of the

Great Gambia River

While fishermen sell the daily catch

to sinuous women


Oh, Foday! Our paths may never cross again;

But the beauty of your kora,

The subtleness of your thumbs,

Your never-stopping smile,

Your aura and your celestial music

That calls from Africa beyond the seas,

All those treasured items have been

Forever imprinted on my forehead

They roam in a welcome way

Through the jungles of my soul

How do you tune that crazy thing?


Koras have several unique sytems of tuning not found on other instruments.

Fortunately 3 of them are compatible with the more traditional scales most musicians are used to.


Silaba / Tomora Ba:

Means “main road”


Matches perfectly with F major, also works with D minor


Tomora Mesengo :

Means “lesser road”


Similar to C minor/ D# major




Similar to C major and A minor


Isn't it interesting that the 'major" scale is called the "main road" and the "minor" is the "lesser road"?


Since the root note of all of these scales is "F", it doesn't take much adjustment to switch between them. It is important to note that the lowest octave is "missing" some notes. If your Kora has 22 strings, with the 2nd string coming over the end of the bridge, that string can be set to one of the "missing" notes.


It may be easier to understand this with a "tuning map".  These maps are made as if you are holding the instrument in the playing position looking down on the bridge.

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