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Ted Nguimbi, better known by his kombo (initiatic Bwiti name) “Maviango”, is a young Gabonese man (from the Punu ethic group) who is amazing in many ways. His instrument the mugongo is likely the oldest stringed instrument in the world and is born of the hunting bow. The flat string is tapped with what used to be an arrow and the other hand, holding a stick, goes between an open string and a higher register by touching the stick to the string ….much like a guitar fret. The mouth creates the resonating chamber to amplify the resonance of the string as it is tapped. The mouth and two hands work in unison to create an amazing number of textural tones and qualities that have to be heard to be believed. It is understandable that this instrument is considered by the original pygmy tribes such as the Babongo to be key in providing the rhythms and energy needed for healing, and is a direct connection to birds especially as well as animals and plants of the forest.
Maviango is a master of the Mugongo meaning that he is able to use the traditional rhythms and accuracy of tone and texture through his instrument to heal the mind, body and spirit. The Mugongo is extremely difficult…much more so than it first might seem…but maviango makes it look easy.
As humble and gentle as he is powerful and solid maviango teaches us through his magic sounds vibrations to return back to nature and listen and feel the sounds around us as a way to come home to ourselves and so to humanity.
Money from all purchases will go directly back to Maviango helping him and his family to continue learning and teaching and conserving his traditional Bwiti roots.
“Maviango” is best translated as “the unpredictable” or “the movement of the antelope”…as you will hear his gifted agility and dexterity are as unpredictable and beautiful as the rain from Heaven.
The first main track on this album was recorded in 2010. Maviango was about fifteen. The four extra tracks were recorded in 2018. Both recordings were taken at the NGO Ebando, (www.ebando.org) run by Tatayo in Libreville, Gabon …Maviango’s main home and place of work for most of his life. We look forward to this being the first of several collections of recordings.
released August 10, 2018
Mugongo – Maviango (Ted Nguimbi)
Sound Recording – Mometo (Ben Taylor) and Mutombi (David Nassim)
Publishing – Mutombi (David Nassim)
Sound engineering and mastering – Ben Capp (bencappsound.com)
Photos – Missambo (Yann Guignon) and Mometo (Ben Taylor)