The Zeze is a stringed instrument from Sub-Saharan Africa. It is also known by the names Tzetze and Dzendze, and in Madagascar is called Lokanga Voatavo or Lokango Voatavo. It has one or two strings, made of steel or bicycle brake wire.
The Zeze was traditionally played during celebrations and gatherings. It was also used by nomadic groups and herders when grazing their cattle to pass the time and as a form of entertainment. It was common for people to play the zeze when traveling over long distances. The materials are abundant in the Dodoma region which is fairly dry and can be cold during the rains. The zeze is made from a dried calabash, wood, the skin of either a monitor lizard, goat, cow or python, and steel strings. It comes in many sizes from 1 string all the way up to 14 strings. The smaller styles are played with a bow like a violin and the larger styles are plucked.
The Zeze Instrument Rack is created to sound as authentic as possible in terms of velocity responsiveness, but the design of the rack is created to shape and mould the sonic textures further. This authentic African instrument is designed to stretch the boundaries of what is sonically capable in the real world. Aiming to redefine the relationship between the acoustic quality and electronic manipulation. This instrument is available free of charge, however a small donation would be greatly appreciated to assist in the creation of future instrument racks.
This instrument was recorded in September 2015 in Nairobi Kenya for Santuri Safari by Emile Hoogenhout. Msafiri Zawose is the featured musician that helped to capture the essence of the Zeze.
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