“Zvinorema” is a Shona word which connotes hardness, heaviness and burden. Translated, the aphorism roughly reads as: “All that you say shall never be a lie / but it’s hard / just so hard.”
Filmed alongside co-director Ora Dekornfeld, this song is product of Found Sound Nation through the OneBeat Music Project, an international exchange and residency program. A truly global community, our creative team came together from Zimbabwe, South Africa, Brazil and the US.
During the program, "Zvinorema" was created as a collaboration with two Brazilian musicians: cellist Felipe Jose and producer/engineer Luisa Puterman. The warm sweeps and swells of Felipe’s trio string arrangement, which feature violinists Elena Moon Park (Brooklyn) and Kyla-Rose Smith (Cape Town), are a dramatic counterpoint to Kirby’s soaring vocals and restless mbira plucks. Luisa’s ambient echoes and warped timbres maintain a ghostly presence, bubbling to the surface during the song’s middle section as the visuals switch to footage shot on the group’s trip across the Southeastern U.S.