“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.

Read about the inspiration behind the song on Medium:

For more information, videos and articles about OneBeat, visit 1Beat.org.

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a gathering of mbira, kalimba, sanza, likembe and other tyned instruments...

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