The Kiirpa Story
The Kiirpa is a recent creation concieved to accommodate a chord selection mechanism that would facilitate playing harmonies.
But as the instrument began to take shape it became evident that the original intent of a housing for a complex chord selector was falling to the wayside - replaced by the unexpected depth of resonance of the instrument itself.
The original purpose was to fulfill a lifelong wish for an instrument that almost anyone could play, and play well, with no formal music or instrumental training.
Would such an endeavor be possible?
And who has the time or wherewithal to tinker around for years trying to invent something that may never see the light of day?
I sure didn't. Or that's what I told myself every time I had to put a dream back in it's box.
And then along came a dark cloud with a silver lining: the coronavirus.
March 2020, alone at home, 39°C fever, lockdown, sirens blasting, delirium.
Is this where my story ends? But, ....what if I survive? ....then what should I do?
Life started taking on some broad new values. Maybe I could try to build that musical instrument that had been suggested to me 38 years earlier in Kolkata by my beloved mentor of philosophy and meditation.
Would I just be wasting time? Isn't the pursuit of a dream perhaps the best thing I could do?
The most important teacher of my life had never wasted a single word. With loving respect I decided I would not waste a single minute.
So I started tinkering around in the studio during the day. At night I would dive into my memory and try to recall every detail and expression of that mystical moment so long ago.
Exactly what was he talking about? What was being explained? Why to me? Whatever inspiration I could find I would immediately make a note, or a sketch, for the next day's work.
Now it has been a long two years of dreaming, drawing, learning and tinkering.
Therefore, with no further adieu, please welcome the Kiirpa into this world.
- Doni Detwiler