Wednesday, 30 August 2017


Fun couple of weeks. I was called out to fix a piano in Nyarutarama. Turned out to be a very unusual Dutch Rippen (Google Image above, actual one below). I think it's made to look like a grand piano standing on its side, as it was fashionable to call uprights 'upright grands' for a time.

It was a bit of a struggle getting into it, but the problem was easily fixed. Someone had packed it away with a long plastic pole between the hammers and strings, perhaps a damp-prevention method. I removed the pole and pushed back the hammer rail - the whole thing burst into life. Sounded lovely in the tiled room.

Also been tuning this American Kimball piano at a Korean church, and also fixing up the action on a Japanese Kawai from the 1960s.

Had to take a break from tuning for an hour as the first rains arrived. The sound against the tin roof made it impossible to hear the  strings. We were all very grateful for the drop in temperature, though.



We've been busy sending out the Indiegogo gifts to those who backed our crowdfunder campaign. We're picking up our first string frame today. Need to focus on ordering the strings next. Spent yesterday at CasaKeza organising the old bass strings and the steel wires to try to work out what we need to get.

African Sunrise

The past few days have been a bit of an endurance test. A group just moved in next door. Apparently they're an NGO, but they're extremely loud. They celebrated with a weekend bender: drumming all day, earsplitting music until 2 a.m., then again most of the next day. With the golf course down the road, it's easy to think this is a secluded spot, when it's actually a residential area. The worst part is they've got a serious subwoofer. It produces low sounds, so it seems quiet to people passing by, but it reverberates around my house. I do a lot of editing work and it makes working from home very difficult because it's like someone constantly tapping their finger against your skull. There's also been a few instances of loud shouting and drumming late at night.

My neighbour suggested going to the police, as noise pollution is taken fairly seriously. I'm going to see if I can track down the owner first and talk with him. This has always been a lovely, quiet area. I'm hoping it will be again.

We're getting our own back at the moment with building work. Turning the old guard hut into a self-contained apartment. Replacing the pit latrine - and all the spiders - with a water-fed system and electric shower. Thinking of Airbnbing it, but it'll be really nice just to have a second bathroom. My other one is attached to the guest room, which can make ablutions tricky when people are staying.

All feeling quite creative. Building pianos and extra rooms. The avocado tree has just started fruiting, too. Soon be chocolate avocado mousse season.

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