The Season of Big Rain (Mbura ya Njahi) (2021) — Nyokabi Kariuki (1998)

Marimba Trio (5-octave)

From the Composer:

“I never hesitate to look for guidance and inspiration for my piece in home, Kenya. My ethnic group, the Kikuyu, are farmers, and seasons are based on planting and harvest. The season of ‘big rain’ is known as Mbura ya Njahi, which refers to the rain that comes that allows the beans to grow (usually from April to July. When writing this piece, I found myself thinking of the sound of the tapping of rain on the rood of our home in Kirinyaga, where my father and sisters grew up. OIt is one of my most favourite, most peaceful places to be, 

The piece therefore follows the journey of a gentle rain storm, featuring sounds of the glimmer of lighting, the low rumble of thunder, and the quiet taps of raindrops – on a leaf, on the ground, and on a rooftop in Kirinyaga.

The piece was premiered by members of the Heartland Marimba Quartet in January, 2021.”


Annotated by Nathaniel Holman