Walter Kitundu

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Walter Kitundu is a musical instrument builder, graphic artist, and musical composer from San Francisco, California.

Biography[edit]

Kitundu was born in Rochester, Minnesota and spent his early years in Tanzania. He returned to Minnesota from age 8 to 25, then moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in approximately 1998. He currently lives in the Western Addition neighborhood.[1]

Career and Works[edit]

Phonoharp on exhibit at the Museum of Craft and Folk Art in San Francisco

Described as a renaissance man, Kitundu is inventor of the "phonoharp", a stringed instrument incorporating a phonograph. After hearing the instrument, the Kronos Quartet hired Kitundu as their "instrument builder in residence". In addition to a phonoharp he also built a "phonoharp" for each of the quartet's members.[1] For the song "Tèw semagn hagèré" on their 2009 album Floodplain, he created new instruments inspired by the begena, an Ethiopian 10-string lyre.[2]

As of 2008 Kitundu is a "Multimedia Artist" with the Exploratorium, artist in residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts, and a Distinguished visiting professor of "Wood Arts" at the California College of the Arts.[1]

Kitundu is also a wildlife photographer, with a specialty in hawks and other raptors.

Awards[edit]

In September 2008, Kitundu won a MacArthur fellowship.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Sam Whiting (2008-09-23). "MacArthur awarded to Walter Kitundu". San Francisco Chronicle. 
  2. ^ Tsioulcas, Anastasia (2009). Floodplain (CD booklet). Kronos Quartet. Nonesuch Records. #518349. 

External links[edit]

kitundu.com - professional website