Performing on Channing Way next to The Melt Berkeley, 2400 Telegraph, Sat & Sun, all day from 2 pm on
If you follow celestial sounds of music wafting through the air, you’ll likely find local street musician treasure, Michael Masley. He is a unique American composer, instrumentalist, and inventor of musical instruments. This “Beethoven” of the streets, creates sounds that are full of harmonic resonances and tones expanding and rippling over each other. This music is soothing and creates wonder. It is defined by unusually complex textures.
The Kalimbalom is the name for his latest invention. This is his new muse. It is derived from the African kalimba, which creates rich tones from plucking various lengths of metal prongs. Reminiscent of his body of music, he again takes familiar tones and expands them into a new lexicon that remains refreshing and full of musical surprises.
The most famous instrument in his menagerie of musical inventions is the “bowhammer cymbalom” for which Michael substituted the two hammers for eight “bow-like” hammers, which he attaches to his fingers. This innovation earned Masley, inclusion in the prestigious Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians (8th edition). Michael has honed music improvisation and composition through 30 years of dedicated street performances, fairs and other special events. He especially enjoys recording sessions that tailor unique sounds for customer’s projects. In addition to Michael Masley’s incredible CDs, of which his latest is entitled, “Kalimbalom Solos”, his music has been featured on NPR’s 1st volume of “All Songs Considered”, guitarist Ry Cooder’s “Geronimo: An American Legend”, Entertainment Tonite, the 1994 Winter Olympics and an upcoming documentary entitled "Art Officially Favored".