Rattletree Marimba's performances are almost as visually entrancing as they are musically. The Austin-based group plays the oversize xylophone cousins that give them their name, and has recently discovered a way to rig their soprano marimba with MIDI triggers, creating what they believe to be the world's first synth-marimba. Augmented with Rattletree's live video manipulation, this provides a far-out twist on the Zimbabwean music that forms its roots. In fact, Rattletree founder Joel Laviolette lived for two years in Zimbabwe, where he recorded native musicians for his nonprofit record label, which sends all the sales proceeds from the music back to the people who made it.
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