Keytoy ~ Custom Styling By Jepps

Keytoy ~ Custom Styling By Jepps
Theatre grade glow in the dark tape applied to sharps and flats, whilst black electrician tape softened surrounding case appearance.
I simply adore my Hohner Superforce 37. In fact I adore it so much I decided it was time to give it a manicure and custom artistic makeover.

The result? A finely tuned and responsive, totally radioactive Keytoy.

It had been begging me to do it. In fact the day it arrived the first thing it said was, “Please don’t call me a Superforce 37…”

Damn right. Whilst my favourite Keytoy, or Melodica, or whatever you want to call it, the name SUPERFORCE 37 has never settled with me on any particularly personal level, at all.

Hence, in addition to the reed adjustments I spent a good couple of hours undertaking, the abominable logo has now gone from its now most graciously decorated face.

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Kalimbawu ~ Chromatic Thumb Piano

Kalimbawu By Simon Jepps
The Kalimbawu or Double Kalimba
It took a long time, but in the end my years of research, pouring over numerous photos of various different kinds of thumb pianos eventually paid off.

Here is my invention, the Kalimbawu.

It gets its name by borrowing the term “Ba wu” from the Chinese flute of that name, meaning “him” and “her”.

Whilst not a reed instrument, the metal tongues of the Kalimba do resemble the shape of the Bawu flute’s reed. Also as I will explain, the Kalimbawu features two voices, one male and one female.

If that’s not an excuse, the word just works!

The Kalimba, also referred to as a “thumb piano”, is a modern variant of the African Mbira, developed by Hugh Tracey and which features a Westernised tuning system.

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The Game Of Chess & The Law Of The Folly

Giuoco Piano Black Follied by Simon Jepps
The Giuoco Piano
In this position, Black has Follied his Knight to f8, instantly granting him options onto g6 or e6 and perhaps even an f Pawn advance.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.

And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

A brief history of how I saved the most beautiful game on Earth, with a new law called Follying.

Skip to Folly

God spoke to me when I was a child and we’ve been playing Chess ever since.

Many, many years ago, a very sad thing happened to me. I was playing Chess in the Frome Congress and I was losing two games down with three to go. This isn’t a terrible thing in itself, for a 3 point win now would make all the world of difference.

But it wasn’t the tournament that upset me. It was the game. I was playing a blind man as it happened and although we were even on the board, all of a sudden half way through the game, my mind just stopped.

I’ve seen this all before, I thought. I see this everyday.

Yet these familiar Openings and positions weren’t to be the cornerstone of any success on my part… instead they would prove to be the beginning of a twenty year long battlefield between myself and the stagnation of a stubborn game that refused to change its colours.

For that was precisely it. I had seen this game too many times before.

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