Staunton Media Lab Releases 4 CDs of Thumb Piano Music by Dr. Cornelius Pianeer

An alto kalimba and a treble kalimba (right) on the grass.

For Immediate Release
Contact: Steve O'Keefe, 540-324-7023

Staunton Media Lab Releases 4 CDs of Thumb Piano Music by Dr. Cornelius Pianeer, Legendary Master of the Thumb Piano

Enjoy the Soothing Sounds of Kalimba, Karimba, Sansula,Tamboola and More!

(Staunton, VA — January 18, 2018) Today the Staunton Media Lab released a much-anticipated series of recordings by the legendary master of the Appalachian thumb piano, Dr. Cornelius "Thumbs" Pianeer. The four CDs contain over 200 minutes of music from 33 field recordings and studio recordings on a single USB Flash Drive (or "Thumbs Drive") which the Staunton Media Lab retails for $29.

Dr. Cornelius "Thumbs" Pianeer is an Appalachian American who lives in the mountains of Virginia near Lake Moomaw. A virtuoso of the African thumb piano, Dr. Pianeer says he plays "Appalachian style," with double keys, rattles and "mountain tunings" to generate a sound that is both authentic and mesmerizing.

Dr. Pianeer busks at public events around the Eastern U.S. but prefers to play in remote locations where he can dialogue with insects and birds. You'll hear these amazing duets on tunes such as Ambient Appalachian Trail, Cicada Song and Ambient Audioscape with Sansula and Birds.

The Sansula is a Dutch thumb piano used in music therapy throughout Europe. It is particularly useful for teaching music to deaf students who feel the vibrations of the keys and can readily play and compose. It's also an easy starter instrument for children.

Dr. Pianeer, a retired teacher, says he uses his thumb piano in the service of healing. "When folks hear the thumb piano," he says, "it quiets 'em down so they can lose their worries in the rhythm of the keys." Dr. Pianeer plays several thumb pianos of his own design, including the Tamboola and the hypnotic Sandman Thumb Piano.

Dr. Pianeer never made any recordings until he ran into audio engineer Coley Evans at the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind. All 33 recordings on the Thumbs Drive were made in the past two years and engineered at the Staunton Media Lab. Some are studio pristine and others were recorded by Dr. Pianeer in the field with a phone. Audio engineer Coley Evans cleaned them up as much as possible.

Dr. Cornelius Pianeer hopes to get a professional recording contract for his next Thumbs Drive. He is represented by the Staunton Media Lab. For more information, contact Steve O'Keefe, email steve dot okeefe at StauntonMediaLab dot com or phone 540-324-7023.

What's On the Thumbs Drive?

Disk 1: Dr. Cornelius Pianeer
Plays the Karimba

The legendary master of the thumb piano, Dr. Cornelius "Thumbs" Pianeer plays a Karimba on this CD of ambient world music. The Karimba is manufactured by the Hugh Tracey company in South Africa. It is similar to a Kalimba thumb piano, except it has metallic rattles attached to the keys.

1. Introduction (1:28)
2. Karimba In The Studio (1:28)
3. Ditty for Daniel (7:21)
4. Thumbiana (15:22)
5. Rumble Thumbs (7:21)
6. Five Points (4:47)
7. Good Morning Mt. Gretna (17:56)
8. Ambient Appalachian Trail (04:42)

Disk 2: Dr. Cornelius Pianeer
Plays Kalimba and Sansula

The master of the thumb piano, Dr. Cornelius "Thumbs" Pianeer, plays the Kalimba and the Sansula on this CD of ambient world music. The Kalimba thumb piano is manufactured by the Hugh Tracey company in South Africa. The Sansula thumb piano is manufactured by the Dutch company Hokema.

1. Electric Thumb Piano (01:13)
2. The Cicada Song (01:19)
3. Calling All Cicadas (08:03)
4. Outdoor Art (4:24)
5. Little Nichols (2:19)
6. Nichols Arboretum (11:51)
7. Ambient Audioscape with
Sansula and Birds (6:49)

Disk 3: Dr. Cornelius Pianeer
Plays Ambient Thumb Piano

Take a stroll with legendary kalimba master Thumbs Pianeer through America's parks and public spaces. On this CD, Dr. Pianeer captures the sounds of Morningside Park in New York City, Anderson Park in Montclair, New Jersey, and other ambient locations. On these recordings, Thumbs plays 8-note kalimba, a 17-note treble celeste kalimba, and the fiery two-tiered karimba.

1. Crows (3:25)
2. Preachin' (2:47)
3. Ambient Anderson (7:11)
4. Andersong (1:35)
5. Morningside (7:52)
6. Morning Stroll (11:49)
7. Morning Run (4:29)
8. Rush Hour (9:41)
9. Little Nichols in NYC (4:26)

Disk 4: Dr. Cornelius Pianeer
Plays Exotic Thumb Piano

Legendary thumb pianist Dr. Cornelius Pianeer has been known to make or modify thumb pianos to get exciting new sounds. On this recording, Dr. Pianeer experiments with the Sandman Thumb Piano he invented (it uses a "sandbox" rattle), a homemade Tamboola (a combo tambourine/sansula), a couple vintage thumb pianos, and the amazing karimba.

1. Tamboola (11:50)
2. Seventeen (4:11)
3. Clawfoot (3:03)
4. Sandman (5:20)
5. Vintage (1:36)
6. Slow Dance (3:37)
7. Sizzle Reel (8:12)
8. Cloudburst (06:49)
9. The Amazing Karimba (3:54)

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