Renowned zither player Werner Frey says he left his heart in Kimberley. And he has proven it by composing a song by the same name. Actually, Frey composed I Left My Heart In Kimberley in 1994, when he visited our city.
Living in Canmore now, he says he found the original composition again last year and has been working on it to improve it. He dedicated the song to Hazel and Bob Cleland.
“Sooner or later I will go in a studio for a recording,” he said.
The zither, for those not familiar with it, is native to Austria and Bavaria. It is considered three instruments in one — guitar, harp and bass. The rectangular shaped instrument has 32 to 45 strings. Five are melody strings that lie over a fingerboard equipped with frets and are played with the left and right thumb. the other strings are open, each tuned to a single note, and plucked with the fingers of the right hand to form harmonies and rhythm.
Frey is considered something of a genius with the zither, having played with the Calgary Philharmonic, and also serenaded former U.S. President Gerald Ford on his birthday in 1989 in Colorado.
Frey has often been inspired by the Canadian landscape and has written many songs about the different provinces, which were recorded on an album “Canadian: The Music of Canada”.
When he contacted the Bulletin, he also included a copy of the sheet music for “I Left My Heart in Kimberley”. Any musicians out there, whether zither players or not, are welcome to give it a try. And do let us know at the Bulletin what it sounds like.