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CITYVIEWS

April 2013

Photo: Lerato Maduna of the Children’s Radio Foundation

YOUR FREE CAPE TOWN CENTRAL CITY PAPER

SOUNDING OUT THE CITY of Cape Town

What we can all learn

from jazz

>> page 3

How Cape Town

got its groove >> page 4&5

Connecting Cape Town one story at a time

Children speaking out on the airwaves

>> page 8


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around

town

CityViews

Guest Editor

CITYVIEWS

How can we

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make music together? the Noon Day Gun and the bustle of street culture – music, even, in the silence that falls at night. Some moments it has a rhythm that makes you want to dance, other days it makes you want to weep. (We’ve mapped some of that music across 24 hours of city life in this edition – refer to page 10 and 11 for our soundscape). It still feels to me that we as South Africans are still seeking out a common language in which we can understand each other: With 11 official languages and many more cultural groupings besides, from within South Africa and from without, we must seem a bit like the old tower of Babel. How do we build something together while speaking so many languages? How do we build understanding? In trying to find answers in my own life, I often turn to music. It helps lift me up when I’m sad, keep me going when I have a deadline or have lost my willpower, connects me to people I’ve never met and places I’ve never been. Music helps me stay connected to my children. If this is what music does for me, I wonder, can music be a language in which we find each other – across the divides of race, age, gender, history, hurt, of all that has separated us for so long?

Photo: Steve Gordon, Making Music Productions

here’s something both profound and beautiful about Shona music — beyond the way it sounds. David Schmidt, a part-time musician and full-time director at Strategies for Change, was recently telling me about his experience playing this kind of music on mbiras: “There are eight parts to this music and everyone’s playing a different sound piece, playing to a different rhythm. It’s really hard to get these to lock together… But when you do, you hear the music that nobody’s playing, between the notes. No one’s playing it but this sound exists out there. In Shona culture, that was the sound of the ancestors.” He went on to make the connection between this ancestral sound, “the music nobody’s playing” and how, as people from very different places, we can learn to come together, work together, make music together. I love this idea, of how each of us as individuals, through our everyday actions, can make up something extraordinary. It’s a beautiful metaphor for diversity and the social fabric of our communities. It’s also an apt metaphor for city life. There’s a song of the city that comes together out of the shouting of taxi guardtjies and the soulful call to prayer, the boom of

Can it be a language in which we find healing? This question interests me too in terms of the city: Can music help us cross the divides that have separated us? Can it bring a bit more soul, a bit more spirit to the streets of Cape Town? Can it help bring people out into our shared spaces and give us all a reason to dance? We saw a glimmer of what’s possible with the recent Infecting the City public arts festival, but what if every day in Cape Town looked and felt like Infecting the City – magical, mesmerising, surprising? What if it wasn’t just artists expressing themselves, their dreams and their hopes on the streets; what if it was everyone?

What if everyone who used the central city felt a sense of ownership of it, felt welcomed here, saw themselves reflected back? As April arrives, and with it a host of music gatherings, from Cape Town International Jazz Festival to City Hall Sessions; as you go through the pages of this paper, I hope the one thing you’ll take out is how important it is for us to open our ears and open our minds to each other, to build bridges and find a common language – even if it’s one without words. Bulelwa Makalima-Ngewana

Help us imagine the future of City Views We’re currently evaluating how City Views is put together, and welcome any reader feedback: Help us imagine in what direction we should grow. Give your thoughts, ideas and feedback by: Tweeting us @City_Views Facebooking us your thoughts at www.facebook. com/CityViewsCapeTown Emailing the editor at judith@capetownpartnership.co.za

City Hall Sessions will be back on Saturday 27 April, with a Freedom Day special headlined by Paul Hanmer, Moreira Chonguica and McCoy Mrubata. All three have a special relationship with the Mother City: Paul and McCoy were born here, while Moreira studied at UCT’s College of Music. City Hall Sessions series is supported by the National Lottery Development Trust Fund, presented by Creative Cape Town and with assistance of the City, commenced in 2011, and has brought a dynamic and diverse range of musical collaborations to Cape Town’s City Hall. Artists featured to date include Ray Lema, Chico César,

City Views is a placemaking publication and free community paper co-published by the Cape Town Partnership and the Central City Improvement District. It aims to grow and connect people and places – through storytelling – to help us, as a city, acknowledge our past, overcome our differences, and shape our future. Published by: The Cape Town Partnership and the Central City Improvement District (CCID)

Editor: Judith Browne: 021 419 1881 judith@capetownpartnership.co.za

Contributors: Alma Viviers, Ambre Nicolson, Carola Kablitz, Valmont Layne

Website: www.capetowncid.co.za www.capetownpartnership.co.za

Design: Infestation www.infestation.co.za 021 461 8601

MD of the Cape Town Partnership

Writing to us: Cape Town Partnership The Terraces, 10th Floor 34 Bree Street Cape Town, 8000 We’ll be publishing the best of your ideas and letters over the next few months.

Freedom Day concert: McCoy Mrubata, Moreira Chonguica and Paul Hanmer at City Hall

Catch McCoy Mrubata (pictured here) at City Hall for a Freedom Day concert.

April 2013

Thandiswa Mazwai, Ismaël Lô, Azania Ghetto Sounds, Kesivan & The Lights, Closet Snare, Caiphus Semenya, Madala Kunene, and a host of special guests. WHAT: City Hall Sessions Freedom Day Concert WHEN: Saturday 27 April 2013 at 20h00 WHO: Paul Hanmer, McCoy Mrubata, Moreira Chonguica and a band HOW: Tickets are available through Computicket

Telling your story in City Views We’re always on the lookout for stories of people who are shaping their city, their community, their lives for the better. If you would like to be featured or know of someone who is worth featuring, please send your story to judith@ capetownpartnership.co.za. We cannot promise to publish every story, but we can promise to consider it.

Sharing City Views’ stories All of the stories found in the pages of City Views are available for syndication, for free. If you have a community paper or publication that you believe would benefit from the use of these stories, please contact judith@capetownpartnership.co.za

Distributing City Views If you’re an eager reader of City Views – and you know others who would enjoy reading it too – consider becoming a distributor. All we need is your contact details, address and how many copies you need each month. Or, if you would just like to track down where you can obtain your FREE copy, send an email to Aziza Patandin on aziza@capetownpartnership.co.za.

SAVE THESE NUMBERS ON YOUR PHONE If you live or work in the Central City Improvement District, be sure to save these numbers on your phone. CCID Security Manager: 082 453 2942 CCID Deputy Security Manager: 082 442 2112 CCID 24-hour number: 082 415 7127 SAPS Control Room: 021 467 8002 Social Department: 082 563 4289


April 2013

about

CityViews

town

3

The sound of collaboration:

What we can learn from jazz Is music purely a form of entertainment or can it teach us something about who we are and how we can work together better? The Western Cape Economic Development Partnership decided to find out – by hosting an evening at the Mahogany Room to see what those involved in developing South Africa’s economy could learn from jazz.

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he gathering was part of a two-day meeting of National Treasury’s Economies of Regions Learning Network – connecting policymakers and practitioners in Johannesburg, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape and helping them learn, engage and share ideas on how to support economic growth and the creation of jobs. With Iain Harris of Coffeebeans Routes facilitating, the evening kicked off with a rendition of Blue Monk– a popular jazz standard written in the 1960s by the American composer and pianist Thelonious Monk – and performed by a four-man ensemble of Kesivan Naidoo on drums, Lee Thompson on trumpet, Bokani Dyer on piano and Shane Cooper on bass.

Lesson # 1: You need to understand where you’ve come from in order to know where you’re going. Back when it was written, Kesivan explained, the piece was considered thoroughly modern. Now it’s just a part of the jazz tradition: “It

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doesn’t explore the harmonies the way we do today, so when we hear it as musicians, it takes us back to a particular period in jazz. What this means is that, whenever we play jazz, we have to understand the ‘language’ of a piece first – when it was composed. It is only once we understand this that we can begin to improvise around it. The tradition of jazz is that it constantly tries to break the mould.”

Lesson #2: Collaboration is like a good conversation. You need to listen carefully and respond appropriately. Demonstrating the level of improvisation that can take place across a variety of different pieces, Kesivan explained (in between the music) how individual jazz musicians are able to collaborate on a piece even if they haven’t played it together before: “When one musician is improvising, all the others take their cues from him. The rhythm is kept going by the drums and base. It’s a call and response.” Form, however, is everything. “We may deviate away but everyone

knows the form – the structure – and no matter how far we go off into improvisation, we always come back to it.” Lee added: “Improvisation is spontaneous composition – you improvise until something really grabs you. We’re having a conversation with the words and language we know. There is always someone in the lead, but we can allow that leader to change from one band member to another throughout a number.”

Lesson #3: Leave your ego at the door: there’s no “I” in band. Or in team. This is when workshop participant Peet du Plooy of Trade and Industry Policy Strategies (TIPS) started to see the parallels to his own line of work: “Workshops are arenas in which it is often much to harder to improvise. It’s in our nature that we feel more comfortable when just one person takes the lead constantly. “So the magic in a workshop happens, however, when you step outside that norm and others participate actively, taking the lead themselves and giving freely of their ideas no matter how outlandish they may be. Then the beauty of collaboration takes place. You suddenly feel part of something important that you’re proud to be contributing towards, and you don’t feel afraid to do so.

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But even then, and just like jazz, you’ve got to know the rules of engagement before you break them. “And just like jazz, the key to any collaborative process is to get to know each participant as an individual first and to be able to respect them for the contribution they bring, but at the same time you also need to be assured that they will understand the nonnegotiables. That’s when you begin to trust that you can explore different avenues together – and off you go.” Curious about the leadership dynamics in the band, participant Dhiresh Ramklass of National Treasury’s Technical Assistance Unit observed that every instrument has had a chance in taking the lead, with the exception of the drums. “There’s no ‘I’ in band,” explained Kesivan, “If you are a good accompanist, you make the soloist sound good.”

Lesson #4: Start on common ground, and then allow yourself to experiment

manage to pull it back.” “The thing about the Flintstones number,” explained Kesivan, “is that you start with familiar common ground and this enables you to create a safe space from which each band member can experiment.”

Lesson #5: Remember: We’re all in this together But what happens if someone’s not such a good band member, wondered participant Estelle Cloete of the EDP. “It’s not a case of saying – in jazz – that someone’s not a good teamplayer,” countered Bokani. “It’s more about realising that they may just be in an environment that doesn’t complement them at the time.” “Plus,” concluded Kesivan, “you should never judge someone just on what they play. You need to understand where they come from musically, who they like to listen to, where their influences come from … again, you always need to look back to be able to look forward.”

Photos: Jonx Pillemer

By: Carola Koblitz

Having mentioned the nonnegotiables, and defining these in jazz as understanding the form, Iain wondered out loud how the band handled the negotiables in a highly improvised piece – in this case the family favourite Meet the Flintstones, which the band proceeded to transform from the highly recognisable to an elaborate improvisation and back again in a matter of minutes. “Jazz music often takes you to a space where you find yourself on a precipice and yet, as a band, you then still

IN LOVING MEMORY

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This article is dedicated to the memory of Peet du Plooy, who participated so vibrantly not only throughout the Economies of Regions Learning Network process, but in his dreams for collaboration in South Africa – and who then had his life cut tragically short on Sunday 10 March 2013.

MAIN IMAGE: Lee Thompson on trumpet. FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: 1. Mahogany Room on Buitenkant Street; 2. Kesivan Naidoo on drums; 3. Bokani Dyer on piano; 4. Shane Cooper on bass.


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about

town

CityViews

April 2013

Photo: Bruce sutherland, City of Cape Town

Ambre Nicolson

Kaapse Klopse draw and improvise on a range of musical traditions – from American minstrel music to goema.

How Cape Town

got its groove

Music tells its own stories of cities. New Orleans will always be known for its dixieland jazz, Rio for its samba beats and Dublin for its folk ballads. And Cape Town? As a port city, Cape Town has a homegrown sound with influences from four continents. By: Ambre Nicolson

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tick your hand into the mixed bag of Cape Town’s musical heritage and you’re as likely to pull out a classical symphony as you are a klopse goemmaliedjie. Today, walking down a Cape Town street, it’s possible to hear a jazz standard, a gospel hymn and the latest spaza rap all in the space of a block or two. But for all its diversity, Cape Town also has a sound all its own: a blend of jazz shot through with the beat of the goema drum and distilled over five centuries.

From the first people to Tweede Nuwe Jaar The first human music played in the shadow of Table Mountain was that of the “first people”, or Khoe Khoe. They brought the sound of drums and chants to the Cape, and according to Professor Christine Lucia, author of The World of South African Music, reports from European travelers describe indigenous reed-based bands playing complex polyphonic music. “The San and Khoi also played one-string bows

– and one of the most famous, which is an end-blown bow, was called the gowie or gowra and itself migrated east, morphing into the Basotho lesiba.” With European settlement at the Cape, and the influx of slaves, came another musical

“Slaves lived in their Dutch owners’ houses and picked up the music they heard there with great ease. This results in the repertoire we still hear Malay Choirs sing and, even broader, in the vast repertory of Islamic sacred and secular (mostly vocal)

“Let their names roll slowly off your tongue like a poem: Abdullah Ibrahim, Tete Mbambisa, Hotep Galeta, Mark Fransman, Chris McGregor and Hilton Schilder... There’s the whole world in these names. Just like the city.” Iain Harris

migration. According to Christine: “This brought into contact two extremely interesting cultural worlds: Dutch folk songs and psalms, on the one hand, and secular and sacred music from the three main slave areas – Bengal, western India, and the Indonesian islands, on the other hand.

practices of Cape Moslems. As Desmond Desai has observed in his extensive research, this has led to musical forms like the (sacred) adhaan, badja-ing, djeiker, pudjie, and kaseda, and the secular oulied, ghommalied, moppie, and nederlandslied.” After the Dutch influence, French and

English musical forms followed, with one of the most important being that of the brass instruments of Moravian missionaries, which can still be heard in the music of the klopse today. In a paper on the creolisation of music in Cape Town, music scholar Professor Denis-Constant Martin describes Cape Town in the mid-19th century as already being a musically rich city. “When the slaves were freed in 1834, Cape Town already resounded with music of all kinds: European dances and songs, military marches, operatic arias, Christian hymns, Muslim ritual music and all those that cannot be named because they were in the process of being created.” As with all port cities, many of Cape Town’s musical influences entered the city from the sea. “Scores brought in by people of high society who wanted to keep up with what was fashionable back in the fatherland, songs and instrumentals peddled by sailors,

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Big bands and big changes Imagine: the year is 1955 and District Six in Cape Town, still a vibrantly multi-ethnic community, is alive to the sounds of jazz. Strains of Miles Davis and John Coltrane can be heard from radios tuned to stations like LM Radio in Mozambique or the Voice of America. Around the district, dance halls and socials reverberate to the brash and brassy sounds of bands like the Blue Notes and the Jazz Epistles, large ensembles that mimic their American counterparts. Iain Harris, the man behind Cape Town’s one and only jazz safari, recounts on his Coffeebeans Routes website how at that time a young man, known then as Adolphus Brand, always had a dollar in his pocket to buy a jazz record from a sailor passing through Cape Town. And so he became known as Dollar Brand, the same young man who would go on to become one of Cape Town’s finest jazz musicians and composers and who, today, is better known as Abdullah Ibrahim. In Christine’s view, “No-one has ever better fused the rhythms and Islamic influences of Dutch-Malay Cape music with Euro-American jazz, and Christian mission hymns (especially from America) as well as Abdullah Ibrahim.” Hard to imagine at the time perhaps, but only a few short years later, Sophiatown in Johannesburg would be razed to the ground and the forced removal of District Six’s residents begun. As the clouds of apartheid gathered over Cape Town, jazz took on a more serious and subversive role. As Iain puts it, “Mankunku blew Yakhal Inkomo (Bellowing Bull) behind a curtain at the Luxurama theatre. Black musicians and white musicians couldn’t play together on the same stage so he had to be hidden. Ibrahim went into exile, and then came back for a while in the 70s to give us Manenberg, an anthem for Cape Town. Chris McGregor and the Blue Notes gave us Izmite is Might as a eulogy for what could have been.”

Sounds in the city today Despite the divisions imposed by apartheid, Cape Town’s disparate sounds continued to fuse until the city became known for its own unique take on a genre: Cape jazz. “A unique combination

of traditional jazz, langarm and Malay-inflected tunes culminated in the phenomenon of Cape jazz,” explains Professor Michael Titlestad of the University of the Witwatersrand. “Musicologists dispute the music’s unique identity – but this is only because that hybrid form was to spread across the country and become woven into our national music forms. It remains present everywhere in trace: a unique sound – a rich amalgam of carnival music, echoes of the amaXhosa past, and the hundreds of thousands of American jazz records that arrived at the Cape Town docks.” This diversity of musical influences can also be seen in the roll call of honour of great Capetonian musicians. Says Iain, “There’s the pianists, let their names roll slowly off your tongue like a poem: Abdullah Ibrahim, Tete Mbambisa, Hotep Galeta, Mark Fransman, Chris McGregor and Hilton Schilder. The saxophonists Winston Mankunku, Robbie Jansen, Basil Coetzee, Morris Goldberg and Buddy Wells. The guitarists? Jonathon Butler, Mac McKenzie, the brothers Alvin and Errol Dyers, Jimmy Dludlu and Selaelo Selota. There’s the whole world in these names. Just like the city.” Alongside this burgeoning jazz style, a related but distinct musical style is also gaining momentum, that of goema. Asked what goema is, musician Mac McKenzie describes it as “being all about the beat. It was once known more as minstrel music but when I was in a band and traveling half the world we wanted to take out all those colonial connotations, so we just called it goema. Another thing, this music is something that came out of the poorer communities of Cape Town. Not too long ago those classical jazz musicians turned up their noses at it. Of course, then it became the hip thing and now you can hear it everywhere, in all sorts of things, so goema has evolved but is still has the aura of folk music, of the music of the people of Cape Town.” Today, while the problem of having too few jazz venues persists, the city is still, according to Kesivan Naidoo (a musician and co-owner

“Cape Town has the lilting sound of any city when it is surrounded by water, it is the sound of the sea and the sound of the wind.” Mac McKenzie

of central city jazz club the Mahogany Room), “the capital of jazz in South Africa. We have many jazz schools in Cape Town and of course we also have the University of Cape Town’s music school, which is a very good tertiary institution for jazz music. But I think that it is also important that we have more venues in the city. As an international musician I realised the importance of having a smaller, intimate venue for jazz, especially since Cape Town had hardly any venues that weren’t dinner clubs too. That is why I opened the Mahagony Room: I wanted to create somewhere that people could really listen to the music itself, without distraction.” Iain Harris agrees. He started the Cape Town Jazz Safari in response to the frustration he felt at not being able to see great jazz in great venues. “Back when we started in 2005, it appeared that the only way to get satisfaction was to create something that I, if I was travelling to Cape Town and looking for music, would love to experience. So the home visit made sense, it is something special that you can’t reproduce in a venue.” Today the Cape Town Jazz Safari is still running strong, taking visitors into the homes of some of Cape Town’s most famous jazz musicians.

“I think the best sound of Cape Town is the sound of life on its streets – the people in cafes, the atmosphere, the music, the dancing – the pavement culture that you get here.” Kesivan Naidoo

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Photo: Jesse Nedier

musical creations and forms circulating in the Muslim networks, from the Indian Ocean to the Arabian peninsula via east Africa and Turkey – Cape Town constantly absorbed music from everywhere.” Of all the sounds that the port brought to the city, the era of American minstrel music may have had the most direct effect on the music of Cape Town. The forebears of today’s klopse not only borrowed the American minstrels’ songbook, but their flamboyant costumes and distinctive face makeup too. Along the way they added their own music and lyrics and by the turn of the 20th century, Tweede Nuwe Jaar, in all its tambourine-shaking sequinned glory, was a high point in Cape Town’s festival calendar.

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In the future Asked what the future holds for the music of Cape Town, Kesivan is optimistic. “There is a whole generation of younger musicians who pay tribute to the past and the rich history of the music that has gone before, but that are also looking to make their own mark on our local sound and are interested in the progression of the sound.” According to Mac McKenzie, Cape Town’s music is growing but also struggling. “My one wish would be for young gifted composers to learn to write music. You have to make the whole world your band, just like those cats Bach and Beethoven. Being able to write music is just another tool. Me, I got no pride, I couldn’t get a place in music school back then, I was the wrong colour, but today I am working feverishly, teaching myself about this stuff because it’s so important, for the legacy of the music, for posterity.” But whatever else the future might hold in store for the music of Cape Town, one thing seems certain: that the sounds of our city will continue to evolve and welcome new influences while remaining part revelry, part protest and wholly Capetonian.

Christine Lucia’s book, The World of South African Music: A Reader, is available on www.kalahari.net or from the Central Library For references to DenisConstant Martin, look up his essay “Cape Town: The ambiguous heritage of creolisation in South Africa” in Popular Snapshots and Tracks to the Past, Cape Town, Nairobi, Lubumbashi, edited by Danielle de Lame and Ciraj Rassool (2010) Discover who is playing at the Mahogany Room on their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter: @themahoganyroom Find out more about Coffeebeans Routes’ storytelling approach to travel experiences on their website: www.coffeebeansroutes.com

Photo: Steve Gordon

April 2013


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DF Malan Street T: 021 410 9800 www.artscape.co.za

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UP EL MSFOR ALOE 11CHELMercury HO Live & Lounge D U E

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Mercury Live & Lounge offers THUS AGAPAN everything from rock ’n roll to funk and soul. Stop by for Waxing Lyrical Wednesdays which sees the venue transformed with tables, chairs and candles for a night of not-quite-acoustic musings by established bands. 43 De Villiers Street T: 021 465 2106 www.mercuryl.co.za

12 The Purple Turtle The Purple Turtle, corner of Long and Shortmarket streets, is an iconic live music venue. 31 Shortmarket Street T: 021 424 7811

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79 Buitenkant Street T: 076 679 2697

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An intimate venue where you get to experience top local jazz artists performing on stage. Not just background entertainment, this is for the aficionados.

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10 Mahogany Room

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161 Loop Street www.theloopnightclub.co.za

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These were the music EZ spots we knew of, but by GRISN the time of going to print, H LLIS we discovered we’d missed ME some key spots – like A Cape Beats at the station, FLORID vredehoekLAMBERT the Jazz Workshop on EXNE EXNE R Buitengracht. What R venues would you include on the EXNE R music map? Send your suggestions to judith@ BELLAI R capetownpartnership.co.za

The Loop offers anything and everything from R&B to commercial, house and progressive beats. Go dancing four nights a week at this colourful venue.

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9 The Loop

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227 Long Street www.fictionbar.com

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8 Fiction Fiction is in the heart of the party district on Long Street. This is where the cool kids head for their fix of underground techno, nu-rave and indie.

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1 Wale Street T: 082 515 7051 thecryptjazz@gmail.com

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Restaurant

As of 19 April 2013, the historic meeting place beneath St George’s Cathedral, the Crypt, is where African and international jazz, cultures and cuisine will fuse. Built in 1898, this important Cape Town landmark will soon become a lunch and dinner setting filled with soulful sounds. Jazz will be available six days a week, from Tuesday to Saturday from 18h00 to 21h00, and again on Sunday from 11h00 to 14h00.

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7 The Crypt Jazz

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Darling Street www.cityhallsessions.co.za www.cpo.org.za

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City Hall has gained prominence in the central city for hosting diverse music events. Regular features on the bill include City Hall Sessions, and you can enjoy the Cape Town Philharmonic performing on most Thursdays.

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61 Harrington Street www.theassembly.co.za

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A live music venue and club that showcases top musicians and DJs from all genres, be they local or international, rising stars or household names. You can also tune into their very own online radio station live streaming at www.theassembly.co.za/radio

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68 Kloof Street T: 021 422 0909

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Asoka week begins with “Chilled out Mondays” where you can groove away the Monday blues to soulful ambient tunes. Tuesday is jazz night and the rest of the week you have resident DJs the Stoffberg Brothers, Leighton and Cassiem on the decks.

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76 Strand Street T: 021 300 1652 www.alexanderbar.co.za

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Another smaller venue where you can enjoy jazz, acoustic sessions and cabaret before heading downstairs to the Alexander Bar & Café for drinks.

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110 Bree Street T: 021 422 2770 www.andunion.com/blog

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Salon

&Union Beer Salon invites you to sip craft beer while enjoying small live gigs every Tuesday and Wednesday with #TuesOnFire and #RealMusicWednesday. Acts include Frank Freeman, 3rd World Spectator, Alice Phoebe Lou and Holiday Murray.

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5 Artscape Artscape is the foremost theatre complex in the city and stages local and international performances including classical music, jazz, opera, musicals and orchestral music.

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Where can you hear both live and local music most nights of the week? The city’s full of sound.

1 &Union Beer

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Live music on location TON

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Gospel, goema, glitch and glam rock; disco, dub step, deep house and delta blues: the city’s soundscape is as diverse as its people. City Views shows you where to record your own music, buy the sounds you love or listen to some live performances in the city. QU AR

HILLS

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BANTA

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GILMOUR

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13 The Waiting Room A hybrid: Here club-meets-loungemeets-bar in a relaxed setting above the ever-popular Royale Eatery. Stop in for live bands on Mondays and Tuesdays, with DJs taking you through Wednesday to Saturday. 273 Long Street T: 021 422 4536

14 Zula Soundbar and Café An inner-city hotspot where acts range from obscure progressive rock and reggae, to commercial pop and rock. 98 Long Street T: 021 424 2442 www.zulabar.co.za


WATER KANT

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24A Waterkant Street T: 021 418 1385 www.bang-olufsen.com

CTICC

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HANS STRYDOM

PRESTWICH

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If you like music equipment that combines beautiful design with high quality sounds and technology then look into Bang & Olufsen on the Fan Walk. They stock a range of audio equipment including televisions, music systems, loudspeakers, telephones, and multimedia products.

BREE

LOOP

SHORTMARKET BURG GREENMARKET SQ

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ALF

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STRAND

CASTLE

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Wondering where to find the instrument or the equipment for the sounds you want to make? Head to these local music stores.

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2 Caldis Sound and

Furniture

ST. GEORGES

central city

At this stalwart on Long Street you can expect a wide range of audiovisual equipment, large and small appliances.

HEERENGRACHT

TRAFALGAR

GRAND PARADE

CITY HALL

57 Long Street T: 021 423 6747 www.caldis.co.za

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ARTSCAPE

OLD MARINE

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LOUIS GRADNER

DARLING

JACK CRAIG

1 African Music

Store

You can expect exactly what the name suggests: music from across Africa. You can also find traditional instruments like mbiras, marimbas and djembe drums, as well as original African oil tin guitars. 134 Long Street T: 021 426 0857

CHRISTIAAN BARNARD

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CNA stocks a selection of CDs and DVDs.

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Norwich Building St George’s Mall T: 021 421 3784 www.cna.co.za

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Hi-Five is a retail outlet for Kurse Music Distribution, who represent a carefully selected range of music labels, from !K7 and Compost’s electronic

To Woodstock

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AC NT PO

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The track unpacks the silent ISH END CAV memories of inanimate objects like statues and buildings LEIN around Pyou in the Company’s Garden and in Queen Victoria Street. EN RDE ABE

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4 Mabu Vinyl Gaining in international attention since the release of Searching for Sugarman, the Oscar-winning documentary on Rodriguez, Mabu Vinyl buys, sells and trades vinyl LP records and CDs of all genres. 2 Rheede Street T: 021 4237635 sugar@mabuvinyl.co.za

Musica is a nationwide commercial music retailer with wide selection of CDs and DVDs from local and international record labels.

Studio time Laying down tracks for your band or recording audio for a new ad? Here’s where you can head for some studio time. 1 B&S Studios Jarvis Street T: 021 425 3170 www.bandsstudios.co.za

2 Cape Town Sound 40 Queens Park Avenue (Corner Balfour Rd) T: 021 447 1937 www.capetownsound.com

3 Dreamspace Recording Studios 160 Sir Lowry Road T: 082 464 6715 www.dreamspacerecording. com

4 Heritage Sound 65 Buitengracht Street T: 021 426 6325 www.heritagesound.net

5 Milestone Recording Studio Bloem Street T: 021 424 6000 www.milestones.co.za

6 The Nut House Recording Studio 3 Ravenscraig Road T: 021 683 0620 www.nuthouse.co.za

7 Red Bull Studio Cape Town 32 Jamieson Street T: 072 635 8378 studio@za.redbull.com

8 Sound and Motion 107 Harrington Street T: 021 461 9862 www.soundandmotion. co.za

Shop 23A, Upper Level Gardens Centre Mill Street T: 021 461 4285

Listen. Here

The track start off from the Boorhaanol Islam Mosque in Longmarket Street and ambles through the Bo-Kaap, taking you through the cultural melting pot H RC that is this part of theHUcity.

VIC

One of the great socio-realists of his time, Charles Dickens wandered through London, capturing the city’s everyday joys and tragedies in The Uncommercial Traveller. Inspired by Dickens’ work, Punchdrunk and Arcola Theatre, together with sound artist James Webb and a host of local theatre students, developed short audio pieces as alternative, reflective tours of the city. This international project has travelled to Karachi, Melbourne, Penang, Singapore, Portsmouth and is now in Cape Town: The local audio tour, consisting of five different tracks, can be downloaded from SoundCloud.

stylings, to underground hiphop like Def Jux and Rapster. 34 Kloof St T: 021 422 5456

Track 3:

The Potjie

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Be guided

Shop 15, V&A Waterfront, Craft Market and Wellness Centre T: 082 450 7853 www.townshipguitars. com

5 Musica

3 Hi-Five music and clothing

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ON LS NE

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Whether you call it a ramkie, a blik kitaar or an oil can guitar, you can find it at the Waterfront Music Store.

Where can you go to select songs and open your ears to new sounds? These local music stores can help.

MARTIN

CIVIC

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4 Waterfront Music Store

Sound choice

foreshore JAN SMUTS

THE CASTLE

65 Buitengracht Street T: 021 426 6325 www.marshallmusic.co.za

D.F. MALAN

FOUNDERS GARDEN

BUITENKANT

3 Marshall Music Head over to Marshall Music if you’re looking for stock guitars, drums, amplifiers and digital equipment.

DUNCAN

LOWER PLEIN

BARTOLEMEU DIAS

VASCO DA GAMA

HERTZOG BOULEVARD

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Snippets of other people’s conversations filter into your experience of the Company’s Garden.

Track 5: The Mission Track 5 sends you on a mission to find a legend archive relic, starting from the water fountains on St George’s Mall.

Track 4: Consider this Departing from the bottom steps in front of the Iziko South African National Gallery, this track explores accessible and inaccessible experiences and sensations in the Company’s Garden.

Download the free Uncommercial Traveller audio guide and explore Cape Town like you’ve never done before: www. soundcloud.com/calvertlyons/sets/uct-capetown


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CityViews

April 2013

Voices made change

Children speaking out on the airwaves

Photos: Clérence Petit-Perrot of the Children’s Radio Foundation

Former mayor of Bogota Enrique Peñalosa once said: “Children are a kind of indicator species. If we can build a successful city for children, we will have a successful city for all people.” Yet tradition in many cultures dictates that children should be seen and not heard: They are often overlooked as legitimate stakeholders when decisions about their futures are taken and they’re often not even fully recognised as citizens. The Children’s Radio Foundation, a Central City-based NGO, challenges these preconceptions and social traditions by using radio to amplify the voices of the youth. By: Alma Viviers

W

is amplified, not just the sound but everything about the young people themselves. Their body language changes, they seem to walk a little taller, they speak up, they think about what they say and they really listen.” 80% of what gets produced by the youth is simply about the learning process, and 20% is for broadcast. “Even if it is not broadcasted, producing a recording manifests the story in a real way – even if it is just a sound recording, it now lives in the world,” Nina says. “The re-

HIV and AIDS radio project which encourages dialogue for young people living with HIV. “The youth who form part of this project were already part of a peer support group and so they are used to sharing and talking about their status and issues around HIV and AIDS, but what radio has done is it has opened up their minds

“There is something that happens to a child when they hold a microphone; it is as if everything is amplified, not just the sound but everything about the young people themselves. Their body language changes, they seem to walk a little taller, they speak up, they think about what they say and they really listen.” Nina Callaghan

cording has to use natural sound, it has to be well articulated, it has to have a story with a beginning, a middle and an end. Going through a production that requires all of these skills shows the kids what they can do and gives them a great sense of achievement.” Currently the foundation also runs two incubator projects, one in Manenberg and one in Khayelithsa. In Khayelitsha they are collaborating with Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders) and Radio Zibonele on an

on all kinds of levels. They have realised they can politicise with it, socialise with it; that they can debate and question each other,” explains project manager Lesedi Mogoatlhe. “They also realise that they have something important to do for their community and are a very productive, interactive and conscious group of people.” “The group in Manenberg are very keen on getting their content out; they have been on our regular SAfm show four or five times now and have received amazing reac-

tion from the community. They are getting this identity as young reporters asking difficult questions,” says curriculum director Clémence Petit-Perrot. “They’re very critical of policing in their area and have gone to the police station and done a whole magazine show. They also went to child welfare to see how the system works. Radio gives them the tool to ask questions which they might not otherwise be able to.” Another radio project is running in a hospital: “The Brooklyn Chest Hospital is the only TB referral hospital in the whole of the Western Cape and children have to go there for up to six months for their TB treatment. They are away from their parents, friends and schools – it is a place of complete isolation,” Nina explains. “And if you think about communication in hospitals, it is very much doctorto-doctor or nurse; doctor-to-patient – there is not a lot of dialogue. What radio does is it switches the power dynamic, empowering young people to turn the mike on doctors and caregivers. They feel like they can ask questions about their own state of wellness, about treatment as well as more reflective questions like what kind of patient am I.” Although the recordings from this project are not for broadcast, given their sensitive nature and

issues of consent, the radio participants have decided that they want to use their recordings to create an induction pack for new patients, a kind of audio tour to a day in the life of a patient in Brooklyn Chest Hospital. “In sharing their stories, they can help facilitate the often brutal transition to this place of isolation and give new patients a sense that they are not alone,” says Nina. “They also realise that their story and experience matters and it can affect change or give comfort – it validates their own experience.”

Tune in Giving children and young people a voice to air their views and tackle issues close to them not only enriches public dialogue – it also opens up new conversations. Tune into what the youth of Cape Town and South Africa are thinking and talking about at Young Reporters Network: South Africa on SoundCloud. Go to www. soundcloud.com/groups /youthradio-network-south-africa Children’s Radio Foundation 6 Spin Street T: 021 465 6965 www.childrensradiofoundation. org

Photos: Lerato Maduna of the Children’s Radio Foundation

itchcraft, hair, gender violence, the Illuminati, HIV and AIDS – these are just some of the topics the Youth Radio Network has tackled. The Children’s Radio Foundation is active in Liberia, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia, and their nationwide Youth Radio Network in South Africa operates from 12 different locations across the country, including Atlantis. This is how it works: The Children’s Radio Foundation teams up with a local community radio station to train local facilitators. These facilitators in turn mentor the youth, teaching them the basic technical skills of radio production, interview skills to create programming, and how to stimulate a youth-oriented dialogue that addresses important issues in the community at large. These inserts are then broadcast on partner community radio stations and shared on SoundCloud – a large online community where artists, bands, podcasters and creators of music and audio share their sounds. Radio was specifically identified as a powerful medium because it has a wide reach, the skills of radio production and broadcast are fairly easy to learn, and equipment is relatively inexpensive. “All our projects are based on the vision of radio as a tool for talk”, says assistant director Nina Callaghan. “There is something that happens to a child when they hold a microphone, it is as if everything

Children’s Radio Foundation youth reporters Bokamoso Mogorosi (left and cover) and Tumo Teleko (right) during a recording session.


April 2013

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CityViews

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The secret lives of objects

What might seem like inanimate objects and silent artifacts sometimes have powerful stories to tell – it’s all in the way you look at them. For a different view, visit these two Iziko exhibitions that explore sound and sound-related artifacts as a chronicle of our culture and history.

The Star Country by !nanni – a child’s vision of the universe

By: Alma Viviers

Sounds and silences from a San archive

Photos: supplied by Iziko Museums of South Africa

Sounds and Silences from a San Archive, on at Iziko Bertram House until 15 May, gives a glimpse into how ordinary objects can tell extraordinary stories about life, beliefs, gender, childhood, spirituality, resistance and survival.

Recording history: Labels by Siemon Allen Installed on the second floor of the Iziko Slave Lodge is an exhibition by Siemon Allen, consisting of 2 500 record labels spanning decades of local tunes and diverse artists. Taking the form of an organic suspended wall inserted into a room, the exhibition draws you into a more intimate space where you can explore each item up close. The labels serve as markers of time, change, politics and culture in South Africa. Here are three recordings of key moments in our history: RCA Victor, Chants D’Afrique featuring Miriam Makeba and Hugh Masekela Recorded in France in the year that Miriam Makeba and Hugh Masekela were married, this album features Miriam alongside artists like Jonas Gwangwa and Francisco Flores, with orchestration handled by Hugh.

Recommended Recordings, Sleep Armed by the Kalahari Surfers Released in the third year of the State of Emergency in South Africa, the record features tracks like Potential Aggressor and Teargas, and is hailed as a “snapshot of South Africa at the time”.

Ember Records “Why I am Ready to Die” by Nelson Mandela, narrated by Peter Finch The album contains extracts from Nelson Mandela’s 1964 Rivonia Trial speech, read by Peter Finch, and including these immortal words: “During my lifetime I have dedi-

cated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all

persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

Step through time and sound with Siemon Allen’s exhibition at Iziko Slave Lodge, up until December 2013. For an electronic exploration of Siemon’s collection, go to www. flatinternational.org. Iziko Slave Lodge Corner of Adderley and Wale Streets T: 021 467 7229 Open 10h00 to 17h00, Monday to Saturday Entrance: R30 for visitors 19 years and older

Made up from the collections of Wilhelm Bleek, Lucy Lloyd, and Dorothea Bleek, the exhibition is of /xam and !kun artifacts, drawings, memories and rare wax cylinder sound recordings from between 1856 and 1947. These were several /xam and !kan contributors of this indigenous knowledge, one of them known as Jantje Tooren or //kabbo (which translates as “Dream” in /xam) – a masterful /xam teacher and storyteller and one of the main contributors to the Bleek and Lloyd Archive. A story //kabbo told, one he’d heard from his mother !kwi–an, was of the girl who made the Milky Way by throwing ashes into the sky: “A girl of the ancient race (preceding the Bushmen)

wished for a little light, so that the people might see to return home by night. She, therefore, threw wood-ashes into the sky, which became the Milky Way.” In the exhibition, this story is juxtaposed with a !kun painting by a young boy known as !nanni: The Star Country, created on 29 May 1881, shows !nanni’s vision of the universe. On display you’ll see a few drawings and watercolours by four San children, of which !nanni was one. When the majority of archives and recordings of history rely on the accounts of adults, it’s refreshing to see a collection of artifacts that relies so heavily on the understanding and interpretations of children.

For a unique perspective on a time and a place in South African history, visit Sounds and Silences from a San Archive, on until 15 May 2013.

Monday to Friday Entrance: R20 for visitors 19 years and older.

Iziko Bertram House Government Avenue T: 021 481 3972 Open 10h00 to 17h00,

The story as told by //kabbo was accessed through the digital archive of Bleek and Lloyd at www. lloydbleekcollection. cs.uct.ac.za

Why not dive into your own archive? Look through your own family artifacts such as records, CDs, diaries and photos for the ways in which they capture specific moments in your personal history and our collective story.


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CityViews

April 2013

Infecting the city with sound

Several performances during the recent Infecting the City public arts festival, which took place from 12 to 16 March 2013, used music and sound to create arresting or unusual city experiences. Here’s just a taste.

TSHIKONA FLASH

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“The main object of music in Africa is to bring people together; this is a very deliberate and creative way for people to do so. If you only have one note you have to go and find other people to make the melody.”

Photos: Sydelle Willow Smith

or the 2013 Infecting the City, Pedro Espi-Sanchis – a well-known musician, performer, teacher and storyteller – orchestrated a flashmob of musical performers on Thibault Square that had even serious businessmen tapping their shoes to the rhythm. Here’s how it goes: Several construction workers take up tools, start working and quickly fall into rhythm, with a spade in wet gravel, hammers and steel bars turning into instruments; before long they break out into a gumboot dance. After a lively performance, they take sips from cooldrink bottles which become improvised flutes. The group is joined by other cooldrink-bottle flute players from the crowd. More people in the crowd take out black PVC pipes and start joining in, each playing a single note. The performers hand out similar pipes to willing audience members who are encouraged to follow their lead. A crescendo is reached as the whole crowd jumps and danc-

Construction workers start the beat

Pedro Espi-Sanchis

es to the music. As suddenly as the music started, it stops, and the crowd disperses again. The construction workers were played by a group of gumboot dancers from Delft, and they were joined by dancers from the Likhwezi youth group dancers of Nyanga. The pipe flutists consisted of students from Vega.

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The quiet space in between the last latenight revelers and the early shift workers’ commute.

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The day is punctuated by the call of taxi guardtjies shouting out their destinations, no time more so than the morning commute: “Cape Town; Cape Town!”

SOUNDSCAPE In Jon McGregor’s novel If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things, he writes: “If you listen, you can hear it. The city, it sings. If you stand quietly, at the foot of a garden, in the middle of a street, on the roof of a house. It’s clearest at night, when the sound cuts more sharply across the surface of things, when the song reaches out to a place inside you. It’s a wordless song, for the most, but it’s a song all the same and nobody hearing it could doubt what it sings. And the song sings loudest when you pick out each note.” City Views was inspired to pick out the singular notes in the song of our city.

Audience members are given PVC pipes to help make the music

Pedro Espi-Sanchis tunes in, turning a cooldrink bottle into an improvised flute

06:00

The loud honking call of the Alopochen aegyptiacus, better known as Egyptian geese, sounds out across the Company’s Garden where they nest. Sunrise marks the call of the muezzin in the Bo-Kaap, reciting the adhaan, urging the faithful to get up and pray.

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The rumbling of trolleys on tar roads as informal trading stalls are wheeled from storage to their daytime trading spot.

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Cape Town’s central business district is an ever-evolving cityscape of infrastructure upgrade and construction. The MyCiTi roll-out currently sounds like jack hammers pounding away at tar and concrete to make way for new stations.

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The hour is sounded on Greenmarket Square with virtual bells: The Central Methodist Mission bell last pealed 125 years ago, and was silenced because it shook the foundation stones of the church and surrounding buildings, threatening their structure, whenever it rang.


April 2013

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CityViews

Pedro drew from both old and new concepts for the performance: On the one hand he used the Tshikona reed pipe dance of the Shona people from Limpopo, where each person only plays one note but the whole village can join in to play music together. On the other hand, he drew on a more modern phenomenon, the flashmob. “The Tshikona way is a great way to teach people to rely on each oth-

er,” he explains. “You have to pay attention to each other and make space for each other; you also have to be creative in order to fit into what other people are doing.” “Traditionally, whenever people get together, they make music. There will always be music where people gather. In modern society however it becomes less and less so. We walk around with our earphones and there is much less

participation and sharing. The Tshikona traditional very specifically restricts people in the group to one note each. So you can’t make music by yourself. The main object of music in Africa is to bring people together; this is a very deliberate and creative way for people to do so. If you only have one note you have to go and find other people to make the melody.”

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STATION AGENT

Photo: Sydelle Willow Smith

What did you think? Quintin Goliath: Occupation: Guitarist and hip-hop artist Jitsvinger “There is something very honest and humble about public performance. The exposure makes the performers naked to criticism and judgment. It reminds us that in our own way we are all performers and that the everyday things that we do are also rituals and performances.”

Quintin Goliath with high school students Tammy Rinkwest and Monique Moreira, who he was guiding around Infecting the City performances as part of the Arts Aweh! programme.

Tammy Rinkwest: Occupation: High school student

Monique Moreira: Occupation: High school student

“It is really something different”

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“Normally Thibault Square is really quiet – this is nice.”

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The electronic ding-dong alert before a mechanical voice tells of the arrival and departure of another train at the Cape Town Station.

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Tourist and pigeons are startled by the booming Noon Day Gun, fired from the Lion Battery on Signal Hill. The first signal was fired from here on 4 August 1902.

“The idea of a schedule flashmob is a bit strange but the music was really incredible. Because it was in a popular register it appealed to different kinds of people and it was interesting to see how audience members reacted.”

Mandy Davids: Occupation: Newspaper seller on Thibault Square

“It was really fun. I think it is important that we occupy our public space in sometimes devious and magical ways.”

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Listen to the droning of the steady stream of peak-hour traffic leaving the city.

Cape Town High’s siren-like bell lets you know school’s out, and the last of the lunchtime buskers pack up for the day.

A familiar ding-dong sounds the comings and goings of the trains. But something is different today; discordant sounds are coming from somewhere. Is there construction work going on? Is that sound coming from the trains? Is someone singing, someone screaming? The sound filtering into the cavernous space is Concert To – a project conceived and curated by the composer Pierre-Henri Wicomb. “I wanted to expose the general public to electronic music in a different way,” he explains. “I approached twelve artists to each compose a 10-minute piece using everyday sounds. Although I briefed them, they had quite a lot of freedom, which resulted in very diverse pieces.” Although the original idea was to utilise the intercom system

Rike Sitas: Occupation: Convener of the Public Culture CityLab at African Centre for Cities, lecturer at Vega and mother

“It is intimidating and asks you to move out of your comfort zone”

Dina Townsend: Occupation: Lawyer

12:00

It’s Wednesday; the time is 15h32. It is a real scorcher in the city and the cool airy volume of the Cape Town Station offers rushing commuters a moment’s respite from the glare before they cram into rush-hour packed train carriages.

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Walking down Long Street, you’ll hear music start to spill out of restaurants and bars as night falls, calling potential customers inside.

Djembe drumming sounds reverberate through Greenmarket Square, stallholders begin packing up for the day and the last tourists look through their wares.

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Grand Parade bustles during the day and falls silent at night. In this space on 11 February 1990, 50 000 whistling, singing, dancing, joyful people fell silent – to hear Nelson Mandela’s first public address after his release from prison, delivered from the City Hall balcony.

of the train station, Pierre-Henri ended up playing the piece on a conventional sound system on platforms 18-28. “The intercom system would have really contaminated the space with the music, whereas the radius of the sound system was about 20 metres and commuters had more of a chance encounter with the music.” Pierre-Henri intends to repeat the performance in different spaces: “I envisioned three different scenarios for the piece,” he says. “The one would be where people walk into the music like at the station, the other will be a Stellenbosch gallery where people would come specifically for the music, and I would love to have the piece projected onto citizens from cars that move throughout the city.”

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May is the foggiest season in Cape Town and on evenings when the mist rolls in, you can hear the forlorn sound of Moaning Minnie, the foghorn at the Green Point Lighthouse. This low-pitched droning sound was first heard on 1 January 1926.

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Late night is a time of sirens and bass tones from nightclubs.


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CityViews

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Photo: Lisa Burnell

Bringing the blessing Michael Weeder was born in District Six, forcibly removed from District One, and raised in Elsie’s River. Today he lives in the Central City. He’s also the dean of St George’s Cathedral at a time when its crypt is being transformed into a jazz venue. We spent some time listening to the extraordinary soundtrack of his life. By: Ambre Nicolson CV You were born in District One, on the Foreshore, and today you are dean of St George’s Cathedral. While these two areas are geographically close, the distance between them is great in other ways. Could you tell us a little of your journey in between?

I was born at the Cape Peninsula Maternity Home in District Six. We were living there with my paternal grandmother in a tenement flat on Amsterdam Street off Ebenezer in District One. We were moved out of there as part of a forced removal to make way for the new highway, the same one – both tragically and ironically – that was never completed. From there we moved to an Indian area in Elsie’s River, called Cravenby Estate, where we rented backyard accommodation from a Mr Singh. Elsie’s River was a culturally diverse place at that time, there were Muslim and Hindu people there, as well as Malawians and people from Namaqualand. I learnt to negotiate my way through these cross-cultural paths: coming so young from Cape Town, I was always on the border – partially in, mostly on the edge, but not completely so. So, I had many

homes, literally and otherwise, which welcomed me. While belonging to no one exclusively, I was embraced by all in different ways. I was blessed in that way, living in some ways in a borderland where I am both and neither at the same time. An experience shared by many, I know.

CV What is your relationship with music?

“The iPod has privatised music, whereas when I was growing up there was only one radio playing on the kitchen windowsill or in the lounge. You listened to what everybody in the house was listening to – be it pop, R&B or choirs. Enjoying music was a public, mutually influencing affair. I have fond memories of my mum singing Que Sera, Sera or What Will Be, Will Be.” Michael Weeder

Springbok Radio. You might laugh but it was on radio that I was first introduced to the likes of the Jackson Five, The Osmonds, The Beatles and Cliff Richard, and of course, Elvis! Now you see I am showing my age, but then, those were the sounds that gave us the soundtrack to our life. Or should I say our life from Monday to Saturday, because musically, Sundays were special. After church we always had to come straight home, to “bring the blessing” and then we would listen to the radio which mostly played mainstream Anglican music. But I do remember later in the evening there would be an hour or two of classical music and that always reminds me of ironing clothes in preparation of a new week and making

sandwiches for the next day. Then I also remember being introduced to Islamic music as a child when I visited my maternal granny in Garden Village, which is near Vincent Palotti Hospital. Now and then we would witness in one of the homes up the street the khalifah or ratiep – a legacy of Sufi mysticism, I think, from Indonesia. We witnessed and were drawn into these sounds of furious drumming, singing with its eastern cadence and longing. When I was older my relationship with music changed. I was introduced to the likes of Percy Sledge, The Manhattans and The Main Ingredient, and then later to jazz. It was that happy, streetwise saxophone of Robbie Jansen and Basil Coetzee on Dollar Brand’s Manenberg that got me doing the kapzella. My wife,

STORY of

One place is Loader Street in the Bo-Kaap. My great granny lived there. I had no connection to her since she passed away before I knew her, but it is from here that my paternal family came from, from the slave estates along Somerset Road. So I would often come here and walk up the road – the view of the city from there is very good. Another place is the Platteklip Gorge. To borrow a term from Celtic mythology, I think it is one of those “thin places”, where heaven and earth are close together. Lastly, I would say the V&A Waterfront, because while Platteklip is spiritual in

Wale ST

Please sir?

I still can't find a job and I have no more money

FINALLY, I've arrived in the city of opportunity

Let me tell you something. I was travelling towards Mitchells Plain, heading in the direction of the Goodwood Showground during the State of Emergency. As I drove over the bridge there ahead were the blue lights of a roadblock. Soldiers with their rifles lined the 500 metres or so between where I was in a line of cars. I was slowly marshalled towards the cops ahead who were selectively pulling cars off, searching the boot. Already

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1

THIS IS MY

CV What spaces in the city inspire you?

CV In South Africa, as around the world, music and song has often been used as a means of subversion. Do you agree that music can be an effective means of protest?

Gi v e where i t makes

Oh, you poor guy

A difference When someone asks you for money, what do you do? Even though your intentions are good, giving handouts actually helps people stay on the street. It’s a vicious cycle.

DIGNITY BASED ON A TRUE STORY

TO BE CONTINUED ...

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I’m not hiring you looking like that!

some students were at the back of a police van. I had sufficient UDF posters and pamphlets in my car to get their attention. A cassette of the late Robbie Jansen was playing in my car music system. He was singing, “Freedom, where have you been, I’ve been searching all over.” As I inched forward towards what seemed imminent arrest, I kept the tape playing but turning it softer all the while, till all I could hear Robbie whispering, “Freedom, where have you been hiding yourself ... ” Somehow the voice and sound attuned me to the spirits of our Khoisan ancestors, so that by the time the policeman’s flashlight lit up my face, I could calmly muster a “Good evening, Meneer” and the officer waved me through. By the time I was heading past Bonteheuwel, I turned up my system and Robbie was singing “hoya-tjie-bongo”.

THE CYCLE BEGINS:

2 2 WEEKS LATER

PART ONE:

Bonita, who was then my girlfriend, laughed because she thought I was being deliberately comic.

essence, the Waterfront has an earthier lure. I go there to watch a movie and imbibe the smell of coffee scented with perfumes.

DO YOU...

You again?

KEEP GIVING HANDOUTS? GO BACK TO FRAME 3 AND REPEAT THE CYCLE.

OR...

YES?

YES?

HELP BREAK THE CYCLE?

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Rather give responsibly. Donate directly to Cape Town NGO organisations and know your money is making a real difference in the lives of those who need it most. Your donation helps improve Smiley and his friends’ lives and getting them off the streets. The next time someone asks you for money, rather SMS 38088 and give responsibly. www.giveresponsibly.co.za facebook.com/GiveResponsibly #GiveResponsibly R10 will be deducted from your account. On average R8 will be donated to the NGO depending on your service provider. Vodacom carrier fees waived to a total annual value of R40 000. SMS service fees sponsored by iTouch. Please visit our website for detailed Ts & Cs.


City Views: Sounding out the city of Cape Town