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NEW MUSIC RE-IMAGINES AFRICA (article first published : 2005-04-27)

Rarely-heard compositions from all over the continent set the tone for the New Music Indaba’s re-imagining Africa programme at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown from June 30 to July 9.

Uganda’s Justinian Tamusuza is composer in residence and award-winning Liberian soprano Dawn Padmore will provide solo vocal highlights. South African composers contribute to “the final phase” of The Bow Project, the third in the series, with a number of new commissions played by the Sontonga Quartet and electronic remixes by exciting local DJ artists.

Bound to excite audiences will be new compositions for piano performed by Jill Richards and Indaba director Michael Blake; new pieces in the final phase of the Bow project, and contemporary South African compositions for classical guitar played by Derek Gripper.

The overseas contingent includes the Stockholm Saxophone Quartet and POW Ensemble headed by Dutch electronics master Luc Houtkamp. Benguela will represent Cape Town’s electronic underground.

Free Indaba concerts include two surveys of electronic music from all over Africa and the top guest ensembles performing new work from the Indaba’s composer workshops. These concerts and a series of informal talks and public workshops with the Indaba’s luminati offer festinos the opportunity to learn more about new music.

Free Booking Kits for the main Festival programme will be available at selected Standard Bank branches and Computicket at the end of April. Booking opens at Computicket nationwide on May 9 for the main programme. Further information can be obtained on 046 603 1103 or visit www.nafest.co.za

The National Arts Festival is sponsored by the Eastern Cape Government, Standard Bank, the SABC, The Lottery Distribution Trust Fund and the National Arts Council.




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