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LANDSCAPE PRAYERS IN CELLAR (article first published : 2003-06-11)

Much admired Durban band Landscape Prayers will be performing at two exclusive concerts at the Playhouse Cellar on June 20 and 21 before traveling on to tour Mozambique and Swaziland. All these events will be filmed for the purposes of a DVD to document and celebrate the band’s tenth year together. So fans shouldn’t miss this opportunity to be interviewed and to feature on the DVD.

Instrumental group Landscape Prayers, founded in KZN (Durban in 1993) by guitarist Nibs van der Spuy, has soldiered on through initial small reactions to become one of the best-known bands in the annals of South African music. Described as “truly mind boggling”, “legendary”, “innovative", "incredibly skilled" and "a great experience” by the press, the band was nominated in the Best Instrumental category at the South African Music Awards (SAMA) in 1998, 2000 and 2002.

Drawing from its aural surroundings, selecting from and fusing the styles of local and imported music, Landscape Prayers has been able to extract a unique sound which reflects its location in Africa whilst acknowledging a European heritage. Here Maskanda harmonises with Celtic sounds and African rhythm interplays with the beat of other cultures, incorporating the blues, jazz, classics, bluegrass and rock. Such a rich resource has seen the Prayers release four albums, including two solo albums from founder member Nibs van der Spuy.

Landscape Prayers is the musical manifestation of a deep, caring, enquiring and passionate force that has seen them grow from an appreciated cult band into one of the best-known and loved bands in South Africa. With assistance from sponsors Mr Price, the group is actively involved in hosting school workshops across the country. These serve as a motivational exercise for the children and demonstrate teamwork, music awareness and inspirational technique.

In addition to guitar maestro and chief songwriter Nibs van der Spuy, the group comprises drummer Bruce Baker, Anton Cawthorn-Blazeby on violin and Logan Byrne on bass guitar. This line-up has seen them play at festivals all the way from Splashy Fen in KZN to the Fin De Siecle festival in Nantes, France and Txova in Maputo, Mozambique. The unique blend of acoustic instruments with multiple musical themes, gives Landscape Prayers an appeal that crosses the ordinary definitions of popular music and reaches a diverse range of listeners.

Tickets for the Cellar performances are limited, so it is advisable to book in advance. Performances on June 20 and 21 take place at 19h30 for 20h30. Tickets R65 including finger supper. Book at Computicket or phone 011 340 8000.




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