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Hilton Schilder :: Birsigstrasse 90

Hilton Schilder performing at “The Night of the Schilder” in Cape Town on 16 April 2015. The event at Loop Street’s Eye marked the 7-inch vinyl release of the single “Rebirth” from the eponymous solo-piano album. This surprise pop-up performance accompanied a listening party that took in Schilder’s back catalogue (Genuines, Goema Captains, Hilton Schilder Group, RockArt, All In One) and included recordings by his father Tony (Tony Schilder Trio) and uncle Chris (Chris Schilder Quartet, Pacific Express). “Birsigstrasse 90″ appears on the Rebirth album and was composed at the song’s namesake address in Basel, Switzerland. ►

Sathima Bea Benjamin & The Hilton Schilder Trio :: Africa

Sathima Bea Benjamin performing “Africa” with the Hilton Schilder Trio on 1 May 2013. Benjamin’s appearances in Cape Town in mid-2013 culminated in a string of events in July that marked the South African launch of the reissue of her 1976 album African Songbird and included a performance at Tagore’s Jazz Bar and a screening of the film Sathima’s Windsong at the Labia Cinema. Her magnus opus “Africa” was recorded for African Songbird following her return to South Africa after a long period abroad. The Soweto Uprising of 1976 precipitated a second period of exile in which she lived in New York City for 34 years. She returned to the city of her childhood in 2011, making Cape Town her home once again until her death at the age of 76 on 23 August 2013. ►

Cape Gypsy :: Hilton Schilder

“I’m totally into music as a composer. It’s my whole life. It’s my philosophy. It’s my religion. I started composing very young and the compositions have grown until now. Actually, it’s all just one long composition.”

It’s the opening sequence of the 2011 Cape Town music documentary Mama Goema. A camera glides through the streets of Bridgetown and comes to rest at the home of composer Mac McKenzie. Music score in hand, McKenzie hums the opening bars of an orchestral work he has just completed. Cut to Hilton Schilder playing a guitar at his home in Ottery. “We normally play a guitar like this,” he demonstrates with a flourish of notes. “But what’s wrong with doing it like this?” He flips the guitar on its back, hammers on the neck with his fingers and a whoosh of unfamiliar sound pours from the instrument. (more…)

Hilton Schilder :: The Wikkelspies

Hilton Schilder is known for embracing digital technology as evidenced by his electronic work with Alex van Heerden (1974-2009) under the RockArt moniker. He is also no stranger to exploring the sonic potential of ancient instruments hewn from wood and wire, which he dubs “single-string technology.” Pushing the invisible frontiers of tradition, Schilder partnered with bow craftsman Bien Petersen to develop the Wikkelspies (or “shake-spear” as he cunningly translates its Afrikaans name). A flat board with seven spring-mounted mouth bows arranged in parallel, the device rests on the player’s lap while strings are struck by sticks and the board is shaken with the knees. “This is the only instrument in the world like this. We invented it 6 months ago,” says Schilder demonstrating his creation on a pop-up stage in front of Cape Town’s National Museum in September 2012. ►

Cape Town Goema Orchestra :: Music (Sathima Bea Benjamin)

Shaken by the Soweto Uprising in 1976, jazz singer and composer Sathima Bea Benjamin left South Africa in 1977 with her then-husband Abdullah Ibrahim (Dollar Brand) and settled in New York City for 34 years. She returned to the city of her childhood in 2011, making Cape Town her home once again and continuing to perform until her death at the age of 76 in August 2013. She appears here on 8 December 2012 in the first of a pair of performances with the Cape Town Goema Orchestra. Written by Benjamin, the spiritual ballad “Music” was recorded for her canonical African Songbird album in 1976 and revisited for LoveLight on Benjamin’s own Ekapa label in 1987. The composition was arranged for orchestra by conductor George Werner. ►

This is “Zamrock!!”

Take a trip to psychedelic Southern Africa with veteran rockers Jagari Chanda and Rikki Ililonga as they prepare for a journey to France to perform the innovative Afro-Global musical brew they created in the 1970s to an international audience for the first time. Film website ►

Derek Gripper :: Jarabi (Toumani Diabaté)

Derek Gripper’s arrangement of Toumani Diabaté’s “Jarabi” at the Long Street Slave Church in Cape Town (May 2012). This performance sees a 21-string kora composition from Mali finding expression on a six-string classical guitar at the same venue in which Diabaté performed in 2009. Gripper’s work as a “translator” of the West African kora appears on his 2012 album One Night on Earth: Music from the Strings of Mali.

Derek Gripper :: ’56 (Ali “Farka” Touré)

Derek Gripper launched One Night on Earth: Music from the Strings of Mali at the South African Slave Church Museum in May 2012. Playful yet poignant, the album sees the unprecedented arrangement of 21-string West African kora music on six-string classical guitar. The album features Ali “Farka” Touré’s “’56,” which is derived from a Guinean revolutionary song. From Conakry to Timbuktu to Cape Town, “’56” speaks of music’s ability to shrink time and space, uniting three seemingly disconnected African states and, coincidentally, a period of 56 years, into a single performance.

Kyle Shepherd :: South African History !X

Kyle Shepherd’s music is not only a form of personal expression but also reveals bright collaborative sparks with his trio and guests and is seeped in South Africa’s collective consciousness. South African History !X (2012) is an album that sees Shepherd unravel the matrix of social and historic influences that inform his compositions.

United Opposition Parties :: Secrecy Bill Meeting

A creative journalism piece documenting the United Opposition Parties’ public meeting concerning the “Secrecy Bill” on Saturday 17 March 2012 in Khayelitsha. Excerpts of speakers from the participating parties and weaved together to reflect a shared position on the issue at hand while Mangosuthu Buthelezi, whose Inkatha Freedom Party plays a key role in bringing opposition parties together, concludes proceedings by evoking the spirit of a new movement.

Ernestine Deane & The Vision

Ernestine Deane’s multi-faceted artistic trajectory has seen her fronting the electro combo MoodPhase5, a group that propelled Cape Town sound into the “naughties” with the millenium masterpiece Steady On (2000). A softer solo release, Dub for Mama, appeared in 2007 and she has crafted moving, socio-historic performance pieces in recent years. Her current trio, Ernestine & The Vision, blends rhythm with soul and features percussionist Brian de Goede and Texito Langa on drums.

Cape Town Goema Orchestra :: 2011 Concert Season

This “bootleg” concert video was produced for the Cape Town Composers’ Workshop archive and documents the world première of Mac McKenzie’s Table Bay Concerto in November 2011. The 2011 concert season included works by guest composers Mandla Mlangeni, Derek Gripper and Chantal Willie.

Cape Town Motif :: Conrad Hicks

Motif is a web-doc series showcasing members of Cape Town’s design community. Against the backdrop of Cape Town being selected as World Design Capital 2014, this pilot “webisode” features one of our city’s many extraordinary creative talents. Conrad Hicks, a blacksmith who works in the iconic Bijou building in the suburb of Observatory, shares his thoughts on the overlapping worlds of toolmaking and sculpture.

Mama Goema :: Film Trailer

If you take a pinch of Khoi-San lament, a dash of Malay spice, a measure of European orchestral, a splash of Xhosa spiritual, the clash of marching bands, the pizzazz of the Klopse, a driving primal beat and lots of humour and musical virtuosity, what do you get? Goema, Goema, Goema! Weaving together the ancient, the traditional and the classical into the distinctive sound of Cape Town, Mac McKenzie, musical mastermind and founder of the Genuines and the Goema Captains of Cape Town, puts the final touches on his most recent creation, “Goema Symphony No. 1.” Musicians Hilton Schilder, Ernestine Deane and Kyle Shepherd add context while the Cape Town Goema Orchestra rehearses for its première.

Bokamoso Ba Rona :: Youth Dialogue Forums

In early 2011, representatives of South Africa’s youth assembled in Caledon in the Western Cape to take part in the Parliamentary Millennium Project’s Youth Dialogue Forums (forming part of the broader Bokamoso Ba Rona Youth Campaign). Participants took part in workshops and forums, articulating the needs and concerns young people in South Africa.

All In One :: Live at the Rainbow

South African acoustic supergroup All In One performing live in Cape Town (January 2011). Errol Dyers, Steve Newman and Hilton Schilder create sonic tapestries with influences that include flamenco rumba, gypsy swing, tango, maskanda and goema. Their self-titled composition “All In One” features Dyers on flute, Newman on guitar and Schilder on ǀxaro and cajón.

Cape Town Goema Orchestra :: A-Flat Major

An excerpt from the opening movement of Mac McKenzie’s Goema Symphony No. 1, filmed and recorded at SABC Studios Auditorium in Seapoint (Cape Town, South Africa) on 28 August 2010. This inaugural performance of the Cape Town Goema Orchestra saw the ground-breaking combination of indigenous South African sounds (including Khoi-San mouth bow, minstrel banjo, klopse percussion and jazz brass) with classical instrumentation.

Goema Symphony No. 1 :: Concert Teaser

Accompanying the inaugural performance of the Cape Town Goema Orchestra in August 2010, this viral video jams the recorded output of composer Mac McKenzie into just over a minute, pairing album artwork with cinéma vérité interview footage. McKenzie emerges as an eccentric artist while visual and audio cues identify goema as the underlying theme of his oeuvre.