Category Archives: memory
i will devour (one last toast mix) (2017)
music: Nate Maingard, Zim Ngqawana
vocals: Nate Maingard, Aryan Kaganof
appropriation: Aryan Kaganof
Business As Usual After Marikana – edited volume (2018)
The mining industry has always been the backbone of the South African economy, and it still is. A healthy and sustainable mining sector should accordingly form part of the focus of our efforts to heal this country and its people. Nevertheless, the history of mining in South Africa has been and continues to be characterised by the oppression and exploitation of workers under the policy of the migratory system. The new dispensation of 1994, rule under the African National Congress, did not assist much in changing the conditions at the mines. It continues to turn a blind eye to the unjust wages and living and working conditions of miners.
Six years after the Marikana massacre we have still seen minimal change for mineworkers and mining communities. Although much has been written about the days leading up to 16 August 2012 and how little has been done, few have analysed the policies and system that make such a tragedy possible. Lonmin Platinum Mine and the events of 16 August are a microcosm of the mining sector and how things can go wrong when society leaves everything to government and “big business”.
Business as Usual after Marikana is a comprehensive analysis of mining in South Africa. Written by respected academics and practitioners in the field, it looks into the history, policies and business practices that brought us to this point. It also examines how bigger global companies like BASF were directly or indirectly responsible, and yet nothing is done to keep them accountable.
“This publication, which starts by examining the long-term business relations between BASF and Lonmin, goes on to drill deeper into the hard rock of the persistent structures of inequality. By doing so we will understand that Marikana is not the tragic failure of an otherwise improving economic system but rather a calculated form of collateral damage.” – Bishop Jo Seoka, former president of the South African Council of Churches
I have an essay in this book – if you’re interested, you can get hold of a copy via Jacana. The book also appears in German as Zum Beispiel BASF. Über Konzernmacht und Menschenrechte, published by Mandelbaum.
ruby swinney – echo xv (2015)
r.i.p. philip tabane
the cranberries – no need to argue (1994)
Rest in peace, Dolores. I remember your singular voice as a vivid part of the backdrop to so many formative experiences and feelings during my teenage years. 🖤
molly drake – i remember (c. 1950s)
Molly Drake (1915 – 1993) was Nick Drake‘s mother – clearly his talent was hereditary. This recording was made during the 1950s at the family home in Tanworth-in-Arden by her husband, Rodney Drake, on a home Ferrograph recorder. A collection of these recordings and poems was released by Bryter Music as a limited privately-pressed edition of 500 copies in 2011. It came out as a single CD with a booklet of poetry housed in a black card portfolio. The album was later released by Squirrel Thing Records in March 2013. The released versions of the recordings were engineered by John Wood and produced by Cally Callomon. John Wood was the sound engineer on her son, Nick Drake‘s albums.
harry dean stanton – blue eyes crying in the rain (2012)
Godspeed, Harry Dean.
the louis moholo-moholo retrospective at cas, uct, tomorrow evening
More information HERE.
au revoir, jeanne moreau (1928 – 2017)
From Jules et Jim (Directed by François Truffaut, 1962), the song “Le Tourbillon”. The film was directed by François Truffaut and released on January 23, 1962. This song of Cyrus “Boris” Bassiak [aka Serge Rezvani] is interpreted by Catherine [Jeanne Moreau]. Albert on guitar, is none other than songwriter Bassiak / Rezvani. Other roles:
Jules [the short one with blond hair]: Oskar Werner
Jim [the tall one with white shirt]: Henri Serre
According to Wikipedia Rezvani actually wrote this song seven years before, in reference to the couple formed by Jeanne Moreau and his companion at the time, Jean-Louis Richard, who was also Serge’s best friend.
Elle avait des bagues à chaque doigt, (She had rings on every finger)
Des tas de bracelets autour des poignets, (A profusion of bracelets on her wrists)
Et puis elle chantait avec une voix (And she was singing with such a voice)
Qui sitôt m’enjôla. (That I was at once under her spell)
Elle avait des yeux, des yeux d’opale (She had eyes, eyes of opal)
Qui fascinaient, qui fascinaient, (That fascinated me)
Y avait l’ovale de son visage pâle, (And there was the oval of her pale face)
De femme fatale qui me fut fatale (bis). (That of a”femme fatale” who was fatal to me)
On s’est connus, on s’est reconnus, (We met, we met again)
On s’est perdus de vue, (We lost sight of each other)
on s’est reperdus de vue, (we again lost sight of each other)
On s’est retrouvés, (We found each other anew)
on s’est réchauffés, (We warmed each other)
Puis on s’est séparés. (And then we separated)
Chacun pour soi est reparti (We each went our own ways)
Dans le tourbillon de la vie; (In Life’s whirlpool of days)
Je l’ai revue un soir aïe aïe aïe! (One night I saw her again)
Ca fait déjà un fameux bail (bis). (It was such a long time again already)
Au son des banjos je l’ai reconnue, (To the sounds of banjos I recognized her)
Ce curieux sourire qui m’avait tant plu, (This mysterious smile that pleased me so much)
Sa voix si fatale, son beau visage pâle (Her voice so fatal, her beautiful pale face)
M’émurent plus que jamais. (Moved me more than ever)
Je me suis saoulé en l’écoutant, (I drank as I listened to her)
L’alcool fait oublier le temps, (Alcohol removes time’s sting)
Je me suis réveillé en sentant (I awoke as I felt)
Des baisers sur mon front brûlant (bis). (Her kisses on my burning brow)
On s’est connus, on s’est reconnus, (We met each other, we again met)
On s’est perdus de vue, on s’est reperdus de vue, (We lost each other, we lost each other anew)
On s’est retrouvés, on s’est séparés, (We found each other again, we separated)
Puis on s’est réchauffés. (And then, we warmed each other)
Chacun pour soi est reparti (We each went our own ways)
Dans le tourbillon de la vie; (In Life’s whirlpool of days)
Je l’ai revue un soir ah la la, (Again I saw her one night)
Elle est retombée dans mes bras (bis). (She fell in my arms anew)
Quand on s’est connus, (When two lovers met)
quand on s’est reconnus, (when they met again)
Pourquoi se perdre de vue, (Why losing sight of each other)
se reperdre de vue, (why losing each other again)
Quand on s’est retrouvés, (When they found each other)
quand on s’est réchauffés, (when they warmed each other)
Pourquoi se séparer? (Why go their separate ways?)
Alors tous deux on est repartis (Thus both of us resumed our ways)
Dans le tourbillon de la vie, (In Life’s whirlpool of days)
On a continué à tourner, (We continued to go round and round)
Tous les deux enlacés (ter). (Both together bound)
More Jeanne Moreau on Fleurmach here and here.
And this is a WONDERFUL interview, from 2002!
amália rodrigues – barco negro (live, 1962)
Live in Cannes, 1962, with English subtitles.
My dad always used to play fado on Sunday afternoons, and he particularly loves this song. Here’s some history about it.
broadcast and the focus group investigate witch cults of the radio age (2009)
“The entire album is an exorcism of an dead universe. Nothing can stay together here. It’s hauntology as a pasture of incidental tones and half-ripped photographs. The video footage is unable to focus. The lens’s view is eternally obstructed. The wild blurs of compounded biographies come off like a fever dream of a memory play.” – Timothy Gabriele (12 November 2009). Broadcast and the Focus Group: Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age – PopMatters.
maki asakawa – tokyo elegy (1967)
When the void finds you and sings back.
parenthetical girls – windmills of your mind (2008)
From the album Entanglements, a cover of the Noel Harrison song.
chelsea wolfe – halfsleeper (2010)
All the parts of me that lived inside
Are drowning in the sea of waking life
They don’t know their colors don’t belong on the outside
They don’t know their colors don’t belong
Until they’re spread across the open road
‘Til they’re spread across the asphalt on the open road
‘Til they’re streaming in the wind like cassette tape or jellyfish
Long dark veins and records playing memories
All the things we yelled don’t mean a thing
When we’re spinning out on dark and metal wind
When we’re flying like we’re Mary’s angels through shattered glass
When we find the tall black shadow waiting there with outstretched hands
He has given me a dress of red and you a skin of gray
We’ll be twisting here for hours ’til the light will give us day
We’re spread across the open road
And we’re spread across the asphalt on the open road
And we’re streaming in the wind like cassette tape or jellyfish
Long dark veins and records playing memories
a a milne – spring morning (1924)
Where am I going? I don’t quite know.
Down to the stream where the king-cups grow-
Up on the hill where the pine-trees blow-
Anywhere, anywhere. I don’t know.
Where am I going? The clouds sail by,
Little ones, baby ones, over the sky.
Where am I going? The shadows pass,
Little ones, baby ones, over the grass.
If you were a cloud, and sailed up there,
You’d sail on water as blue as air,
And you’d see me here in the fields and say:
“Doesn’t the sky look green today?”
Where am I going? The high rooks call:
“It’s awful fun to be born at all.”
Where am I going? The ring-doves coo:
“We do have beautiful things to do.”
If you were a bird, and lived on high,
You’d lean on the wind when the wind came by,
You’d say to the wind when it took you away:
“That’s where I wanted to go today!”
Where am I going? I don’t quite know.
What does it matter where people go?
Down to the wood where the blue-bells grow-
Anywhere, anywhere. I don’t know.
From “When We Were Very Young,” A.A. Milne, 1924.
With thanks to Gareth Jones for sending this to me yesterday (how did you know?)…
the unthanks – what can a song do to you? (2017)
An exquisite new covers project: Diversions Vol. 4 – The Songs and Poems of Molly Drake. Get it here.
emmylou harris – boulder to birmingham (1975)
Written for Gram Parsons.
sisters, march 2012
pixies – i can’t forget (leonard cohen cover, 1991)
So I saw this band last night. Thought it would be thirty years too late, but MAN, do they still have it. Twisted. Blistering.
I never did get to see Leonard Cohen, though… something I will always be sad about, with the same tenor as the ache with which I have missed Nina Simone.
alunageorge – i remember (2016)
jeff buckley – if you see her, say hello (1993)
leonard cohen – on the level (2016)
can – moonshake (1973)
Jaki Liebezeit, you held it all together. RIP <3
the greenhornes feat. holly golightly – there is an end (2002)
johnny dyani, don cherry, & okay temiz, live on french tv (1971)
MBIZO DAY – today, Wednesday 30th November
The Pan African Space Station (PASS) will host a 24 hour live broadcast of music written and/or performed by healer, musician, composer and painter Johnny Mbizo Dyani (30 November 1945 – 24 October 1986), as well as rare interviews with the artist and comments by people who knew and worked with him.
TUNE IN HERE from 12:00 midday (GMT+2) today, Wednesday 30 November till midday on Thursday 1 December.
This listening session is in celebration of Mbizo’s life work and in commemoration of 30 years of his passing.
During his short life, Mbizo helped to establish the Blue Notes, a group he co-founded with Chris McGregor, Louis Moholo, Mongezi Feza, Dudu Pukwana and Nic Moyake, as the one of the most innovative and powerful forces in jazz. Or more precisely, what he called the SKANGA (a family of black creative musics). Mbizo was a highly sought-after bass player and vocalist who performed with some of the music’s most important figures, including Don Cherry, Abdullah Ibrahim, David Murray, Mal Waldron, Famoudou Don Moye, Khan Jamal and many more. He recorded over 70 albums.
In addition to Chimurenga people, selectors and speakers include Keorapetse Kgositsile, Lefifi Tladi, Marcus Wyatt/Blue Notes Tribute Orkestra, Louis Moholo, Lesego Rampolokeng, Ikapa Jazz Movement, Tete Mbambisa, Maakomele Manaka, DJ Mighty, Tumi Mogorosi, Dala Flat, and many more.
And check out this wonderful performance from July 1971, broadcast live on French television.
michelle mcgrane – cento for leonard cohen (2006)
once there was a path and a girl with chestnut hair – – – we met when we were almost young – – deep in the green lilac park – – you held on to me like i was a crucifix – – as we went kneeling through the dark – – – i loved you in the morning – our kisses deep and warm – – your hair upon the pillow like a sleepy golden storm – – yes – many loved before us – i know that we are not new – – in city and in forest they smiled like me and you – – – let me see you moving like they do in babylon – – show me slowly what i only know the limits of – – dance me very tenderly and dance me very long – – dance me to the wedding now – dance me on and on – – – there’s a concert hall in vienna – – where your mouth had a thousand reviews – – i remember you well in the chelsea hotel – – you were famous – your heart was a legend – – i thought you were the crown prince – – of all the wheels in ivory town – and everywhere that you wandered – – love seemed to go along with you – – – lost among the subway crowds – – i tried to catch your eye – – i saw you there with the rose in your teeth – – i’d been waiting – i was sure – – – but you’d been to the station to meet every train – – – i knew i was in danger of losing what i used to think was mine – – just dance me to the dark side of the gym – – chances are i’ll let you do most anything – – so we’re dancing close – the band is playing stardust – – balloons and paper streamers floating down on us – – – i know you’re hungry – i can hear it in your voice – – and there are many parts of me to touch – you have your choice – – – the women in your scrapbook – – – (i was in that army – yes i stayed a little while – – though i wore a uniform i was not born to fight) – – – now your love is a secret all over the block – – – i’m just a station on your way – – – where are you golden boy – – where is your famous golden touch? – – the sun pours down like honey – – and yes it’s come to this – it’s come to this – – hey prince you need a shave – – – i forget to pray for the angels – – and then the angels forget to pray for us – – – your letters they all say that you’re beside me now – – then why do i feel alone? – – i’m standing on a ledge and your fine spider web – – is fastening my ankle to a stone – – – everybody knows that you love me baby – – everybody knows that you really do – – everybody knows that you’ve been faithful – – ah – give or take a night or two – – everybody knows you’ve been discreet – – but there were so many people you just had to meet – – without your clothes – and everybody knows – – – and i can’t wait to tell you to your face – – and i can’t wait for you to take my place – – – i cannot follow you – my love – – you cannot follow me – – i am the distance you put between – – all of the moments that we will be – – – i choose the rooms that i live in with care – – the windows are small and the walls almost bare – – there’s only one bed and there’s only one prayer – – i listen all night for your step on the stair – – – i don’t like your fashion business mister – – and i don’t like those drugs that keep you thin – – – some women wait for jesus – and some women wait for cain – – i was waiting for a miracle – i waited half my life away – – – lately you’ve started to stutter – as though you had nothing to say – – – you don’t love me quite so fiercely now – – you’re weak and you’re harmless – – you’re sleeping in your harness – – – you thought that it could never happen – – to all the people you became – – the rain falls down on last year’s man – – that’s a crayon in his hand – – – like any dealer he was watching for the card – – that is so high and wild – – he’ll never need to deal another – – – (o you’ve seen that man before) – – his golden arm dispatching cards – – (but now it’s rusted from the elbow to the finger – – and he wants to trade the game he plays for shelter) – – – everybody knows that the dice are loaded – – everybody rolls with their fingers crossed – – everybody knows that the war is over – – everybody knows the good guys lost – – everybody knows the fight was fixed – – the poor stay poor – the rich get rich – – that’s how it goes – everybody knows – – – well – i found a silver needle – i put it into my arm – – it did some good – did some harm – – but the nights were cold – and it almost kept me warm – – – in a dream of hungarian lanterns – – in the mist of some sweet afternoon – – some girls wander by mistake – – into the mess that scalpels make – – – morning came and then came noon – – dinner time a scalpel blade – – lay beside my silver spoon – – those who earnestly are lost – – are lost and lost again – – – i journey down the hundred steps – – the street is still the very same – – was i – was i only limping – was i really lame? – – – i can’t run no more with this lawless crowd – – – you say you’ve been humbled in love – – cut down in your love – – – you say you’ve gone away from me – – (i see you’ve gone and changed your name again) – – but i can feel you when you breathe – – – you stumble into this movie-house – then climb in to the frame – – – your pain is no credential here – – of course you’ll say you can’t complain – – you who wish to conquer pain – – love calls you by your name – – – why do you stand by the window – – abandoned to beauty and pride – – the thorn of the night in your chest – – the spear of the age in your side – – lost in the rages of fragrance – – lost in the rags of remorse – – lost in the waves of a sickness – – that loosens the high silver nerves – – – yes you who must leave everything that you cannot control – – it begins with your family – but soon it comes around to your soul – – – well i’ve been where you’re hanging – i think i can see how you’re pinned – – when you’re not feeling holy – your loneliness says that you’ve sinned – – – it’s four in the morning – the end of december – – it’s dark now and it’s snowing – – the cadillacs go creeping now through the night and the poison gas – – the cities they are broke in half and the middle men are gone – – – all the rocket-ships are climbing through the sky – – the holy books are open wide – – – the blizzard – the blizzard of the world – – has crossed the threshold – – – do you remember all of those pledges – – that we pledged in the passionate night – – ah they’re soiled now – they’re torn at the edges – – like moths on a still yellow light – – no penance serves to renew them – – no massive transfusions of trust – – why not even revenge can undo them – – so twisted these vows and so crushed – – – i’m cold as a new razor blade – – your shirt is all undone – – – will you kneel beside this bed – – that we polished so long ago – – your eyes are wild and your knuckles are red – – and you’re speaking far too low – – – you don’t know me from the wind – – you never will – you never did – – – the crumbs of love that you offer me – – they’re the crumbs i’ve left behind – – – and is this what you wanted – – to live in a house that is haunted – – by the ghost of you and me? – – – i’ve lain by this window long enough – – to get used to an empty room – – and your love is some dust in an old man’s cough – – who is tapping his foot to a tune – – – and why are you so quiet now – – standing there in the doorway? – – you chose your journey long before – – you came upon this highway – – remember when the scenery started fading – – i held you till you learned to walk on air – – so don’t look down the ground is gone – – there’s no one waiting anyway – – the smokey life is practised – -everywhere – – – looks like freedom but it feels like death – – – i balance on a wishing well that all men call the world – – we are so small between the stars – so large against the sky – – – and where do all these highways go – now that we are free? – – the age of lust is giving birth – and both the parents ask – – the nurse to tell them fairytales on both sides of the glass – – – there is a war between the rich and poor – – a war between the man and the woman – – there is a war between the ones who say there is a war – – and the ones who say there isn’t – – – there is a war between the left and right – – a war between the black and white – – a war between the odd and even – – – i can’t pretend i still feel very much like singing – – as they carry the bodies away – – – there’s blood on every bracelet – – you can see it – you can taste it – – – (every heart – every heart – – to love will come but like a refugee) – – – too early for the rainbow – too early for the dove – – these are the final days – this is the darkness – this is the flood – – and there is no man or woman who can’t be touched – – but you who come between them will be judged – – – so the great affair is over but whoever would have guessed – – it would leave us all so vacant and so deeply unimpressed – – – it’s like our visit to the moon or to that other star – – i guess you go for nothing if you really want to go that far – – – it’s over – it ain’t going any further – – i’m sick of pretending – i’m broken from bending – – i’ve lived too long on my knees – – – the river is swollen up with rusty cans – – and the trees are burning in your promised land – – – along with several thousand dreams – – – there’s nothing left to do – – when you know that you’ve been taken – – – it’s closing time.
(cento: a composition made up of quotations from other authors; latin: patchwork garment)
lyrics taken from:
songs of leonard cohen: suzanne; master song; winter lady; stranger song; sisters of mercy; so long marianne; hey, that’s no way to say goodbye; stories of the street; teachers
i’m your man: first we take manhattan; ain’t no cure for love; everybody knows; take this waltz
songs of love and hate: avalanche; last year’s man; dress rehearsal rag; diamonds in the mine; love calls you by your name; famous blue raincoat
the future: the future; waiting for the miracle; closing time; anthem; light as the breeze; death of a ladies’ man: iodine; paper thin hotel; memories; death of a ladies’ man
songs from a room: the old revolution; the butcher; you know who i am; tonight will be fine
new skin for the old ceremony: is this what you wanted; chelsea hotel #2; there is a war
various positions: dance me to the end of love
recent songs: the guests; humbled in love; the window; the gypsy’s wife; the smokey life
“the quickening art”(2008)
“The past which is not recoverable in any other way is embedded, as if in amber, in the music, and people can regain a sense of identity…”— Oliver Sacks
So utterly incredible.
feel free to play the piano (21 october 2016)
My kind friend Anwar gave me a ticket to Abdullah Ibrahim’s solo concert last night at the Fugard Theatre. It was the quietly incandescent performance of an old man who has been so far and seen so much, whose heart remains rooted in this troubled land even as it hurts to be here, even as his fingers know he doesn’t have forever. His playing held such sorrow, yet such peace, and playfulness, too. Refusing easy resolution, defiantly free as ever. We imagined afterwards how incredible it would have been if the whole performance could have been broadcast live on loudspeakers, into every roiling corner of this country, for everyone to hear it simultaneously. A lament. A hymn. A balm. A lesson. Beyond the span of words’ expression.