Ross Campbell wrote this heartfelt song for our extraordinary, mercurial friend, the visionary artist and musician Alex van Heerden, who was killed five years ago this morning in a car accident. The hole he left will never be closed.
HERE is another tribute written by Righard Kapp at the time of Alex’s passing.
And here is Alex talking with his singular insight at a workshop on Cape music held in Basel in 2006:
“The moon’s shining so brightly tonight…”
Kyle Shepherd (piano, voice), Shane Cooper (double bass) and Jonno Sweetman (drums) perform a version of this subversive traditional Cape Goema song arranged by Kyle Shepherd. Recorded live at Welgemeend, Welgemeend Street, Gardens, Cape Town, South Africa on Friday 21 May 2009.
Download “Wat Die Reën Bring” by Neil Sandilands, with music by Riku Lätti, recorded by Riku Lätti at Koptoe, Magaliesberg. It is one of the tracks I found most beautiful from the collection of recordings Lätti has been gradually accumulating, which he has entitled “Die Wasgoedlyn” (The Washing Line). The whole album can be downloaded from HERE.
Some background from Riku Lätti:
“It started off a long time ago when I began my own recording studio “Radio Lava” and every now and then I recorded my friends (who happened to be good musicians) in all kinds of odd locations and precarious states of sobriety. Most of these artists have pristine studio albums which I kind of think of as “the front of the house” (facade). Nice and fancy, polished spotless. Die Wasgoedlyn are those other recordings of all of these artists as they really are at home. Unpolished, stubbled, raw with their underwear on “die wasgoedlyn” blowing in the wind now for all to hear.
“Anywhere I find somebody is keen to play music of quality, I will be interested in capturing it, bottling it and setting it free so that music doesn’t have to be stuck in an inhumane, sorry, un-humanly state of untouchable perfection. I want to hear the breath before the beat starts, the bird in the background, the train leaving the station, the clanging of the friends’ glasses as they celebrate being there when they spot their favourite artist playing a tune he really meant and felt like playing. We are not putting our best foot forward, we are just “human beings being”, if I may quote Loit Sôls, Goema poet who is also featured on “Die Wasgoedlyn”.
Check out the beautiful (Afrikaans) lyrics to Neil Sandiland’s track after the jump. Oh, and thanks to Toast Coetzer of Bush Radio’s Unhappy Hour Show for stelling my in kennis.