Mesmerising live rendition of Dick van Dyke’s song from the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968).
Chantelle Gray live at The Window, an evening of experimental music, performance and visual art at the Theatre Arts Collective, Observatory, Cape Town, 29 January 2017.
Chantelle’s movements are captured by a 3d motion sensor and translated live into controller data for a musical piece written in Supercollider by Aragorn Eloff.
Live non-verbal improvisation performed in absolute darkness, interacting with a cellphone recording from the day before, at The Window, an evening of experimental music, performance and visual art at the Theatre Arts Admin Collective, Observatory, Cape Town, 29 January 2017.
“It’s not easy to improvise… It’s the most difficult thing to do. Even when one improvises in front of a camera or microphone, one ventriloquizes or leaves another to speak in one’s place the schemas and languages that are already there. There are already a great number of prescriptions that are prescribed in our memory and in our culture. All the names are already pre-programmed. It’s already the names that inhibit our ability to ever really improvise. One can’t say what ever one wants, one is obliged more or less to reproduce the stereotypical discourse. And so I believe in improvisation and I fight for improvisation. But always with the belief that it’s impossible. And there where there is improvisation I am not able to see myself. I am blind to myself. And it’s what I will see, no, I won’t see it. It’s for others to see. The one who is improvised here… no, I won’t ever see him.”
— Jacques Derrida, unpublished interview, 1982, reproduced in David Toop’s Into the Maelstrom: Music, Improvisation and the Dream of Freedom: Before 1970, Bloomsbury, 2016, pg 21.
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.
Please join us for an evening of experimental live music hosted by the Edge of Wrong and featuring performances from pianist Coila-Leah Enderstein, electronic musician Daniel Gray, noise maestro Justin Allart and movement-based composition artists Aragorn23, Chantelle Gray and Amantha.
Entrance is pay-what-you-can (recommended donation R50) and you can bring your own refreshments. Please make sure you arrive by 7:30 to minimise disruptions during performances.
___ ABOUT THE ARTISTS ___
Coila-Leah Enderstein is a classically trained pianist based in Cape Town. She’s into in experimental new music and interdisciplinary performance.
daniel gray is an artist from johannesburg and now lives in cape town. he is currently working as a high school maths teacher. he is interested in sound as image, dreams, collective improvisation and chance processes. in 2014-2016 he released an audiovisual album called “fantasmagoria”, a noise/peace album called “mssapessm”, took part in GIPCA live arts festival, performed around cape town, formed the now defunct subdwellers dj collective, started primitive ancestor records – a net label, to name a few of the many noisy endeavours. this will be the third edge of wrong event that he has participated in.
Justin Allart is a highly prolific experimental/noise musician who performs using a motley array of non-musical instruments. Expect sandpaper on turntables and effects pedals talking to themselves.
Aragorn23 is an experimental musician based in South Africa. His current work focuses on algorithmic and gestural composition and the use of the body as an instrument. He will be performing alongside collaborators Chantelle Gray and Amantha on the evening.
I find it so fascinating to watch what fame does to people, largely because I have always eluded it. I often wonder how my life would’ve been different if I had focused on centering myself, publicised my work, taken credit, used one name, the one I was given, instead of a gaggle of pseudonyms. I just never wanted to.
Anyway, here’s another one to watch.
“I don’t know my name
I don’t play by the rules of the game
So you say, I’m not trying
But I’m trying
To find my way”
Pascal Comelade live in concert at Teatre Bartrina de Reus, circa 2007. I hope I one day get to experience one of this man’s performances.
when you release a weather balloon
off the back of the ship
with the small box of the radiosonde
dangling precariously below its
oversized white grape of a shape
on a simple string
which unfurls as you let it go
to become ten metres, or longer
so the radiosonde can feel
the atmosphere around it
in its full, naked glory
it is eleven o’clock, or midnight
somewhere in the world
it might as well be here
where we are in our pajamas
and the balloon is about this size
and filled with helium
and seconds after you’ve let it go
it is sucked up into the wild
black sky, and the noisy, battling sea
seems to urge it on with an out of
control applause from below
and it is gone, so suddenly, so for surely,
and you’re left standing there, disappointed
blinking into the inky cold, with your head hanging
back onto your neck and your mouth open
in your sticky gumboots
and the salty diesel smell in your beard
and it only gets exciting again when
you hunch over a computer screen inside
with the meteorologists to look – like
alchemists – at the boiling pot of
leaping numbers as the weather balloon
and its transmitting radiosonde races through
the layers of emptiness, a thousand metres, two thousand metres
and sends lurches and spurts of data back to
where we’re bobbing in the Atlantic
as it shoots upwards
with squiggles and digits and facts
through what seems like nothing
but is in actual fact the invisible sinews that
keep the clouds tied to the mountains, moss to the trunk
the raindrops to the snakes, fish to pebbles
goats’ hooves to cliff faces, tomato green to finger tips
the sea to the murmuring, cracking movement of the continents
and the spongy, lung-like coral fans to the conversation
filtering plankton and pain and matter of fact
in the queue at the ATM about the weather and tax
and death and babies and the future
and five thousand metres, seven thousand, nine thousand
to where commercial airliners fly in straight lines
through clouds and stars and shavings of moon
which cannot be seen because the shutters are down
and the movies are being shown
and by now the weather balloon has grown in size
due to the air pressure to the size of this room
and the radiosonde is reaching the edge of
its usefulness to our understanding and prediction
of weather systems and unfurling cold fronts
winds and even the sprinkling of godsmall protons
and atomic nuclei which have been travelling towards us
from very far away – from the herb gardens of supernovas –
to confirm what we’ve been suspecting
for a while already: we are born fragile, and dogs are
our eternal friends.
For more of Toast’s wonder-filled words, check out the gig happening this Thursday night in Cape Town at Joule City, entitled “Albatross: a journey through spoken and unspoken word”. You can buy tickets on QUICKET or at the door.
According to the blurb for the event on Facebook:
This collaboration combines movement with poetry to create a unique audio – visual performance. For this show, the band will consist of Toast Coetzer, Righard Kapp, Jon Savage and Jane Breetzke (the latter two also collaborators in Toast’s other band, Simply Dead). Darkroom Contemporary will accompany the band with an exploration of the music through movement.
Cape Town artist Katherine Bull will create/ draw during the performance and her artwork will be projected for the audience to see.
The material performed in the Albatross show will take the shape of a 45-minute journey. Toast went on a sea voyage to Tristan da Cunha in 2013 and the show will trace themes he wrote about while on the journey and on the island, which is the most isolated permanently populated island in the world (it’s almost 3 000 km from Cape Town).
Hence the ocean, sea voyages, sea birds (and principally the albatross and its marathon gliding exploits to feeding grounds, and then back to a speck in the ocean where a mate awaits on a nest), oceanography, metereology and geography will become the background for love, long-distance relationships, people’s adversity against the odds and other human frailties to be explored against.
So, so sad to hear Lou is gone. I have no words to begin to describe how influential his work has been to me since I first heard the Velvet Underground at 14.
A solo performance by Thelonius Monk of four Ellington tunes: “Satin Doll,” “Sophisticated Lady,” “Caravan” and “Solitude”. Then he plays his own composition “Crepuscule With Nellie,” before joining the Joe Turner Trio in a performance of “Blues for Duke.” These performances are available on the DVD Monk Plays Ellington: Solo Piano in Berlin ’69.