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.

the mountain goats – dinu lipatti’s bones (2005)

We stank of hair dye and ammonia
We sealed ourselves away from view
You were looking at the void and seldom blinking
The best that I could do
Was to train my eyes on you

We scaled the hidden hills beneath the surface
Scraped our fingers bloody on the stones
And built a little house that we could live in
Out of Dinu Lipatti’s bones

We kept our friends at bay all summer long
Treated the days as though they’d kill us if they could
Wringing out the hours like blood-drenched bedsheets
To keep wintertime at bay
But December showed up anyway

There was no money, it was money that you wanted
I went downtown, sold off most of what I owned
And we raised a tower to broadcast all our dark dreams
From Dinu Lipatti’s bones

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From The Sunset Tree (4AD, 2005).

“i made a film that you will never see” (2015)

A short film about Michiel Kruger, who despite being blind, has set and broken various sports records the last 56 years. At the age of 70 he still holds 2 world records and runs a piano tuning business in Bloemfontein.

Director – Elmi Badenhorst
Camera and Edit – Jaco Bouwer
Music Composition – Braam Du Toit
Script and concept – Annelize Frost and Elmi Badenhorst
Ruan Scott –¬†Subtitles