Draft Program for the second half of 2021
(Covid willing, subject to funding confirmed)
Dates and details to be confirmed
11 July 2021 – Franz Shubert’s Winterreise - Robert Brooks and Gisela de Villiers – introduction to the work by Radio personality Nic de Jager
We thought that the winter of 2021 and the third wave of Covid would be an appropriate backdrop for a performance of Winterreise. Winterreise is a song cycle for voice and piano - a set of 24 poems written by Wihelm Müller, and composed by Schubert in 1827. Using minor keys, the mournful character reflects some of the personal trauma that Schubert himself was experiencing at the time.
Winterreise tells the story of a lonely traveller who ventures out into the snow on a journey to rid himself of his lost love, experiencing a turmoil of different emotions along the way.
Robert Brooks is an international tenor and Executive Director at Music is a Great Investment - MIAGI (NPO). Robert was born in KwaZulu-Natal, and matriculated from Dundee High School. He completed his professional studies in Europe, first at the Salzburg Mozarteum, and later the University for Music and Dramatic Art in Vienna. Robert has since been active as a singer mainly in Europe, singing a repertoire ranging from opera and lieder to tangos from Argentina. He performed at the Salzburg Festival, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Wiener Festwochen, Wien Modern, Andras Schiff’s Festival at Mondsee, and many others. He has sung with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra National du Paris, Tonhalle Orchester Zurich, to name but a few, under the baton of Yehudi Menuhin, Herbert von Karajan, Nicolaus Harnoncourt and others. He has sung in many of the great theaters of the world, including the Vienna State Opera and La Scala Milano. Robert is closely associated with MIAGI, an NGO focussed on the young and music (See https://www.miagi.co.za) Robert will be joined on piano by Gisela de Villiers.
Gisela is a composer, pianist and cabaret artist. She has released several CD’s of her own compositions for voice and piano. Her choral compositions are published in South Africa and internationally. Gisela is national adjudicator for various Eisteddfods and ATKV Applous choir competitions. She has been giving vocal master classes and choir workshops at the Venice Biennale in Italy. Gisela’s solo programmes include impromptu vocal improvisations of texts and poems chosen by members of the audience. Gisela is also director of the company ‘Infullvoice Productions’ training young singers and developing new talent.
3 – 10 October Michael Blake Performance of Displaced, Sterkfontein Composers Meeting and Purper Festival, commemorating the 100 year centenary of the birth of Joseph Beuys
Michael Blake needs no introduction at Hoofstraat Conceptual. You will recall Michael’s lecture called Composition and Politics in the long 20th century (March 2018) and the performances of his works at an African Festivity (January 2019), the Concert in memory of Jürgen Bräuninger (October 2019), and the X[iksa] concert (January 2020). Michael is currently based in France and we are looking forward to host him in the Riebeek Valley again.
Michael Blake is a South African contemporary composer and performer. He studied in Johannesburg in the 1970s and became interested in conceptual art and American experimental music tradition - which involved him in the emergence of an indigenous new music aesthetic.
Michael has been described by musicologist Stephanus Muller as “the most important and most influential South African art music composer to have worked in South Africa since the advent of democracy” and Grant Olwage has singled out Blake as “one of the ideas-men of the South African music scene”.
His ensemble, London New Music was part of the alternative music scene in London during the 1980s-90s. After returning to South Africa in 1998 he established structures that helped to promote South African new music internationally such as the Sterkfontein Composers Meeting.
Michael will during the period 3 to 8 October facilitate the Sterkfontein Composers meeting at Hoofstraat Conceptual. The Sterkfontein Composers meeting is a meeting of young composers, having submitted accepted work which will be refined with the assistance of one or more seasoned composers and performed by an international new music performer, in this case the Swedish horn player Sören Hermansson (to be confirmed).
These works will be performed at Hoofstraat Conceptual on 9 October as part of the PURPUR Festival of Transgressive Arts which brings together cutting edge artists from new music, improvisation, dance, visual arts. The PURPUR Festival is an annual Cape Town event. In 2021 it will take place at Hoofstraat Conceptual. It is a whole day concert, starting at 9h00 and ending at around 18h00.
At this festival Michael Blake will also be performing his composition Displaced (for keyboard and soundtrack). Displaced is a piece inspired by the sounds associated with some of Emma` Willemse’s artists books.
The Festival will this year commemorate the centenary of the birth of Joseph Beuys, the highly influential contemporary and conceptual German artist. The program, still to be finalised, is likely to include works by Blake (from Five Pieces), Cage, Duchamp, Jackson Mac Low, Yoko Ono, and Markus Trunk and performer Willemien Wicomb (voice).
16 October – In collaboration with ROYAL ARTS TOWN AMPHITHEATRE (“RATA”), Nibs van der Spuy and Guy Buttery will launch their new CD, Live in Lisbon, in the amphitheatre – a production co-produced by Hoofstraat Conceptual and RATA
Nibs van der Spuy and Guy Buttery also need no introduction to Hoofstraat Conceptual.
Nibs had a solo performance here (March 2018) and who can possibly forget the performance by Nibs and Yasamin Shahhosseini in the Kerksaal (Febr 2018)! Guy, in turn, had a solo performance (April 2019) and had a similarly memorable performance with sitar player Kanada Narahari (May 2018).
Together, Nibs and Guy brought out an album ‘In the shade of the wild fig’ in 2012.
We were fortunate to witness their recent performance in Belem, Lisbon, in 2019. This event was recorded, and a CD will be launched with the name “Live in Lisbon”. In collaboration with RATA, they will perform together as the opening event of RATA’s Second Summer Theatre season in the spectacular amphitheatre.
Nibs is one of the most extraordinary and exciting world acoustic guitarists to come out of South Africa. He grew up in Kwazulu-Natal, growing up listening to The Beatles and learning first hand from traditional Zulu Maskandi guitarists. He soaked up a rich tapestry of his close surroundings and has formulated a truly consummate and original sound.
After playing the local folk scene around South Africa for years, initially with his band Landscape Prayers, his big stage break came when supporting Crosby, Stills and Nash on their 1996 South African tour. His third solo release, Beautiful Feet, received highly acclaimed accolades around the world, where he has shared stages with the likes of Ben Harper, Bonnie Rait, Taj Mahal, Gito Baloi, Kelly Joe Phelps, and Shawn Phillips.
Described as “one of South Africa’s most influential artists over the past decade” by the Sunday Independent, Guy Buttery’s distinctive acoustic style is influenced by traditional South African culture, music and instrumentation. Guy has received numerous accolades for his recorded work as well as for his live performances. He has collaborated, toured, supported and recorded with dozens of artists including Dave Matthews, Jethro Tull, Salif Keita, Piers Faccini, Violent Femmes, amongst others. His South African collaborators include, amongst others, Derek Gripper and Dan Patlanski.
To copy from their press release:
The real magic of a Buttery/van der Spuy performance is in the moment, with a constant and spontaneous exchange of energy which transcends their individualities as two separate parts, shaping up something entirely new. Rolling Stone Magazine spoke of this as well saying, “their individual and quite distinct finger-style techniques fit each other like the proverbial glove.” “Live in Lisbon” holds true to this too. Guy Buttery comments, “knowing Nibs so well as a friend, often reminds me of how transparent music really is. We both always talk about the ability to ‘see’ where either of us are taking the music with each moment, and more importantly what each other’s intention are when going in a certain direction. This always feels very special to bear witness to”. This concert recording also acts as something of a “best of” from their twenty year partnership showcasing their profound abilities to explore each piece, interlocking with tightly fused dynamics as well as featuring new and unrecorded songs.
28 November - A Karoo experience: Launch of Antoinette Pienaar’s volume of new short stories and discussion with and a viewing of photography by Photographer Louis Botha
We hope to be offering a Karro event with Louis Botha and Antoinette Pienaar. At the time of the writing hereof Antoinette’s presence could not be confirmed but the idea is that Antoinette, well known radio personality on RSG, writer, actor, storyteller, and herbalist will launch her new volume of short stories on this occasion. Antoinette Pienaar was born in Beaufort West, grew up in Carnarvon and studied drama at the University of Stellenbosch and UCT. She started her acting career in Shakespearean productions and later turned to singing, writing and storytelling, performing her gentle satires at the National Arts Festivals of Grahamstown, Oudtshoorn and other Southern African theatres (also the Groot Marico). As storyteller she is best known for her stories of historical African heroines such as Krotoa of the Cape. Since 2001 she has been apprentice to Oom Johannes Willemse, a herbalist from Theefontein. Her book “Kruidjie roer my” on folk remedies are well known. After contracting cerebral malaria on a trip to Mali in West Africa in 2001 she was severely weakened and decided to stay on Theefontein, where with the help of Oom Johannes and Karoo remedies, she found a new way forward with restored health.
Louis Botha is a well-known photographer from Prince Albert. He has published three impressive photographic coffee table books – Slow down, Karoo and N/a’an ku sê.
“I treasure the simple things in life and my work is testimony to my belief that less is more. My preference is to capture the beauty within remote landscapes, ordinary people and things. I am intensely aware of the value of Light and Time each time I press the shutter.”
Louis will share thoughts and images in discussion with Rudolph Willemse. Books will be for sale.