Mac McKenzie's Goema Orchestra has moved into its fourth season, in what must surely be one of the most significant musical movements in South Africa in the last decade.
The Goema Orchestra is a musical umbrella which is `goema' more in ethos than in sound, honing in on the movement of people and sounds and stories that created goema. The orchestra is debuting five new orchestral works by Cape Town based composers this weekend.
This is probably Mac's finest moment to date: five new orchestral works by five composers in Cape Town. That is a huge undertaking. Not only has Mac been composing his own new work, but he has been mentoring others and nurturing an orchestra to perform them.
"There's nothing like it!" says Reza Khota, Cape Town guitarist and composer, of the Orchestra and the event itself. "All these new works on one night, I don't know if it has been done anywhere."
Keenan Ahrends is the youngest of the composers, and at age 25 perhaps best exemplifies the purpose of the Composers' Workshop and the Goema Orchestra itself. Without the intervention of the Workshop, Keenan wouldn't have an opportunity to work with an orchestra. As Valmont Layne, former chief of the District Six Museum, and a Cape Town based cultural producer says: "The Workshop is important for a city that increasingly seeks to value creativity and innovation for social development. Here is a living thriving example in its musical life that points to its rich traditions, but also to its restless contemporary nature."
In addition to the young composers featured is Sathima Benjamin, one of the greatest legends of Cape Town music, both as a performer of international repute and a music entrepreneur. Cape Town pianist and arranger George Werner has arranged one of her early 80 compositions called 'Music' for the Goema Orchestra. George says "If it wasn't for Sathima the world wouldn't have known about Abdullah Ibrahim, and if it wasn't for Abdullah, the world probaby wouldn't have known about our jazz and especially about goema! Sathima is a portal. And she's also far less recognised here than she should be. We have a lot to be thankful to her for, and it's fitting that the Goema Orchestra can feature this great icon together with the next generation".
Don't miss this concert. Book via SMS on 0725002204 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Cape Town Goema Orchestra's 4th season
Saturday 15 December 2012
SABC Auditorium, entrance St. James Road, Sea Point
Show starts 20h00, doors open 19h30
Tickets R100 general admission, R70 students