Who would have thought vuvuzelas can be music to the ears?

2010-04-14 00:00

IF you think vuvuzelas are there just to make a big noise at soccer matches, you will not believe your ears when you hear this Cape musician’s vuvuzela band.

The band can even play songs such as the well-known Shosholoza on the novel African trumpet.

Pedro Espi-Sanchis (57), who formed the band, takes an ordinary vuvuzela and either lengthens or shortens it.

A shorter vuvuzela produces a higher note, and a longer one a lower note. He uses fibre glass, among other things, to lengthen a vuvuzela. Each vuvuzela produces only one note.

Espi-Sanchis started the band in December 2006.

“It was actually out of desperation about the noise of the vuvuzelas. I wanted to show that they can make music,” he said, explaining the source of his inspiration.

“I did not want millions of people to turn on their TV sets in June and July [during the World Cup] and hear what they heard during the Confederations Cup — just an incessant drone.

“It [the noise] could become the musical legacy of the World Cup. That would be terrible and shocking. Africa is not known for its noise, but for music,” said Espi-Sanchis.

He has started six bands already: two in Cape Town, two in Johannesburg, one in Limpopo, and even one in the Austrian capital, Vienna.

The Viennese band will play at fan parks during the World Cup. He says people there are crazy about the African character of the vuvuzelas.

A basic band consists of seven vuvuzelas, one or two brass instruments, a drummer and a singer.

The bands have already played at several Bafana Bafana matches.

According to Espi-Sanchis, spectators are very surprised when they hear the bands.

“People are stunned. They can’t believe that one can make music with vuvuzelas.”

He says Bafana Bafana could also be inspired during the World Cup if people don’t blow their vuvuzelas individually, but play rhythms together instead.

“People don’t always play the same rhythms at the same time. The stadiums should be like one person.

“If Bafana hears that the crowds are behind them like that, they may play better.”

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