Madosini and Pedro’s concert details

2013-04-09 00:00

THE songs of Madosini are poems that speak eloquently of a rich personal and cultural history that takes the audience back to the San cultures.

She will be sharing that history with guests at the launch of the month-long exhibition LongLife, LangLewe — the continuity of Bushman/San art and craft, at the KwaZulu-Natal Museum in Jabu Ndlovu (Loop) Street, Pietermaritzburg, at 6.30 pm on April 19.

Madosini, who hails from the Eastern Cape, is a musician, composer, poet, singer, storyteller and teacher, whose prowess in the making and playing of the Uhadi (calabash resonated bow), Umrhubhe (mouth resonated bow) and Isitolotolo (Jewish harp) is unsurpassed. It was from the San culture that the Xhosa people borrowed the musical bow.

Madosini’s music has also inspired many musicians to co-operate with her in producing works of fusion within the classical, folk and the jazz idioms. Her most recent collaboration was in Johannesburg with Gilberto Gil, the famous Brazilian musician, who was Minister of Culture for Brazil some years ago.

Madosini’s songs are anything but “simple”. The harmonic progressions she plays on her bows are as in the ancient African tradition, two chords, one whole tone apart but the melodies she creates have astounding evocative power and use mostly the Lydian mode (a mode very popular in jazz). This is the same scale the traditional Lekgodilo flute produces and probably the first fixed scale played by early humans.

She will be joined on stage at the launch by Spanish-born Pedro Espi-Sanchis, who has specialised in learning and teaching in the field of instrumental African music.

He started the practical African music programme at the University of Cape Town and was head of the music department at the Giyani College of Education in the Limpopo.

Espi-Sanchez has also run extensive teacher-training programmes for education authorities across southern Africa and worldwide at universities and colleges of education.

His most recent project was the Vuvuzela Orchestra, which saw the much maligned vuvuzela make real music and created a link between music education and the Soccer World Cup.

The LongLife, LangLewe — the continuity of Bushman/San art and craft exhibition, features prints by artists from the Kalahari, including the late Vetkat Regopstaan Kruiper, and contemporary Bushman/San craft from Botswana and the Northern Cape — Kimberley and Andriesvale and surrounds.

The art on show includes 13 prints on paper by Kruiper, with a limited number of these prints being made available for sale.

For more details, contact Mary Lange at 082 652 7091 or e-mail

Other exhibits from the Northern Cape Kalahari region include: ostrich egg shells, which have been engraved and painted by the bushmen, including Kruiper and Silikat van Wyk, a painted skin and an ochre painted stone, and smoking pipes.

From Botswana come a dancing skirt, a tortoise shell powder container, dolls, a root bag decorated with beads, and headdresses, necklaces and bangles.

Two books are also set to be launched at the event — Umlando wezintaba zoKhahlamba/History of the uKhahlamba Mountains by John Wright and Aron Mazel (Wits Press) and Cultural Tourism and Identity: Rethinking Indigeneity, edited by Keyan Tomaselli (Brill).

For more information, contact 033 345 1404.

THE Friends of Tatham Art Gallery and Music Revival will be hosting a concert featuring the talents of Madosini and Pedro Espi-Sanchis at 11 am on April 21, at the gallery in Chief Albert Luthuli (Commercial) Street, Pietermaritzburg.

Madosini and Pedro will be performing together on traditional instruments that the Khoi San created.

They have toured together in Germany for the Klangkosmos Festival, performed at various festivals (including Womad and Reve de l’Aborigene).

The programme includes Madosini’s songs and Pedro playing the Mtshingo flute, percussion, guitar and singing.

Tickets cost R60 from Bryony at 033 392 2825 (mornings only) or via e-mail at

Secure parking is available.

Café Tatham will be open during the morning.

– Arts Editor

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