How, after forgetting, do we stay safe? We don't forget. We cannot afford to. Forgetfulness is too divine a concept to use while existing on this particular plane of pain. It is too reckless for those who carry trauma in their bloodlines, their skin and names. Music reminds us. Revisits are crucial. Remembering is warfare.
When Thandi Ntuli was approached to headline the 2019 leg of the Jazzwerkstatt Festival, she used the opportunity to rework her sophomore album Exiled.
After being in two minds about what to do with the live recording, Live at Jazzwerkstatt was released on 20 March shortly after Bandcamp relinquished its revenue share, to help artists and labels affected by Covid-19, on the same day. Seven days later, South Africa went into lockdown. And as the country ushered in our collective existential crisis, Live at Jazzwerkstatt emerged to enable a quiet, undistracted contemplation. Four months after its release, Ntuli sees both the opportunity to remake her existing music, as well as the decision to release the recording as an album, as an intervention orchestrated by the divine.