Monday, 23 March 2015

Magic Flutes in Cape Town!!

Keiskamma Music Academy was delighted to be taking part in the 1st South African Galway Flute Festival hosted by the doyen of British flute playing, Sir James Galway and his lovely wife Lady Jeanne Galway in Cape Town between 17 - 21 February 2015.  Keiskamma Music Academy's top performers from 2014's music examinations Sambesiwe Mavela and Wonke Mapuma were accompanied by KMA's Head Anthony Drake and Katharina Appel, one of our hard-working volunteers from Germany (who is also a flautist). 

The week was exceptionally busy with workshops and master classes beginning at 9 am and sometimes finishing at 9 pm.  Scrumptious vegetarian lunches were supplied by the Baxter restaurant.  Evenings were also rounded off with incredible recitals given by Sir James Galway, Lady Jeanne Galway, pianist Anne Marshall as well as stunning flautists Gabriele von Durckheim, Liesl Stoltz, Bridget Rennie Salonen and Marlene Verwey.

Learning a range of general flute and practice techniques was an extremely eye-opening experience for Sambesiwe & Wonke for whom this was their first visit to the Mother City.  Many teaching techniques were also demonstrated which were of great benefit to both Kathie and Anthony.  On one of the days, everyone did have the opportunity for a quick visit to Cape Town's beautiful Waterfront with magnificent views of Table Mountain.  Sambesiwe, Wonke & Kathie took part in the final public concert at the Baxter Concert Hall where around 100 flute players performed together.

Both students were buzzing when they returned to Hamburg! Sambe explained;
''It was brilliant. The highlights for me were watching Sir James play and his morning 'warm-ups' and being taught by Lady Galway. It made me want to be the next Sir James!! When I came back I practised so much, even for the first time ever on a Saturday night! I want to thank both Sir James and Lady Jeannie for making me love and appreciate music even more and for opening my eyes to just how amazing music can be...''

Indeed we are all sincerely grateful to the Galways for their generous sponsorship of Keiskamma Music Academy students to be able to attend this event and eagerly anticipate the 2nd South African Galway Flute Fesitval in 2016!

Friday, 6 March 2015

Our Imaginations take Flight! A Story-telling Workshop for our Artists

The Art Project enjoyed an inspiring story-telling workshop from February 2nd – 6th. Zukiswa Pakama. originates from Hamburg, went on to study Journalism and now works in Cape Town. She was asked by Carol to lead the sessions on the theme of Birds and the Environment, especially to inspire our artists for the production of the new major works for Grahamstown Festival 2015.

We learned and shared songs about birds, we found out how birds can be omens and we found out how the bird feathers can be used in different ways, for instance by the Masai people of Kenya or by the Sangomas here. We talked about the relationship between birds and humans, and we compared traditional stories about birds with some interesting scientific facts. For instance, did you know that the Kori bustard weighs a magnificent 19 kilos?! Or that the Intsikizi Southern Hornbill can predict the weather!

One afternoon we had visitors to our workshop from the UK, so we took the opportunity to tell our own bird stories and sing songs. It was a wonderful celebration of the new ideas that we had been sharing.

By the end of the week we felt excited to begin designing our new works of art and to integrate some of the important facts and myths that Zuki and our artist colleagues introduced us to. We are continuing our research into local birds and stories about them and you will all enjoy the finished pieces in Grahamstown this winter; colourful, vibrant and bursting with our imaginations!

Nomfusi Nkani
Brenda Fishwick