I am privileged to have been commissioned to write for this exciting event. My piece, Six Months, plays with comparable timbres in the various instruments whilst grappling with the idea of the passage of time. Six months can feel like a lifetime and like a week simultaneously.
For more information on Purpur, check out their facebook page at www.facebook.com/purpurfestivaloftransgressivearts/.
For more information on this year's line-up, check out the event page: www.facebook.com/events/404324300362963/
Sterkfontein Composers Meeting 2018 (19-24 February): Overview
Participants: Kirsten Adams, Natali Frenz, Arthur Feder, Jesse Dreyer, Peter Ndlala, Lloyd Prince, Galina Juritz, Pierre-Henri Wicomb.
Ensemble: Stockholm Saxophone Quartet (Leif Karlborg, Per Hedlund, Jörgen Pettersson, Matias Karlsen Björnstad, Linn Persson)
Composer Committee: Michael Blake, Paul Hanmer, Andile Khumalo
This year, the Sterkfontein Composers Meeting was almost cancelled due to lack of funding. Thankfully, it was decided to shorten it instead, and present it locally. It was held in Stellenbosch instead of in Sterkfontein. The compositions were submitted to the committee prior to the workshop. Each composer workshopped his/her work with the quartet during the week. Composers had opportunity to have one-on-one sessions with Andile Khumalo, Michael Blake, and Paul Hanmer. At the end of the week, the Stockholm Saxophone Quartet performed all of our work as part of the intense programme of the Purpur Festival of the Transgressive Arts concert.
We also all had an opportunity to present some of our compositional work to the group. The Stockholm Saxophone Quartet also presented some of their favourite repertoire. It was an excellent time of getting to know one another, celebrating one another’s music, and constant learning. The atmosphere was positive and uplifting throughout the week.
On the last day, the day after the Purpur performance, the quartet went to Hout Bay to participate in the Hout Bay Community Music Project for the day. They performed with the children in the evening’s concert.
Overall, everyone involved in SCM 2018 had phenomenal experience. It was such a privilege to spend the week with such a talented and generous group.
There are photos of the event available on the Sterkfontein Composers Meeting Facebook-page.
The recordings of each composition, recorded in the Gallery of the University of Stellenbosch, are accessible through the Sterkfontein Composers Meeting Facebook and - Soundcloud platforms.
These photos fascinate me, for some reason. I can study them over and over again, and remain intrigued. What is about this seemingly dead scene that captures my attention? Maybe the memory of that day sits in the back of my mind. I cannot remember exactly what I thought or how I felt, but I remember that there was something here that grabbed my attention. I photographed it, for lack of quality film in my mind. I wanted to return to that place in my mind, to uncover the revelation I felt was waiting beneath the surface.
Brainstorming and organizing my thoughts on big surfaces and with colour-coding helps me get a grip on the spatial structures of my work.
I love playing with numbers and ratios, hiding them in the fabric of the structure on a micro- and macro-level. Most of the time, ratios are a part of the construction process, to set up the initial framework. In my section of the collaborative work done by my 4th year BMus composition class, I kept strictly to the structure as it was designed to be symmetrical in many layers. This was a sketch done for Ephaphras. I worked with simple quaver patterns, then played with repetitions, ratios and horizontal and vertical relationships between instruments and pitch material. Inspired by Bartok's orchestration of Pictures at an Exhibition, I experimented particularly with instrument combinations to explore orchestral colour possibilities.
It was one of those days where the sky seems to be alive, full of secrets and stories. The trees are watchmen on the wall; the flowers and underbrush are the capillaries of this magnificent life-force.
So much beauty, all around me! I am marvelously insignificant to this picture. I am witnessing, documenting, knowing that no photo can do God's artistry justice.
This is a place where I post on various things, from something that inspires me, to sketches and paintings etc... whether it be a spontaneous photography session in the mountains, or a quote that hit me right in the feels.