The project began at the beginning of the Covid pandemic, when Miller came across the song ‘Influenza’ (1918) which Caluza had written in response to the devastation of the Spanish flu pandemic in South Africa. It resonated so powerfully at that time, that Miller and Moeng brought together a talented ensemble of twelve singers to record this song remotely, raising awareness of the plight of singers who were struggling to make ends meet.
The Brazilian video designer, Marcos Martins joined the project. He created a video on social media, using mostly cellphone video footage filmed by the singers who were isolating in their homes during the hard lockdown. Miller says that, “The response to the song was so overwhelmingly positive that the they collaboratively continued to learn, arrange and record more of Caluza’s incredible repertoire.”
Miller adds, “It become clear that Caluza’s music, and the messages of his songs still has strong relevance today.”
Martins has gone on to create twelve unique films that now provide a contemporary visual response to the music that is to be presented theatrically in this dynamic multimedia concert. He uses a rich mixture of visual languages ranging from original filmed footage, archival material, and typographic animations and drawings.
The singing team includes many of the singers who have collaborated with Miller and Moeng over the years – most of them would have been heard singing Millers music for William Kentridge’s work: The Head and the Load that was seen earlier this year at the Joburg Theatre.
The singers include: Ayanda Eleki, Ann Masina, Bulelani Madondile, Nokuthula Magubane, Lydia Manyama, Zebulon Mmusi, Mhlaba Buthelezi, Mapule Moloi, Lindokuhle Thabede, Lubabalo Velebayi and Bham Ntabeni.
Other great instrumentalists like Dan Selsick, trumpeter Adam Howard, cellist Kutlwano Masote, and bassist Thembinkosi Mavimbela complete the ensemble which has led to the creation of the concert and digital album, entitled Reuben T Caluza – The B-side.
Don’t miss this exciting concert over Heritage Day weekend that aims to advance the legacy of South Africa’s rich musical history.
Bookings at Webtickets or visit www.marketthaetre.co.za for more information.
Listen to the album @
“Learning about Caluza has been a revelation to me…” – Albie Sachs, Former Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa
…a perfect example of how the rich archive of black South African musical traditions may still speak to contemporary issues and audiences. – Prof. Veit Erlmann, Professor of Ethnomusicology and Anthropology, Butler School of Music, University of Texas at Austin
To make block bookings and discounts please contact Anthony Ezeoke 011 832 1641ext 203/ 083 246 4950
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