OLUZAYO - African Music Futures w/ Ancient Voices | Sibusile Xaba | Ocen James & Rian Treanor

OLUZAYO - Zulu for "What lies ahead." An extraordinary music festival taking place in Cologne and in Johannesburg in 2023. The focus: musical creativity, innovations and experiments from Africa. In experimental songs and transcultural mixtures, in contemporary orchestral and ensemble music or the further development of indigenous traditions, in audiovisual narratives or conceptual sound art.

For Senegalese economist and musician Felwine Sarr, one of Africa's leading intellectuals, music, art and literature are the most important resources for developing visions for Africa's future and overcoming the foreign domination of Africa's (post-)colonial past and present. "Oluzayo" explores music and sound as a field that reflects these dissonances and possibilities - as well as the complex interconnections between Africa and Europe. Great and very different music and unfamiliar sounds, new ideas and surprising emotions.

The opening night of the „Oluzayo“-festival in Cologne presents musicians and projects which explore the fertile ground between indigenous traditions from South Africa and Uganda and modern experimental approaches with very different trajectories - in songwriting, composition and avantgarde electronics.

Sibusile Xaba is a charismatic and highly original experimental guitarist and singer, imbuing his maskandi roots with urban mythology, divining invocations and an experimental improvisational intensity.

With their duo Ancient Voices, Xhosa musicians Lungiswa Plaatjies and Nomapostile Nyiki revive traditional African instruments long accessible only to male musicians. Their music is patient and luminous, informed by a deep engagement with the rich musical tradition of the Xhosa. Lungiswa Plaatjies has found her versatile and individual voice following in the footsteps of her famous uncle Dizu Plaatjies, in whose famous percussion ensemble Amampondo she sang as a child.

British Avantgarde electronics-musician Rian Treanor started working wiith Ugandan Acholi-fiddle player Ocen James during a residency in Uganda. To make this collaboration as tactile and reactive as a live performance with traditional instruments, Treanor created an electronic instrument that explored the tunings and sounds of the a'dungu, an arched harp, and the nah or nag. With Ocen playing his rigi rigi, a single string violin, they intuitively experimented with the spectral properties of sound, using texture and acoustic contours as their structural framework. They developed an improvisation-heavy collaboration that pushes both musicians' idiosyncrasies into completely new places - at once unconventionally rooted in traditional Ugandan culture and shuttled into different dimensions of noise, computer music and radical UK rave.

Ensemble Modern & Vimbayi Kaziboni, Sibusile Xaba, Ancient Voices, Ocen James & Rian Treanor, Satch Hoyt, Catu Diosis, Hibotep, Jay Mitta & Kadilida, Victor Gama w/ Salomé Pais Matos, Aurelie Nyirabikali Lierman, Gürzenich-Orchester & Bard Lubman, Burkina Electric & more tba

Thu, 01.06.2023
Concert Highlight!

Ancient Voices: Lungiswa Plaatjies (vocals, indigenous instruments), Nomapostile NYiki (vocals, indigenous instruments), Sibusile Xaba (voice, guitar), Ocen James (acholi fiddle), Rian Treanor (electronics)

Experimental Songwriting, Traditional Xhosa Music, Transcultural Avantgarde Improvisation

concert hall Start 20:00 Doors 19:00

20 €/12 € red. Presale Please note: vendors of presale-tickets may charge additional fees.

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