music and freedom

so you can imagine my excitement when i saw a poster for a freedom day concert at the City Hall (Cape Town).. the City Hallfreedom day concert is an impressive building, for sure… but what really excited me was that Paul Hanmer and McCoy Mrubata… Had no clue who Amaryoni were… the Moreira Project – somewhat an enigma for me, whenever I’ve been to a festival and Moreira is on the bill, I’ve somehow never managed to see them…

the thought of attending a City Hall Sessions brought memories of the last time I was there, in another wing of the City Hall building… watching Zim Ngqawana playing with Kyle Shepherd – probably his ‘farewell’ performance in Cape Town… a very special performance indeed.. This reminiscing mingled with memories of when I performed as part of an annual my high school  used to put on at the City Hall…

i digress,  so it’s with all these mixed thoughts that I arrived at the City Hall on Freedom Day…

pondering the fact that it is rather somewhat significant that Hanmer and Mrubata are able to perform in the City Hall on Freedom Day, considering that there was a time when they couldn’t share a stage because of the colour of their skins… never mind the fact that Crawford and Gugulethu are barely a stone throw away from each other… their heartwarming and energetic track, Johannesburg Mountains, a tribute to their working home, Johannesburg. Feya Faku on trumpet was a surprise!

speaking of surprises, Moreira Chonguica, was certainly a surprise… his lyrical saxophone, definitely something that stayed with him long after i’d left the City Hall… his crazy drummer, you had to be there!

of course, every struggle, victory, moments of peace, moments of discord, moments of protest are usually remembered according to the music of that time, Amaryoni, brought back that spirit and filled the Hall with their a cappella sound of songs freedom, of reflection, of remembering, of not forgetting… I was touched… transported to a time when as a little girl, a neighbour and his friends would entertain with renditions of freedom songs (at the time, I had no idea what significance these songs held except that the melodies and harmonies filled the space beautifully)…

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