Herewith my first sound appearance on my blog! It is me improvising on the piano!
[play the track while reading the poem below]
I am playing on an electronic piano of the Oosthuyzen family I met in February this year in the quaint Eastern Cape town of Bedford. It was during my first cycle journey of the year; I stopped over at the schools in the small towns and gave workshops in Afrikaans poetry and where there was a piano at hand, we made music as well!
I was staying over at the hostel of the Bedford Country School when friend, Hessie in J-Bay suggested I make contact with the Oostuyzen family living just next to the school. Hessie emphasized that they have a sound studio (-; I loaded my bike, waved the school kiddies goodbye and trekked next door. I made contact and lo and behold, this vibrant family opened up their home for me for the entire weekend. Andre Oosthuyzen, his wife Rika and their two beautiful children, Diaan and Coreen are the "music" and "arty" family in Bedford.
And what a weekend we had. It was Valentinesday the Saturday and sommer in a jiffy they organised that I play piano for the Dance that evening. Andre is also a brilliant DJ, so after the formality of dinner and civilized piano music we had the djol of our lives. You can not imagine that a mother of two can party so exuberantly as Rika! Go Girl!
Anyway to get back to the recording - I never thought I would do a recording on an electronic instrument; I just prefer the wood, ebony and ivories of a REAL piano. Yet I grabbed the opportunity when Andre suggested the idea of recording. On the Sunday in their livingroom, amidst noises coming from the television, computer games and chattering I recorded a 50 minute CD. (That is the wonder of this electronic instrument - you play directly into the computer so no external noises are picked up.) Andre, well-versed in sound engineering quickly sorted all the tracks and voila, burnt the CD and gave it to me to take on my journey. The collection of 23 tracks is a mix of classics, blues, jazz and improvisations. I have used the CD as a demo; and it has been opening a few doors of opportunity and sharing!
To have ones music on disc is such a powerful tool. And even more powerful now that I have discovered the tools of the internet and uploaded a track onto The Net. Technological gadgets and programs are so much part of our First World existence, and yet I am dumbstruck by the possibilities and convenience it adds to one's life.
The track featuring here was inspired by a filmmaker and friend of mine in Stellenbosch, Pierre Lombard. I initially called the track "Son op die R63". I had visions of Pierre making a short film of this long and beautiful road, the R63. I cycled on that road in the sweltering heat of that February sun. I now changed it to "Die pols van Vuur" (The pulse of Fire). My Afrikaans poem below adds an extra dimension to the music. Read, listen and enjoy!
die pols van vuur
uit die wilde dans steier ek
uit die wilde dans steier ek
die wilde pas
nog taai om my kuite
trippel ek vreesbevange met
die pols van vuur wat fakkels deur my are pomp
dit kan net vrugbare vuur wees
wat so lewendig in my binnenste kom sit
en my vel rooi-warm verkleur
sodat ek soos ‘n nuut gepoleerde beeld
oor die plein staar
en dekades van survive
in my rooi bloed voel klop
die koors van die wil kom met die vlamme-tonnels
deurgelei met ‘n indringerige ritmika
dit hervorm my voete tot
primitiewe passies dans
wat vlam oor die vel van aarde se kontinente van klip
styfgespande spiere tril ritualisties
soos uitgegilde liedere oor stemband en vlaktes tril
ja, wragtig! hierdie vasgevange energie ken geen gelyke
vuur praat in een taal
wat alle klei en vel sonder serebraliteit kan verstaan
dis die omhelsing van vuur
wat ons leer om lief te hê
dis die onrus van vuur
wat ons leer om geen vrede te ken
voortstuwende frases van vlam
suis stoom sing
nou is beeld van lyf alleen,
in haar geharde melankolie,