About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

27 April 2015

Pops Mohamed and The Millenium Experience

Towards the end of the performance, Pops Mohamed talked about how unique South Africa was in the ability to produce the type of music that was performed last night. It wasn't hyperbole - Pops Mohamed has managed to take fusion of cultures and music to a whole new level - combining classical Indian music (featuring tabla and sitar performed by Ashish Joshi and Poorwi Bhana respectively); traditional African instruments (predominantly the kora but also many others, including a San bow, thumb piano and various whistles performed by Pops Mohamed) and Western instruments (saxophones and flute performed by Sipho 'Hotstix' Mabuse).

And the music produced was equally diverse. There were new compositions that seamlessly weaved in the various instruments; to re-arrangements of classics - an Indian classical raga (led by Poorwi Bhana), Mabuse's breakout 70's hit Burnout, and the Beatles' Norweigan Wood (although that does feature the sitar in the original version). 

If I were to choose amongst the amazing pieces, the two standouts for me was the new composition "African Dreams" and a traditional San piece "Honey song". African dreams combined all the genres seamlessly, with Pops Mohamed and Sipho Mabuse starting an impromptu duel on the saxophone and kora respectively; followed by the rest of the band thereafter. It was spontaneous, lively, fun and an amzing showcase of instrumental prowess. The San piece had story on the collection of honey in the desert; and featured Pops Mohamed playing music with a bow pressed in his mouth. It's difficult to describe - but it was an amazing showcase of a very tribal form of music; but one that was not just beating of drums.

It was a mind-blowing performance, of new music - music that no one really had heard before; and everyone wanting more. There are no recordings (yet) - and I hope there is much more (in terms of both public performances and recordings) to come. And The Orbit once again delivered an amazing musical experience.

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