September 18, 2014

ten questions – stephanus muller on nagmusiek

Filed under: literature,music,stephanus muller — ABRAXAS @ 11:00 pm

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keep reading this article here: http://www.litnet.co.za/Article/tien-vrae-stephanus-muller-oor-nagmusiek

September 12, 2014

Compositional Aesthetics and the Political: Call for Papers Deadline 29th September 2014

Filed under: music — ABRAXAS @ 9:25 am

Call for Papers / Performances
Contemporary Music Research Unit
Department of Music, Goldsmiths, University of London
20th – 22nd February 2015

The increasing growth of the field of Music and Politics has recently seen quite a few turns in Music Studies, materialized in articles, books, and journals. The natural tendency to themes such as feminism, post-colonialism, the culture industry, war, censorship, resistance, etc., have irreversibly affected thinking about music and music-making of several genres, including that of ‘contemporary classical’. However, perhaps as a reaction to traditional musicology (with its insistence on the musical work and on authorship), the study of compositional practices against contemporary political dimensions, has hitherto received less scholarly attention. In the—ostensibly distant—sixties, figures like Xenakis or Nono represented two typical examples of politicized compositional attitudes: the former’s radical abstraction was a coup against the dominance of serialism, the latter’s thematization of textuality and location constituted gestures of resistance. Their epigones still produce work that challenges traditional conceptions (including those of their progenitors); this symposium’s foremost aim is to advance such contemporary practices. One such example is the impact that (free) improvisation has had on recent composition. To the extend that improvisation is the correlative of composition (as ‘material’, listening attitude, style, etc.), this symposium aims to examine both creative practices in their political dimension—either explicit or implied. Thus, this gathering will focus primarily on practice-based research, its underlying politics, the explicit or implicit theme of the political, and how these translate into to the praxis of composition.

The following is a list of suggested themes, but these should only be taken as indicative springboards. However, please note that these will be considered against the symposium’s focus on compositional praxis.

Problematics of the musical work
Absolute music, programmatic music and claims to representation
Progress, tradition and originality
Politicising the aesthetic / aestheticising the political
Performance spaces
Composition & ecology
Crisis in politics & aesthetics
Feminism & queer theory
Situationism & psychogeography
Contemporary composition, improvisation and activism
The politics of notation

Proposals of up to 300 words are invited for 20 minute presentations with 10 minutes questions. Please also include a short biographical note of around 100 words.

In addition, proposals involving practice are encouraged. These may take the form of a 30-minute presentation split between practice, speaking and questions as desired by the proposer/performer, or pieces which could be performed as concert items. In the case of these presentations, please supply a full list of equipment needed for the presentation/performance.

Details via Golden Pages:


Please send proposals and indications of interest to either Professor Roger Redgate: r.redgate@gold.ac.uk, Dr Dimitris Exarchos: d.exarchos@gold.ac.uk, or Alistair Zaldua: a.zaldua@gold.ac.uk

Deadline for proposals: 29th of September 2014
Notifications of result: October 2014

July 22, 2014

theo herbst – sand was daar

Filed under: hearing landscape critically,music — ABRAXAS @ 12:01 pm


fourth wall launching stephanus muller’s nagmusiek

Filed under: literature,music,stephanus muller — ABRAXAS @ 10:31 am


July 18, 2014

nagmusiek – the launch

Filed under: literature,music,stephanus muller — ABRAXAS @ 10:52 am


dudu pukwana

Filed under: music,music and exile symposium — ABRAXAS @ 8:36 am

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keep reading this article here: http://african78s.wordpress.com/2014/07/17/focus-no-15-dudu-pukwana-on-78/

July 15, 2014

uit die blauw van onse hemel


July 7, 2014


Filed under: music — ABRAXAS @ 1:43 pm

June 23, 2014

emile yx – die leen (the lie)

Filed under: afrikaaps,music,politics — ABRAXAS @ 11:50 am

June 16, 2014

arnold van wyk – three improvisations on dutch folk songs

Filed under: music,stephanus muller — ABRAXAS @ 12:14 pm

June 12, 2014

shamin chibba on chris mcgregor

Filed under: music,music and exile symposium — ABRAXAS @ 1:07 pm

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keep reading this article here: http://www.mediaclubsouthafrica.com/culture/3869-mcgregor-s-music-captures-the-african-village

June 5, 2014

louis moholo-moholo and kyle shepherd @national arts festival

Filed under: music — ABRAXAS @ 4:27 pm


kyle shepherd @national arts festival

Filed under: music — ABRAXAS @ 4:07 pm


jitsfinger’s jitsenic @national arts festival

Filed under: afrikaaps,music — ABRAXAS @ 3:18 pm


louis moholo-moholo and ernst reijseger @national arts festival

Filed under: music — ABRAXAS @ 2:04 pm


garth erasmus @national arts festival

Filed under: music,unga dada — ABRAXAS @ 1:26 pm


June 4, 2014

keeping time

Filed under: music — ABRAXAS @ 9:34 am


June 1, 2014

kyle shepherd @national arts festival

Filed under: music — ABRAXAS @ 4:46 pm

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more info is here: http://stage16.aquaonline.com/Gallery/Blog.aspx

May 21, 2014

kyle shepherd live with carlo mombelli, cape town friday and saturday night

Filed under: music — ABRAXAS @ 5:03 am

Catch Kyle Shepherd with The Carlo Mombelli ‘Stories’ Quartet at UCT’s SA College of Music, Rondebosch, Cape Town on Friday, 23 May 2014 & Saturday, 24 May 2014, 20:30. The Quartet features Carlo Mombelli on bass, manipulated bass and sonic design, Mbuso Khoza on vocals, Kyle Shepherd on piano and Kesivan Naidoo on drums.0

May 14, 2014

stephanus muller – nagmusiek

Filed under: literature,music,on murder as a fine art,stephanus muller — ABRAXAS @ 1:09 pm


Nagmusiek is a startling addition to contemporary South African fiction and biography. The book is both a scholarly study of the Afrikaans composer Arnold van Wyk and a work of experimental fiction in which the author/biographer— who is and is not Stephanus Muller—highjacks his own literary undertaking. It is an extraordinary meditation on the art of biography, on South African classical music under the apartheid regime and on the complicated relationship between life and fiction. Van Wyk’s musical composition, for which this book is named, is a ‘modernist poem of loss, of pain, of flickering memory, of dignified death’. Muller sets out to explore that work and in the process creates an epic and genre-defying book.

This is an important book, a work of exceptional scholarship that will be a vital contribution to the field of Van Wyk studies in South Africa, but at the same time a ground-breaking work of experimental fiction.

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Nagmusiek is ‘n opsienbarende toevoeging tot eietydse Suid-Afrikaanse fiksie en biografieskrywing. Die boek is sowel ‘n vakkundige studie van die Afrikaanse komponis Arnold van Wyk, as ‘n werk van eksperimentele fiksie waarin die outeur/biograaf –Stephanus Muller en ook nié Stephanus Muller nie– sy eie literêre onderneming kaap. Die boek is ‘n sonderlinge meditasie oor die kuns van biografieskrywing, oor Suid-Afrikaanse klassieke musiek gedurende die apartheidsera en die komplekse verhouding tussen lewe en fiksie. Van Wyk se musikale komposisie, waaraan die boektitel ontleen is, is ‘n ‘modernistiese gedig van verlies, van pyn, van flikkerende herinneringe, van waardige dood’. In die proses om hierdie werk te verken, skep Muller ‘n epiese en genre-uitdagende boek.

Hierdie is ‘n belangrike boek, ‘n werk van uitsonderlike vakkundigheid wat ‘n kernbydrae maak tot Van Wyk studies in Suid-Afrika. Terselfdertyd verteenwoordig Nagmusiek ‘n grensverskuiwende werk van eksperimentele fiksie.

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Stephanus Muller is getoë in Graaff-Reinet en het musiek en musikologie studeer aan die universiteite van Pretoria, Suid-Afrika en Oxford. Hy gee klas in musikologie aan die Universiteit van Stellenbosch, waar hy ook die stigter en hoof is van die Dokumentasiesentrum vir Musiek (DOMUS). Hy het navorsing en essays gepubliseer oor verskeie Suid-Afrikaanse komponiste en is die mede-redakteur van A Composer in Africa: Essays on the Life and Work of Stefans Grové (2006) en Gender and Sexuality in South African Music (2005).

Stephanus Muller was raised in the Karoo and studied music and musicology at the Universities of Pretoria, South Africa and Oxford. He teaches musicology at the University of Stellenbosch, where he is also the founder and head of the Documentation Centre for Music (DOMUS). He has published research and essays on many South African composers and is the co-editor of A Composer in Africa: Essays on the Life and Work of Stefans Grové (2006) and Gender and Sexuality in South African Music (2005).

stephanus muller
fourth wall

April 25, 2014

bheki mseleku – mamelodi

Filed under: music — ABRAXAS @ 10:07 am

April 6, 2014

fresh smegma

Filed under: music — ABRAXAS @ 4:29 pm


Sea Urchin is excited to join forces with Pigface Records from Portland, Oregon! Since 1979 Pigface Records has had a dual mission: reflecting the personal, L.A. centric freak aesthetic of the improvisational group Smegma and revelling in aspects of the current and past Portland scene. After the initial burst of vinyl and cassettes (1979-86) Pigface Records was dormant for some 25 years. The label has been reinvented by founder Ju Suk Reet Meate as a cassette label to carry on its work into the future. Follow this link for more information about Pigface Records, Ju Suk Reet Meate, Smegma and others: http://smegmamusic.com/site/

Three absolutely great Pigface releases on cassette are now available from our catalogue:

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Ju Suk Reet Meate was born in 1952 to a non-musical family in Covina, California and played trumpet in the fourth grade through his high school marching band, but then stopped playing music altogether. However, shortly after moving to Pasadena in 1972 and with no further musical training, Ju Suk Reet Meate started the band Smegma, which continues to this day. He moved to Portland, in 1975 and started Pigface Records, putting out tiny quantities of 45s , EPs, LPs and cassettes, some with hand-drawn covers. He has played live gigs (mostly in Portland), several times a year ever since. Recently, he has performed collaboratively as ‘The Tenses’ with Rock and Roll Jackie (also of Smegma) and solo.
SOLO 1978 & 1979, Volume II was recorded in various locations in Portland Oregon 1978 and 1979 as ‘real time’ improvisations with no overdubs, edits, or remixing. Some final EQing and editing was done in Smegma’s Studio in January 2013. Many tracks were recorded on portable cassette decks with automatic level control. Ju Suk Reet Meate plays guitar, record player, bowed sheet metal, trumpet, vocals, gnome synth., 1880′s pump organ, bass guitar played with feet, and 1/4 inch reel-to-reel multi-head tape loops.




The improvisational ensemble ‘Smegma’ came into being in Pasadena, California on November 23, 1973. Despite having no formal art or music training, several friends decided to experiment with playing ‘real’ music. They tried a ‘band without musicians’ concept by allowing musicians only for special parts as needed. The only other rule was, “NO HIPPY MUSIC” or any other contemporary sounds. They developed their own ‘primitive suburban folk’ approach and traditions. They were aware of the LA freak scene (Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, Wild Man Fischer), but it was only a distant influence. John Cage, Harry Partch, Eric Dolphy, Sun Ra, Buckminster Fuller and many other great minds of previous generations were more influential than their peers.
The wild, improvised pieces on Wild Blue Yonders were recorded in 2011 at Smegma’s Studio in Portland and Juan’s Studio in Pasadena by Ju Suk Reet Meate. The cassette is a reissue of the 100 copy LP on Ideal (Sweden), which was released at Perspectives festival, 21 April, 2012. Smegma here is: Dennis Duck, Ace Farren Ford, Donkey Flybye, Ju Suk Reet Meate, Rock and Roll Jackie, John Wiese, Madelyn Villano, Rogue Iiniki, and William Cyrus Ford.




This cassette is a 40-year anniversary edition with original recordings by Ju Suk Reet Meate in Altadena, California on May 16 1974, except Side B, track 3, which was recorded on May 20, 1974. Final Editing and EQing was done in January 2014. On this recording Smegma is: Paul Rioux, Ace Farren Ford, Amy, Bev, Dennis Duck, Chuck-O-Fats (Donkey Flybye), Cheez-it-Ritz, Ju Suk Reet Meate, Chuck, and Cheez-Bro.


March 31, 2014

No Easy Walk to Freedom – tighthead fourie and the loose forwards

Filed under: music,politics — ABRAXAS @ 10:41 pm

March 27, 2014

recondite – cleric

Filed under: music,niklas zimmer — ABRAXAS @ 10:54 am

March 25, 2014

gozaran – time passing

Filed under: film,frank scheffer,music — ABRAXAS @ 8:50 am

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first published here: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/gozaran-time-passing-film-review-266435

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