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The Insurrections Ensemble started from a series of questions: Can you create
music that finds a home on both sides of the Indian Ocean, beyond the cliché of
‘fusion’? Are Indian forms compatible with their African Counterparts? Can song
and the spoken word in a variety of languages make sense? Is there a soundscape
lodged in the tonalities of string instruments that can find a new resonance? In
particular, what excited the artists was the relationship between word, voice,
expression and sound around shared social and political concerns in India and
South Africa. They responded to the disquiet and rebellion in the air as nature
fought back at humanity’s betrayal, particularly amongst those who work with
nature and its angers - the miners, the farmers, the women out there in the fields
and crags. When the lines came, the poems flowed. They asked: Could the poems
become songs? Any good musician can improvise around a given scale and
without difficulty provide hours on end of guitar, sarod or string-related solos.
Could such spontaneity be disciplined into composition and song?



Brydon Bolton

Sazi Dlamini

Sumangala Damodaran

Pritam Ghoshal

Ahsan Ali

Jurgen Brauninger (RIP)

Tina Schouw

Reza Khota

Ari Sitas

Ensemble Poets:

Sabitha Satchi

Vivek Narayanan

Special Guests & Associates:

Neo Muyanga, Insurrections I - composition, guitar, vocals

Claude Cozens, Insurrections I - percussion

Paki Peleole, Mayihlome/Aahwaan The Gathering, The Storming - percussion

Michael Nixon, The Storming - veena

Ncebakazi Mnukwana, The Storming - bows and vocals

Ze Maria, Mayihlome/Aahwaan The Gathering - percussion, winds, saxophone

Mbali Vilakazi, Mayihlome/Aahwaan The Gathering, The Storming - poetry and vocals

Malika Ndlovu, Insurrections I, Mayihlome/Aahwaan The Gathering, The Storming - poems, vocals

Madan Gopal Singh, Transgressions - poetry

Pitika Ntuli, Insurrections I - poetry

Lungiswa Plaatjies, Threads of Sorrow - lyrics, vocals, mbira 

Tlale Makhene, Threads of Sorrow - percussion, vocals

Kathyayini Dash, Transgressions - composition, vocals, soundscapes

Nomakrestu Xakathugaga, Transgressions - vocals, bow

Garth Erasmus, Transgressions - composition, indigenous bows and winds

Karen Press, Threads of Sorrow, Transgressions - poetry

Mandi Poefficient Vundla, Threads of Sorrow, Transgressions - poetry

Curated By:

South African History Online (SAHO)

Re-Centring AfroAsia: Musical and Human Migrations in the Pre-Colonial Period 700-1500AD Project at the University of Cape Town, University of the Western Cape, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits City Institute) and

Ambedkar University Delhi.



Want to learn more about Insurrections Ensemble, their music, and their upcoming performances? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Ensemble Manager, Ms. Tinashe Kushata.

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