For the ensemble’s fifth incarnation, it was still a defiant one. It is still possible to have an international of the imagination. It is a serious joy to be afforded the opportunity to co-compose with each other and now stand in front of an audience and perform. We did so in mourning though: we have lost a key pillar of the Ensemble, the new music composer and electronic guru, Jurgen Brauninger.
We dedicate, the Requiem: uMoya to his brilliant craft. We have lost young women to gender-based violence, young women whom we have known: we dedicate, Outrage to them; we lost more than one, two, three, one hundred and forty seven of the vulnerable people we should have been caring for: we dedicate Esidimeni to them; we lost young workers, men and women working in the new satanic mills that produce our X-phones who committed suicide: we dedicate the Screw in the Night for them. We mourn love lost, too. But we also celebrate the power of art to temper death and mourning. We dedicate to you: the goddess Kali and the Sarangi player where her ferocity is tempered by the beauty in art.
We are also in a spiritual turmoil. The fragility of life in these neo-fascist and fundamentalist times has led to serious reflection about the misuse of tradition - we dare revive, non-fundamentalist takes on tradition through our version of the legacy of Kabir in S.E. Asia and beyond; invocations to the cosmos and a hope of transcendence which is at once spiritual and material. We still believe that the “other” is not exterminable, exploitable or excludable.