Farewell Gemengde Oorsprong, Hello Barakat!

Gemengde Oorsprong: Hemel in Aardse Kruike

Performing Hemelwyn (Heavenly Wine)

Performing Hemelwyn (Heavenly Wine)

Saturday night was my first show under my own name at Woordfees (Word Festival) and it was awesome! We’d been working on Gemengde Oorsprong: Hemel in Aardse Kruike (Mixed Heritage: Heaven in Earthen Vessels) since the end of last year and I’m happy to say that it went ahead as planned and actually surpassed our expectations. Not only did we have a full house with up to 60 people (plus/minus), we also had a standing ovation and an encore – which really added the cherry to the top of my cake. Everyone we spoke to afterward said that the show was unbelievably awesome and that it moved them emotionally in some or other way. Falcky, co-owner of the theatre said that it was by far one of the best shows he has ever seen – and that means a lot to me, since he literally grew up in theatre with his mom Christine being a theatre practitioner and owner of Aan de Braak Theatre. In addition, there was a woman from the Fleur du Cap awards in the audience and she told me that she loved the show and thoroughly enjoyed it. On the whole, it was great to share this first experience with all our friends and family.

Gemengde Soundcheck

Gemengde Soundcheck

Raynie and I managed to recite all of our lines without much error and the show flowed extremely well. During two instances I had to hold back the tears as I saw Raynie doing his thing fearlessly while the enormity of the moment lodged that huge frog in my throat. It felt good to see something that we worked on for so long come to fruition in just the way we wanted it to, making a profound impact on the audience and leaving them with some form of hope.

Hopefully we’ll be able to do this show again soon as well as God willing, do a recording that we can use to promote the project. Although, that ‘soon’ may not be too soon though – as Raynie landed a new job and will be going away on training for 9 months at the end of March. Yikes! This will give the show some time to simmer and give us more time to explore more ideas. However, I’m going to miss Raynie very much – I mean, just watching the footage from the show last night got me all emotional and stuff. This journey that we were on and put so much effort into is just over…so I hope we get to do it again really soon and at some other venues too!

Keenan Stevens

Keenan Stevens

I’d really like to say thank you to Sam, who directed us and gave her expert opinion, co-wrote most of the items, helped with translation, put up with all of my crap and did her utmost with marketing. I also want to thank Keenan Stevens (guitar), who spent a few nights sleeping over at my place after rehearsals in addition to doing some killer solos. David Dos Santos also did a stellar job on the drumkit and kept the groove going most solidly!

From an admin perspective I need to thank Christine and Johan ‘Falcky’ for all their effort and support in setting up the Aan de Braak Festival at Woordfees and allowing us the opportunity to perform at their great venue.

Thanks also to Johan de Jager who did the sound and helped rig up. To my best buddy Adrian Rogowski, for giving his objective opinion on the mix; helping to ‘produce’ the sound, recording great video footage of the show as well as lending a whole bunch of his time on Saturday during prep. Nuschka Smit needs to be thanked for her translation of my piece Ode to Jazz/The One They Call Jazz into Afrikaans as well. Lastly, Roger Williams needs to be thanked for the awesome and eye-catching promo material he did for the show which included the poster design and illustration, and the flash animated video.

If you didn’t get a chance to come out to the show, please watch the video below (courtesy of Adrian Rogowski) of an item called Skerp Tonge/Ja, Baas (Sharp Tongues/Yes, Master) which was an amalgamation of two ideas that Raynie, Sam and I wrote seperately.


Barakat Poster, illustation & design by Clyde Goodman

Adrian Different

Adrian Different

This Sunday 10 March at 4pm however, is Adrian Different (Diff)‘s Barakat at the Boeketent (Book Tent); also at Woordfees. The word “Barakat” is an Arabic word which means “Blessings” and the food that Islamic people bless others with during their religious celebrations is often referred to as Barakat.

Within the context of this show though, Barakat means “Food for Thought” and Diff will be doing spoken word as a form of thought food.

In addition, the rapper/poet Rhimestein will also be performing some of his material. I’ll be playing bass alongside another great poet Pieter Odendaal on keys, Donovan Smith beatboxing and Vuyo Mgijima doing percussion. The poster design and illustration above was done by graffiti artist Clyde Goodman – I really dig how he made us all look like members of the electronic group Gorillaz.

Let me know if I should book you a spot for the show. The doors will be open at 4pm and the door cover is only R20! Barakat, jou lekka ding!



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