A Year of Firsts

Bass Like a Boss , Jazz , Music , Songwriting , Theatre

A Year of Firsts

The Caveman Calamity
The Caveman Calamity

I’m extremely grateful to have been as busy as I have been, particularly in the latter part of this year. I quit my desk job at the end of July in attempt to break free from what I experienced as a humungous deficiency in my life – doing what I love. Whether that be acting (The Caveman Calamity, Skalie Skinnerstories Tref Stoffontein, castings etc…), music (see below) or writing (as a freelancer for B’Jazz magazine).

The Caveman Calamity Comes to an End

After taking a break of just over a month and zoning in on what it is that I really want to do with my life, I saw an ad on Facebook for the industrial theatre roadshow called The Caveman Calamity which I worked with over the last 3 months. I played Cody the Caveman – it was loads of fun! It ended last week Monday and I actually quite miss it. That said, I really am enjoying the holidays – mostly doing nothing, well not quite!

DJ Hearin Aid
DJ Hearin Aid

Brightly Clothed Boy EP in Production Phase

I’ve immediately resumed working on my first solo music offering after a 2-3 month hiatus, a 7 track EP called Frame of Notions for my Brightly Clothed Boy project. I’ve composed all the music and recorded most of the vocals so far with a few more additions being added shortly by two of my favourite local rappers Jerome Rex and my cousin Earl AKA The Route. The EP also features vocals by Juju van Wyk, guitar work by my buddy Adrian Rogowski (also producing the project) and cuts by DJ Hearin’ Aid (Jerome’s DJ).

Brother & Brother and Side Projects

Adrian and I are also working on a rap-rock track inspired by Rage Against the Machine and another protest song for a competition. In addition to that, we are also going to start pre-production on the new Brother & Brother EP (hopefully it will be finished in time for our performance at RAMfest 2014). Have a listen to the title track off our debut 3 track Bombs EP which was also recorded and released this year (and which got us access to play at RAMfest):

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/106024883″ params=”color=ff6600&auto_play=false&show_artwork=true” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

If that’s not enough, I also had a rehearsal with the Cape Town Gospel Choir last night for two performances next week (one at the V&A Waterfront Ampitheatre and the other at Meadowridge Baptist Church). I’ll be joining them on bass (my first time playing bass for full orchestra and choir).

Also got two private jazz gigs this month with Keenan Stevens (former resident guitarist at my Soapbox Jazz Jam Session & Open Mic) and Gemayel Kroukamp (drummer of the CueCumber Jazz Band). One of the gigs is a New Year’s Eve party, also another first for me! Have a look at how we held it down at the Soapbox Sessions:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJWxl1PjAQo&w=640&h=360]

In addition to all that, I’m contributing vocals to an album by a Botswanian Christian rapper called Da Genirol. This is my first time recording via long distance correspondence, with the internet as my tool. At times like these I’m grateful I spent all that cash on home studio equipment.

My First !Xaru
My First !Xaru

!Xaru

This morning I was hanging around at my aunt’s house and in the backyard I saw a bunch of branches and twigs lying around (she’d recently trimmed the huge tree in her garden). I’ve had it in my mind to incorporate a lot more indigenous ideas into my music for a long time now and would love to showcase that in my festival performance at Woordfees (Word Festival) 2014 (after the show I co-produced at the same festival early this year was a roaring success). My instrument of choice: the !Xaru – an indigenous Khoisan instrument recently made popular by local world music musician Pops Mohamed and young Cape Jazz visionary Kyle Shepherd. It’s design is simple, it’s basically a string on a bent branch stuck in the inside of the player’s mouth. You then beat the taut string with a twig repeatedly to create a note. There are ways to vary the pitch, but right now the only note I’m getting out of it is a C. It took me all of half an hour to make this instrument, at retail level (same design and everything) – mostly as a tourist, you’re looking at paying between R150 and R300. Hectic! I’ve already composed my first song on it. Getting back to my roots!

2013 has really been a year of many firsts – I’m hoping 2014 brings even more!

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