Shishani unravels sounds of the Kalahari

By Melba Kaure

WINDHOEK – Namibian musician, Shishani recently hosted a concert titled the ‘Kalahari Encounters’ at the Warehouse theatre.

The showpiece was unique as it was done with the help four performers from Ju’/hoansi San community from //Xao /Oba together with her group ‘Namibian Tales’.

In an exclusive interview this week, Shishani spoke to The Southern Times about the concert and other endeavours.

“It’s been quite a special experience for all of us. The aim of this collaboration has been to showcase the beauty of the rich repertoire of songs and plays of this community.

“We decided to focus on these songs, since we see how fast so much cultural knowledge from local communities is fading away within Namibia and worldwide.”

“That’s why we approached these women to collaborate together to find new ways of presenting this music,” said Shishani.

The Ju’/hoansi singers are – Seg// ae N!ani , Baqu Kha//an, //Ao N!ani and N!ae Komtsa.

The ‘Namibian Tales’ consist of: Bence Huszar (cello), Debby Korfmacher (kora, mbira, vocals), Afron Nyambali (bass), Sjahin During (percussion set) and Shishani.

The dynamic musician known for her earthy sounds and beautifully arranged acoustic guitar sounds also elaborated on an album based on the Kalahari Encounters concert which will be released soon.

“This upcoming album is completely different from my other work, because it’s based on songs from the Ju’/hoansi ladies we have collaborated with.”

“We created music around their songs into a unique blend of sounds and influences, so it’s something new to all of us.”

“I’m actually quite excited about what we’ve been able to achieve with the whole team. We recorded the concerts at the Warehouse and are now starting the process to create a live album from these shows which will be released end of this year,” she said. The ‘Short Term Vision’ songstress will be taking the Namibian Tales to China in October on her first trip to Asia.

“There’s a great curiosity and enthusiasm around this project, as the world is opening up its ears to hear more sounds from Namibia. I’ve met many people that travelled

to Namibia and were happy to finally see an artist from Namibia in concert in their countries,” Shishani said.

Later in December, Shishani will “travel to Tsumkwe again to record music of various San communities in the area, which then will be brought out as a separate CD (with only traditional songs as there are still found) as a way of documenting these unique songs that still live in this area of the world”.

“We hope to present these shows in other parts of Namibia and the world, gearing towards a summer tour in Europe 2018 together with the four ladies,” she concluded.

July 2017
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