May 2007


I haven’t been posting for a while and one of the reasons is that winter has arrived.

African winters can be cold – just like in Tunis – the winters are chilly – since there is no central heating like in Hungary – so if you are cold – all you can do is – jump up and run a few laps :). So instead of typing away and I spent some time staring into our fireplace while trying to warm up a bit.

OpenCafe fire

… which is really relaxing and if you stare long enough – you might even find that you forget all about the issues of the day … and if by any chance you have some smooth jazz on like this one called ‘African Herbs’ by SA jazz master, Abdullah Ibrahim …..

… then automatically you will be transported to a whole different world – just like you were on a holiday in the … Bahamas …. untilll…

…there is the phone again – and you are rudely taken back to the hard working side of things…

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Peet is a photographer / scientist from Potchefstroom. See some of his science animations here.

Weaver
Amazing photos – great way to get to know African wildlife.

Visit Peet’s Flickr profile for more.

PeetVS photos

This is another favourite – and looking at this blog – I seem to have an infinite number of favourite songs – and it’s even more interesting how my favourite songs change from artist to artist – from band to band – and eventually become folk songs with a million different versions and styles….(many times having originated from folk songs themselves).

Well, I stand up next to a mountain
And I chop it down with the edge of my hand.
Well, I stand up next to a mountain,
Chop it down with the edge of my hand.
Well, I pick up all the pieces and make an island,
Might even raise just a little sand.
cause Im a voodoo chile,
Lord knows Im a voodoo chile, baby.

I didnt mean to take up all your sweet time,
Ill give it right back to you one of these days.
I said I didnt mean to take up all your sweet time,
Ill give it right back one of these days.
And if I dont meet you no more in this world
Then ill, Ill meet you in the next one and dont be late, dont be late.
cause Im a voodoo chile, voodoo chile,
Lord knows Im a voodoo chile, hey hey hey.
Im a voodoo chile, baby. (lyrics from here)

It was Eostar still back at university that introduced me to Jimmy Hendrix’s music. We spent our time listening to all sorts of music ( Bob Marley, Jimmy Hendrix, Ali Farka Toure and everything in between ) instead of preparing for tests or writing assignments. Hm – I am still planning to graduate one day 🙂 It seems like neither of us stopped listening or playing and we are still listening to the ‘old music’ of those days back in the student hostel.

Here is the story about the recording of Voodoo Chile :

This session, typical of many in this period, sprang from a jam at the Scene club earlier in the night. When the club closed, Jimi’s full entourage moved to the Record Plant. “Jimi invited everyone back to the studio,” recalled Jefferson Air­plane bassist Jack Casady. “There were at least twenty people, and most of them didn’t belong there.” At around 7:30 a.m ., the for­mal recording for the day started with a line­up of Jimi on guitar, Mitch Mitchell on drums, Traffic’s Steve Winwood on organ and Casady on bass. The song took only three takes, though they were lengthy: The released version would clock at fifteen min­utes, the longest official Hendrix studio cut. ( click to read on… )

Angelique Kidjo has her own version of Voodoo Chile.

In February of 2003, she performed a cover of Jimi Hendrix‘s “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” at the famed Radio City Music Hall in New York City alongside Chicago blues guitar legend Buddy Guy and New York rock guitarist Vernon Reid (of Living Colour) in what would become part of Martin Scorsese‘s “Lightning In A Bottle: One Night In The History Of The Blues”, a documentary about blues music that features live concert footage of other rock, rap and blue greats. (from the Wikipedia)

Alex to Randburg by taxiSince at the moment I have very little time to travel around South Africa – I try to learn a lot from the photos and videos I find on the NET.

I have found a series of photos in Lebogang’s Flickr collection about a journey I’d like to take myself – from Alex to Randburg by taxi.

About Alexandra from the Wikipedia:

Alexandra (sometimes nicknamed “Alex”) is a township located in Gauteng province, South Africa. It is situated on the outskirts of Johannesburg, close to the wealthy suburb of Sandton and is bounded by Wynberg on the west, Marlboro and Kelvin on the north, and Kew, Lombardy West and Lombardy East on the south. In contrast, Alexandra is one of the poorest urban areas in the country.

Alexandra is situated on the banks of the Jukskei River. The township covers an area of more than 8 km² and has an estimated population of 470,000 people. In addition to its original, reasonably well-built houses, it also has a large number (estimated at more than 20,000) of informal dwellings or “shacks”.

Randburg – from the Wikipedia:

Randburg is a large town in Gauteng, South Africa. Once a separate municipality, its municipal government has since become a part of the City of Johannesburg.

Randburg’s resident demographic tends to be more affluent than most Johannesburg dwellers. Randburg is well known for its plethora of shopping centres and entertainment areas, including the Brightwater Commons, Cresta Centre, NorthGate, Sanlam Shopping Centre and various others.

Randburg contains more than 32 suburbs, most of them residential. These include Darrenwood, Linden, Cresta, Aldara Park, Olivedale and others.

Click here to take the journey.

Kerkorrel and friends brought more than a political message to the stage. They also brought incredible licks and rock beats that got the crowd dancing and laughing (read more). Liela

Kerkorrel DVD

Today we bought a Kerkorrel DVD – “‘n Jaar Later” – (buy it at Kalahari.net) – it is an evening at the State Theater with performers like Valiant Swart, Amanda Strydom, Karen Zoid, Stef Bos – singing Kerkorrel songs. Though I am not really fluent in Afrikaans I can tell that he is an outstanding performer and I hope I will have the time to find out more about his work.

I have heard ‘Halala Afrika‘ many times – I hope soon there will be a video I can put here – once you hear this song you will never forget it :

Halala Afrika, Johannes Kerkorrel (1961-2002).

Toe die wĂŞreld hier nog jong was en die horison wyd en oop
Was dit groen hier in die halfrond, suid van die ewenaar
En in die skemer as die son sak en die beeste huis toe loop
Klink die roepstem van die vrouwe oor die heuvels van die land:
Halala, ewig is ons Afrika.
Tula tula mtanami, tula tula sanaboni, tula tula mtanami,
Ubab uzobuya sihlale naye, ubab uzobuya sihlale sonke, Hmmm-Hmmm

Toe kom die skepe uit die weste, wit seile oor die see
Om te vra vir koos en water en te bly vir so veel meer.
En die land wat een tyd oop was, die land het ons verruil
Vir die ghetto’s van die stede is ons koperdraad gegee.
Halala, ewig is ons Afrika
Halala, sasiphila, kamnandi, halala, mayibuye Afrika
Tula tula mtanami, tula tula sanaboni, tula tula mtanami,
Ubab uzobuya sihlale naye, ubab uzobuya sihlale sonke, Hmmm-Hmmm

Daar was rykdom in die maag van ons moeder Afrika
Diamante en ook steenkool, goud, edel metaal
En die mense word die slawe hier want die mense word betaal
Om te tonnel in die aarde elke greintjie uit te haal
En die groot en oop grasvlaktes span dit toe met doringdraad
En van die olifant tot die gemsbok al die diere moes kom buig
Voor die mag van die grootwildjagter voor die mag van sy groot geweer
Totdat net die stilte oorbly, totdat net die stilte heers.

Halala, ewig is ons Afrika.
Halala, sasiphila, kamnandi, halala, mayibuye Afrika
Sasidjapolutjoloythina
Halala, sasiphila, kamnandi, halala, mayibuye Afrika

(Lyrics from here)

Since it’s weekend – I have a bit more time to spend exploring – Kanute says Herbie Hancock is a myth – so I looked around to find some videos.

When it comes to jazz artists there is so much to discover – since every time they play something – it is something new – each piece changes with every performance depending on the selection of instruments, the mood or even the time of day.

The Wikipedia on Herbie Hancock :

Herbert Jeffrey Hancock (born April 12, 1940) is an Academy Award and multiple Grammy Award-winning jazz pianist and composer from Chicago, Illinois, U.S. Hancock is one of jazz music’s most important and influential pianists and composers. He embraced elements of rock, funk, and soul while adopting freer stylistic elements from jazz.

As part of Miles Davis‘s “second great quintet”, Hancock helped redefine the role of a jazz rhythm section, and was one of the primary architects of the “post-bop” sound. Later, he was one of the first jazz musicians to embrace synthesizers and funk. Yet for all his restless experimentalism, Hancock’s music is often melodic and accessible; he has had many songs “cross over” and achieve success among pop audiences.

Hancock’s best-known solo works include “Cantaloupe Island“, “Watermelon Man” (later performed by dozens of musicians, including bandleader Mongo Santamaria), “Maiden Voyage“, “Chameleon“, and the single “Rockit.”

Here is ‘Maiden Voyage’ :

Here is a the Mc Ferrin song that most of us know (lyrics from here) – I thought since it’s weekend – time to relax and take it easy ( though it sounds ‘easy’ actually you do have to be really good to make it sound like this ):

Don’t Worry, Be Happy
From the Movie “Cocktails”
Performed by Bobby McFerrin

Here is a little song I wrote
You might want to sing it note for note
Don’t worry be happy
In every life we have some trouble
When you worry you make it double
Don’t worry, be happy……

Ain’t got no place to lay your head
Somebody came and took your bed
Don’t worry, be happy
The land lord say your rent is late
He may have to litigate
Don’t worry, be happy
Lood at me I am happy
Don’t worry, be happy
Here I give you my phone number
When you worry call me
I make you happy
Don’t worry, be happy
Ain’t got no cash, ain’t got no style
Ain’t got not girl to make you smile
But don’t worry be happy
Cause when you worry
Your face will frown
And that will bring everybody down
So don’t worry, be happy (now)…..

There is this little song I wrote
I hope you learn it note for note
Like good little children
Don’t worry, be happy
Listen to what I say
In your life expect some trouble
But when you worry
You make it double
Don’t worry, be happy……
Don’t worry don’t do it, be happy
Put a smile on your face
Don’t bring everybody down like this
Don’t worry, it will soon past
Whatever it is
Don’t worry, be happy

Other songs:

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