Dr. Thokozani Mhlambi Project: African Song Cycle
Dr. Thokozani Mhlambi Project: African Song Cycle
A sonic journey through improvisation into African traditions of music performance, exploring Zulu traditional music.
Thokozani Ndumiso Mhlambi, (1984-), known professionally as Dr. Thokozani Mhlambi, is a South African composer, cellist and cultural thinker. In his music he explores the iconic cultural legacy of the region, the likes of Busi Mhlongo, Princess Magogo, Mazisi Kunene– creatively through new music, combining African and classical elements. He is often seen talking with his audiences while on stage, teaching on African innovative and dramatic forms, while gripping them in mesmeric music textures, of song and declamatory vocal lines.
Image by Zwelibanzi Dube
Dr. Thokozani Mhlambi with the NOW Ensemble
Dr. Thokozani Mhlambi - Composer, Baroque Cello
Joshua Zubot - Violin
Lucy Strauss - Viola
Feven Kidane - Trumpet
Lisa Cay Miller - Nord and Piano
Clyde Reed - bass
Jesus Caballero - drums
- June 8 6-7pm Free Improvisation Workshop at 8EAST with Dr. Thokozani Mhlambi
- June 9 9pm Public talk with Dr. Thokozani Mhlambi
- June 10 8 and 9pm Performance with the NOW Ensemble at 8EAST
- June 11 3pm Performance with the NOW Ensemble at Oppenheimer Park - a co-production with the Carnegie Centre
Dr. Thokozani Mhlambi, (1984-), known professionally as Dr Thokozani Mhlambi, is a South African composer, cellist and cultural thinker.
In his music he explores the iconic cultural legacy of the region, the likes of Busi Mhlongo, Princess Magogo, Mazisi Kunene– creatively through new music, combining African and classical elements. He is often seen talking with his audiences while on stage, teaching on African innovative and dramatic forms, while gripping them in mesmeric music textures, of song and declamatory vocal lines.
Mhlambi’s compositions are simple and yet musically incisive; they show a deep engagement with the archive (the rich history of southern Africa) whilst wrestling with contemporary forms; they convey the rigours of Western classical discipline, with the imaginative limitlessness of African performance traditions.
In 2016 his composition "Uyambona lo Mfana,” was performed by the Delta Ensemble of Modern Music in Brazil. He is a winner of the African Studies Prize. In 2016 he was also commissioned by New Music SA to compose an electronic piece which was performed at the Unyazi Electronic Music Festival in Cape Town. Mhlambi was also one of the featured artists in the World Summit on Arts & Culture. His piece “Ukuxhentsa kwa Miriam: Inspired by the life of Miriam Makeba” was proudly published by the Miriam Makeba Foundation on their online platforms. "Ukuxhentsa" was originally commissioned by the Izithunguthu Precolonial Conference 2015.
In 2017, Mhlambi composed a Tone Poem, Isililo esamboza Umhlaba, based on the life of Shaka, the great Zulu king; which was premiered in Durban at the KZN Concert Series. In 2018, he launched a campaign on African Intellectuals as composers of music, drawing on the inspiration of Enoch Sontonga, Tiyo Soga and James & John Johnson (United States), in cooperation with Luthuli Museum, Marianhill Monastery and the US Consulate. The campaign was selected as the Creative Design of the Week by City Press. He is currently working on a solo compilation of songs, titled ‘Zulu Song Cycle.’ The compilation has been performed at the Playhouse in Durban, and the album is under peer-review.
He has been a guest lecturer in Music at the University of Marinhao (Brazil), University of Jyvaskyla (Finland), where he showcased indigenous music traditions of South Africa. He has published on numerous music related topics including kwaito, house music, loudspeaker broadcasting. His paper on kwaito, “Kwaitofabulous” remains one of the most cited papers on popular music in South Africa. He is also involved in a number of music-related BRICS initiatives, including the AfroAsia (whose aim is to expand knowledge on music exchanges that took place between Africa and India from the 13th century), as well as the Sonologia: Sound Studies initiative at the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil. In 2017, he was invited to present in China on African Kings. He has performed and given workshops in New York, Vancouver and Montreal (Canada), Windhoek (Namibia), Maputo (Mozambique), Gabarone (Botswana), Bulawayo (Zimbabwe). He is the NRF Postdoctoral Fellow in Innovation, at the Archive & Public Culture Research Initiative at the University of Cape Town.
COVID Safety guidelines:
Please do not come to this event if:
• You have experienced any signs of being unwell in the last 5 days;
• You have been in contact with anyone suspected of having or who has COVID-19 in the last 5 days.
8EAST ventilation: open windows and doors, three air purifiers, updated HVAC system with UV lights. Mask wearing is recommend inside 8EAST and in the Chinese Cultural Centre washrooms. Masks and Hand Sanitizer will be available. Restrooms will be available to the public.
The 8EAST social space for new culture is a project of the NOW Society, located on the Territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm, Skwxwú7mesh and səlil̓wətaʔɬ Peoples, in Chinatown in Vancouver.
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GETTING THERE AND PARKING: 8EAST is located within 50 meters of buses 004, 007, 019, 022, 209, and N19 on Pender Street. Stops for buses 003, 008, 014, 016, 020, N8, N20, and N35 are located within 250 metres on Hastings Street. Stadium–Chinatown SkyTrain Station is approximately 400 metres away.
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Covered bike parking, with electronic key card access is available at the Main Street - Science World Skytrain Station, open during all hours of Skytrain operations. The station has 90 parking spaces. The cost to use the parkades is $1 per day, with a maximum monthly charge of $8. Please refer to TransLink's Bike Parkade program for more information. From the Main Street - Science World Station, one can take the #3 bus to Pender street, then walk West down Pender to 8EAST (c. 5 mins) or one can ride one skytrain stop to Stadium - Chinatown and walk Northwest to 8EAST (c. 5 mins). Walking to 8EAST from the Science World Skytrain Station would take approximately 15 minutes.