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Two traditional African projects in distribution.

In the last quarter we have made two interesting African projects available on all digital platforms for the respective producers.

The first is the debut album, titled Songs of Greetings, Healing and Heritage, by Mantombi Matotiyana. A novel occurrence is the fact that this is her solo recording debut, for a lady of over eighty years of age. She has recorded before on the albums of Dizu Plaatjies and his group Amampondo, as well as performed with them, but not as a solo performer. The album was produced by Prof. Mike Blake in conjunction with the Stellenbosch University Music Dept. on the AOI Edition label.

Matotiyana with her Umrhube. (c) Aryan Kaganof 2018

Mantombi Matotiyana is a master bow player having learned the uhadi (sometimes known as the long woman's bow), the umrhube (the mouth bow of her tribe, the Xhosa people) and the isitolotolo (the jaw's or jews mouth harp), from her forbears. She also learned the traditional songs associated with the many different cultural events where such musicians play. This is the repertoire associated with weddings, funerals, circumcision, births and other community occasions. Today she is a living lexicon of this heritage.

She is expected to perform in London with Plaatjies in May as part of the Shabaka Hitchings curated program.

(c) Thokozani Mhlambi 2018
The other recent African release is that of Thokozani Mhlambi titled, Zulu Song Cycle. Thokozani is a cellist who takes his inspiration from traditional African music, and specifically the Zulu cultural tradition. On the recordings, which are self produced, he also uses traditional bows and voices to colour his album. 

The release, of 15 tracks in all has  his own compositions in addition to the historic repertoire. There are also short interludes from classical music between some of the tracks. The album is issued as a joint logo offering with Mountain Records.  

He is currently in Paris where he has a stay as an artist in residence at the Citi International Des Arts. 

Mhlambi is a PhD graduate with post doctoral experience at UCT and other institutions. Here is a link- http://www.apc.uct.ac.za/apc/researchers/thokozani-mhlambi

Links to music - 







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