Tribute to Madiba: Our Song

Naidoo has performed throughout the world and continues to push boundaries of his musical imagination. His latest offering, Our Song, is a solo piano and track performance, where he has transcribed some of Mandela’s most iconic speeches. The words of the speeches are “pitch-classed” and harmonised in the effort to create a musical backdrop to these important pieces.
In his only appearance at this year’s festival, Naidoo has written new compositions specially to complement his performance. “In all honesty, I don’t know of other iconic speeches having been transcribed into original music.” admits Naidoo.
“Growing up, I used to hear of this name, Nelson Mandela. My Dad was a politician, so I remember him mentioning Mandela’s name very often in conversations with my mother and friends. I think that I was already intrigued by this man who I had not even seen up to that point. I somehow knew that this was an important person. I was ten years old when Madiba was released. I remember watching the footage on TV at home. I had many questions at the time.”
“The idea started in 2006, when I did the first transcription. Up to this point, it has just been an erratic process of transcribing the speeches as often I am in love with the idea. I have always been able to hear the melody in peoples’ voices. Speech has the same construct as a piece of music, phrasing, punctuation, articulation, rhythm, and even key. I remember thinking that there’s no better person to explore this concept on, than the words of Mr Mandela,”
Our Song will be presented to an audience for the first time at the Hilton Arts Festival on Saturday, September 15 at 2pm, and thereafter Naidoo hopes to tour it nationally at other music festivals and then internationally.
“That is the plan, after all: The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. That’s my favourite quote from Mandela that encourages me to do more and try harder.”

  AUTHOR
Capital Media Reporter

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