The Artistry of Bheki Mseleku is an in-depth study of his musical style and includes annotated transcriptions and analysis of a selection of compositions and improvisations from his most acclaimed albums including ‘Celebration’, ‘Timelessness’, ‘Star Seeding’, ‘Beauty Of Sunrise’ and ‘Home at Last’. Mseleku recorded with several American jazz greats including Ravi Coltrane, Joe Henderson, Pharoah Sanders, Charlie Haden, Billy Higgins and Abbey Lincoln. His music serves as a vital link to the African–American musical art form that inspired many of the South African jazz legends.
"Cape Town’s public cultures can only be fully appreciated through recognition of its deep and diverse soundscape. We have to listen to what has made and makes a city. The ear is an integral part of the ‘research tools’ one needs to get a sense of any city. We have to listen to the sounds that made and make the expansive ‘mother city’. Various of its constituent parts sound different from each other … [T]here is the sound of the singing men and their choirs (“teams” they are called) in preparation for the longstanding annual Malay choral competitions. The lyrics from the various repertoires they perform are hardly ever written down. […] There are texts of the hallowed ‘Dutch songs’ but these do not circulate easily and widely. Researchers dream of finding lyrics from decades ago, not to mention a few generations ago – back to the early 19th century. This work by Denis Constant Martin and Armelle Gaulier provides us with a very useful selection of these songs. More than that, it is a critical sociological reflection of the place of these songs and their performers in the context that have given rise to them and sustains their relevance. It is a necessary work and is a very important scholarly intervention about a rather neglected aspect of the history and present production of music in the city."
— Shamil Jeppie, Associate Professor in the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Cape Town
In Sounding the Cape, Denis-Constant Martin recomposes and examines through the theoretical prism of creolisation the history of music in Cape Town, deploying analytical tools borrowed from the most recent studies of identity configurations. He demonstrates that musical creation in the Mother City, and in South Africa, has always been nurtured by contacts, exchanges and innovations made possible by exchanges, whatever the efforts made by racist powers to separate and divide people according to their origin.
This collection brings together many African voices expressing their ideas and conceptions of musical practice and arts education in Africa. With essays from established scholars in the field as well as young researchers and educators, and topics ranging from philosophical arguments and ethno-musicology to practical class-room ideas, this book will stimulate academic discourse. At the same time, practical ideas and information will assist teachers and students in Africa and elsewhere, bringing fresh musical perspectives on instrument playing, singing, children’s literature and play.