I am in Africa for the first time. Pro Helvetia, Swiss Arts Coucil, provides a residency in southern Africa. For the first two weeks I play the saxophone in the band for the multimedia show 3 colours. The piece has been commissioned for the opening of the 4th World Summit on Arts and Culture in Johannesburg. Brett Bailey is the director, Mapumba Cilombo the musical director – he turns out to be the best band leader I have ever worked with. The saxophone is quite a strange ingredience in the traditional african music that builds the acoustic surroundings for the piece.
3 colours reveals the usual difficulties of theatre. The music has to be adapted for the choreographies, the piece looses its tempo. And more problematic: there is a realistic raping scene that stays the only scene where the public (so called cultural specialists from all over the world) laughs.
The refrain goes like this: If you show unbroken violence on stage the piece of art turns into a piece of violence.
Nevertheless, it was a splendid experience to share stage and time with excellent musicians from all over Africa. Some days after the show I travel to Maputo where the 2nd part of the residency will take place. Read on here.