Nightingale String Quartet / Nofinishi Dywili: The Bow Project

TUTL - FKT044 - Double compact disc - 2010
Nightingale String Quartet  violins, viola, cello
Sazi Dlamini  ugubhu, percussion, vocals
Nofinishi Dywili  voice, uhadi
Nightingale String Quartet: The Bow Project

Various composers.
Includes Michael Blake's:

The Bow Project is available at:

CD Launch: Speech given by Stephanus Muller /sites/default/files/bow_project_cd_launch.pdf

Hailed as one of the most important musical heritage projects created in South Africa, The Bow Project was launched in 2002 by composer Michael Blake as a project of NewMusicSA’s annual New Music Indaba at the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown. South African composers were invited to response to the uhadi songs of the legendary performer from Ngqoko Village near Lady Frere, Nofinishi Dywili. It is to the memory of Nofinishi that the project and this recording are dedicated.

Over a period of 7 years, many composers contributed their string quartet paraphrases to the Bow Project, and a substantial selection of these is included on this new CD release. The young dynamic Nightingale String Quartet from Denmark play the quartets on this, their debut CD, and the master herself, Nofinishi Dywili, performs the original uhadi songs which inspired the composers. Grahamstown-based sound engineer Corinne Cooper has remastered the original field recordings of Dave Dargie to create stunning digitized versions.

In 2009 the Bow Project made its debut in the remote Faroe Islands (north of Scotland). Several local composers contributed paraphrases and that set the scene for the South African national tour in 2009 and the present recording, which is released on the Faroe Islands label Tutl (FKT 044).

Composers Michael Blake, Mokale Koapeng, Paul Hanmer, Robert Fokkens, Lloyd Prince, Sazi Dlamini, Jürgen Bräuninger, Kristian Blak, Matteo Fargion, Atli Petersen, Martin Scherzinger, Julia Raynham and Theo Herbst are represented in a wide range of styles; and Aryan Kaganof concludes the second CD with a remix of Blake’s quartet.

The handsomely produced and packaged double CD is sponsored by Distell Foundation for the Performing Arts, National Arts Council of South Africa, Landspening hjá KODA and Mentanargrunnur Landsins.


It addresses music’s capacity to bridge the chasms that seem to separate modern and traditional, spiritual and secular, or Western and African/Asian cultural spaces.
Nishlyn Ramanna, Sunday Tribune, Durban, August 2009
…focusing on the performance externals of Xhosa women’s song and bow music, the project treats the tunes as intricate compositions, and unleashes the imagination of other composers to create variations on their internals: structure, harmonics and rhythms.
Gwen Ansell, Business Day, Johannesburg, July 2009