Umngqokolo (2018)
for solo alto flute
Dedicated to Justinian Tamusuza
Written for Marietjie Pauw

Publisher: Bardic Edition
Available from Goodmusic Publishing
Score BDE 1230

Duration: 10'30"

Recording
Recorded by Marietjie Pauw on ‘Too Late for the Prayers’ (AOI CD 02)

Première
First performance: Sunday 27 January 2019; Hoofstraat Conceptual, Riebeek-Kasteel, South Africa; Marietjie Pauw alto flute.

Programme note
I think the flute came into its own in the 20th century, when it embarked on a new life as a solo instrument. While there had been some solo pieces in the 18th century, Debussy’s Syrinx, Varèse’s Density 21.5 and Berio’s Sequenza 1 redefined the instrument’s unique palette of colours and opened up new soundworlds for modern composers. Notable among these is Justinian Tamusuza (b. 1951, Uganda) whose Okwanjula Kw’ Endere – the first part of An African Festivity for Flute – is probably the most significant solo flute piece by an African composer. It was this piece that inspired me to write a solo work for alto flute, but whereas Tamusuza found his customary inspiration in the Kiganda traditional music of Uganda, I found mine in the bow music of the Xhosa in the Eastern Cape. Overtones, which are a feature of this music, became the essence of my piece titled Umngqokolo. ‘Umngqokolo’ is a style of gruff overtone singing researched and documented by Dave Dargie in his 1988 book Xhosa Music, the most important source of information about ‘umngqokolo’.  

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