ACCLAIMED musicians Rupert Guenther and Valanga Khoza are reuniting for the first time in 30 years to showcase cooperation and friendship between nations.
Their concert Songs of the Future combines western and African music in an evocative journey of sounds, stories and influences, from European classical music to jazz, folk and blues.
Guenther is a Perth-based international concert violinist and composer, and Khoza is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist born in South Africa.
Amidst a background of global terrorism, fake news and political chaos, the theme of their concert is global friendship through music.
Guenther and Khoza comfort their audience by telling them “they do have a choice” and can exercise humanity on a number of different levels.
Khoza’s early life during South Africa’s apartheid was a struggle and he couldn’t afford an instrument, so he improvised by wrapping an inner tube around a tree.
“He didn’t have a classroom, let alone sufficient bathroom facilities,” Guenther explains.
Eventually Khoza immigrated to Australia and carved out a new life for himself in Melbourne.
The two musicians met 30 years ago at Melbourne’s iconic Port Fairy Folk Festival, and formed a quartet playing traditional African music.
But they hadn’t collaborated in decades and made an emotional reunion for Songs of the Future.
The concert will feature traditional African instruments including the kalimba, an ornamental thumb piano, and the jaw harp, believed to be one of the oldest instruments in the world.
Guenther is based in Perth and Khoza in Melbourne, so ironically they relied on Skype to discuss how they would incorporate primitive sounds into their show.
Songs of the Future is at the Fremantle Fibonacci Centre on August 17.
For tickets go to http://www.facebook.com/events/230586107771522/
by WADE ZAGLAS