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Sounds of Cape Town: Extraordinary Expeditions for the Traveling Musician

Sounds of Cape Town: Day 2

SOUTH AFRICA | Monday, 22 October 2012 | Views [294]

Quite early, the sun peeped through the blinds to remind us that we had lots to do for the day! After breakfast, Olof and I took a minibus taxi to the V&A Waterfront to catch and interview some street artists performing there.

As we arrived at the entrance of the V&A, there was a marimba band ready to greet the camera with melodic tunes and rhythms! While they were taking a break, I asked them some questions regarding their instruments and songs. My favourite part of the interview was when Sipho (the ‘lead vocalist’) introduced me to his soprano marimba, saying “Her name is ‘Ilitha Ilanga’...” which means ‘Sunbeam’ in Xhosa! A perfect name for such a cheerful instrument! They quickly jumped back into their second set and it was really interesting to see them rotate between the different marimbas and drums with ease - and passion!

We then took a short walk along the harbour before we discovered some suave looking gentlemen, all dressed in red collar shirts, setting up their instruments outside. There was a bass-guitar, amp and all, connected somehow to somewhere with a lead running through the wooden deck (...probably plugged in at some nearby restaurant)! They formed a cosy ensemble called ‘Mr. Peterson and the Boys’ consisting of: Mr. Peterson himself jangling his banjo; a bad-to-the-bone, beat-maker bass player with a pair of shades concealing an eye patch; a fellow with a 50cent G-unit cap on, curling around his accordion (whom by the way is a splitting image of famous guitar-player John Lee Hooker); and of course, a savvy saxophonist jamming out some familiar jazzy melodies. Together, these cats proved to be a swinging sensation! They were also very eager and friendly interviewees!

Afterwards we found an interesting African ‘can-guitar’ and drum stall inside the Waterfront’s indoor market...which inevitably ended in a jam session...

We then took a minibus taxi to the CBD (central business district) and it wasn’t difficult to find more street artists. There was a large group of young girls singing and dancing. All of them were wearing ankle chains with cut-out aluminium can tops attached to them – making a distinct sound as they were stomping and moving.

At Green market square (with even more stalls selling drums, beads, art etc) we had some freshly baked calamari, beer-battered fish and of course ‘slap-tjips’ (sloppy potato fries).

After also feeding our internet addiction, we scouted for some unknown bars, hidden spots and live music venues. Before we knew it, the sun started to sit low, so we took a taxi back home.

We had some wine and watched through the videos we had taken to that point. It was rewarding to see our story come together, but it was also good to see where we could improve our camera and presenting work. We discussed what we needed to film the next day, had a shot of vodka and hit the sack.

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