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NEW SOUNDS ANCIENT TOOLS | MONTHATI MASEBE

New sounds / ancient tools
In this podcast series, musician and musicologist Cara Stacey interviews leading indigenous music specialists from across southern Africa about their beginnings, their praxis, and the highs and lows of working in indigenous musics.

Monthati Masebe

South African-born composer Monthati Masebe is a bold and vibrant African who embraces fluidity in countless ways. Coming from an artistic family, it came as no surprise that Monthati wanted to take the hat as the modern griot. She is a classically trained pianist and plays a variety of southern African indigenous instruments. After graduating with a BMus, Monthati decided to take the role of an archivist at one of South Africa’s biggest royalty collection society – SAMRO. She assisted in digitising the sheet music archive as well as editing and transcribing South African indigenous songs which are at risk of being lost.

 

Monthati is currently working on her masters degree in music composition focusing on the potential and power of indigenous instruments in music cognition/ therapy field. Since the coronavirus outbreak, she offered to assist the African yogi collective with hosting virtual sound bath meditations to accompany their yoga sessions. She has also joined the Masakona Matsila foundation in creating podcasts of children’s books written in African indigenous languages.

 

Monthati’s compositional work includes commissioned pieces for Japanese duo X[!]ksa and the Stockholm Saxophone Quartet. She also did two art installation pieces for the Wits Arts Museum- a musical interpretation of Norea Mabasa’s ancestral drum and a new music collaborative piece with Kathleen Tagg. Her experimental style blends with her versatile music background and personality. In 2019, Monthati completed a 48-hour film challenge that focused on the internal and external safety of black queerness in society.