More info about my music is at the dedicated website www.TRANSFORMATES.com
This week I would like to share with you some uplifting experiences which have reconfirmed my faith in humanity. Let’s start with the girls jumping from the rocks near Cape Towns unofficial nudist beach (Sandy Bay).
These days we are constantly hearing that young people spend too much time either playing with their cellphones, watching TV and generally finding new ways to avoid physical activity and play a full roll in supporting the obesity epidemic. Old folks are often heard saying “when I was younger we used to get out more often and……….”.
Well last weekend I saw some young people having some ‘old fashioned’ fun – and I was impressed.
As I was enjoying breakfast on my balcony in Llandudno, Cape Town, I was surprised to hear screaming coming from the direction of the ocean. Thinking there might be some kind of emergency I quickly jumped up and reached for my phone. However on closer inspection I realised the screaming was coming from a group of girls who were standing on the rocks in front of my apartment – there was no emergency they we just having a good time.
The four girls were taking it in turns to jump off the largest of the rocks into the ocean. As you will see from the photos below these are pretty big rocks. Regular visitors to my blog will know that these same rocks are also quite popular with the local whale community (see my earlier article here). Waiting on a surfboard in the sea was a teenage boy whose ‘duty’ appeared to be to collect each girl after she had reached the water (which is pretty cold here) and help her back to the other side of the rock. The girl would then swim back to the rock, join her friends at the jump-off point and encourage the next girl to jump.
As each girl jumped the other three let out a very large scream which is what had attracted my attention in the first place. After all the girls had jumped it was the time for the boy to also have a go. Who said the youth of today are all couch potatoes? If you want to see some fit Cape Town girls just get yourself over to Llandudno (actually Sunset Rocks is the precise name of rocks they were jumping off).
Moving on now to those Digital Choirboys…
Regular readers and fans of the TRANSFORMATES 變 Music Project will know that I am currently producing a series of interpretations of classical music from the Baroque period. In these interpretations I have used contemporary instruments to try and create a novel sound using music that is generally over 300 years old. If you are interested to hear some of my earlier productions in this series please visit the baroque page on the TRANSFORMATES 變 website using the link here.
The most recent work I have produced in this series was originally written by Gregorio Allegri around 1630. The uplifting piece was called Miserere Mei Deus (“Have Mercy on me, Oh God”) and is performed in the Sistine Chapel in the Apostolic Palace (the official residence of the Pope) at Easter. In the past anyone found transcribing the music would be punished with ex-communication – that was until a rather brave (or naughty?) boy called Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart decided to challenge the system (and show off his genius – I have explained the story in the video and will add more detail in a forthcoming blog article on the TRANSFORMATES 變 website).
So where do the digital choir boys come in? Well the original piece was written in Latin (it is actually taken from Psalm 51) but I have tried to be a bit more inclusive (and my digital choirboys struggled with their Latin). So in the new version you can all sing along because all you need to be able to do is hum – provided your humming is in tune of course. I have also re-written about 25% of the music – replacing the monophonic tenor chanting sections in the original with some three-part harmony based sections of my own. I have called my version ‘Lord Have Mercy with Acid Bass’ to allude to the fact that I have also included one contemporary instrument which is rarely seen in the Sistine Chapel (an ‘Acid House Bass‘). I hope you like the result. Here is the video:
and this weeks final uplift?
Since most things come in threes I would like to share with you my third uplifting experience of the last week. I am just about to depart from my current stint in South Africa to return to the Northern Hemisphere and welcome in the Spring from my other vantage points next to the Alps and the Surrey countryside. One of the (many) things I will miss here in Africa are the sunsets. February/March are the best times for me to take photos of the ocean sunsets from my Llandudno balcony because there is a palm tree which stands directly in-front of the setting sun at the other times when I am here.
Therefore I would like to leave you with some sunset pics that I took in the last couple of days. Hopefully these will keep me going until I return.
Enjoy the weekend ahead and let’s hope those uplifting experiences keep coming.
Now prepare for an uplifting experience!