The Call: Live From Africa (2008)

Patricia Ann Repar

Fixed Media

 

Program Notes:

Based on field recordings from Uganda and South Africa

Erupting; evoking provoking; enveloping, enlivening, enraging; exploding like fireworks and popcorn, anywhere and anytime, songs, and songs and more songs, all recorded in Africa:

  • in the Kazinga Channel on the west side of Uganda bordering Congo home to 612 species of birds and their songs
  • in a small tin-roofed shack in one of the all-black townships where fifty children escape sexual abuse through song
  • in the chapel at Mosvold Provincial Hospital rockin’ and rollin’ away, songs for a dead woman, along with 2.4 million other South Africans who’ve died of AIDS; 
  • in the District Six Museum in Johannesburg where Manisha is embroidering the names and stories of those who suffered under apartheid, singing her own song of truth and reconciliation
  • in a living room in Kampala Uganda, a surgeon and health educator, their friends and four year old son burst out in song, with harmonica and spontaneous harmonies, proclaiming “I have seen music bring healing to this nation”;
  • in a song and soup kitchen started by a single mother, mourning the passing of her baby sister—-one in every six South Africans infected with HIV;
  • in one of the small thatched huts beside the isibhayi where cows and ancestors dwell, on the road to Mozambique young women singing in beautiful four part harmony, dancing, Zulu clicking and stepping, yearning and hoping the hot afternoon away;
  • in the opening ceremonies of a medical conference the nurses are singing “chosen by God, we have been chosen to be nurses” and traditional singing, dancing, and cacophony ensue making it the most non-traditional opening of an academic conference ever;
  • in the operating room at Bethesda Provincial hospital in Mkuze, patient and nurse are singing together tracking the flow of anesthetic in the spinal canal; they know if she stops singing she has stopped breathing; 

 

And I know, that when any of us stop singing, when any of us refuse to answer the call — we too stop breathing.

 

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