King George V Avenue
Berea, KZN
South Africa

The Bow Music Conference at the University of KwaZulu-Natal on 24 - 27 February 2016 is put together in consultation with southern African and international bow music researchers. Participation will include academics from a wide spectrum of indigenous musical arts, practitioners and cultural bearers of diverse bow music traditions in sub-Saharan and abroad.


Filtering by Category: Wednesday 24 February

Jason Finkelman

Steve Jones

Jason Finkelman's art focuses on improvised music, cross-cultural collaborative projects, and composition for dance. A Philadelphia-born percussionist specializing in the berimbau, Finkelman performs on African and Brazilian instruments and laptop electronics and founded the ambient, avant world trio Straylight. Collaborative work with choreographer Cynthia Oliver includes BOOM! (2012-15), Rigidigidim de Bamba de: Ruptured Calypso (2009-10) and “Bessie” award winning performances SHEMAD (2000) and Death’s Door (1996). As Director of Global Arts Performance Initiatives at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Finkelman curates music for several University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign programs including the Robert E. Brown Center for World Music.

Tiago de Oliveira Pinto & Mariano Gonzales

Steve Jones

Tiago de Oliveira Pinto is head of the “Transcultural Music Studies” Chair at the Department of Musicology, University of Music Franz Liszt Weimar, Germany, and Professor of Post-Graduate Studies in Social Anthropology of the University of São Paulo, Brazil.

Mariano Gonzalez is a post-graduate student at the Department of Musicology, University of Music Franz Liszt, Weimar, Germany.

Dave Dargie

Steve Jones

Although musical bows are sadly a disappearing species, nevertheless examples of them are still in use in the great majority of people/language groups in Southern Africa. The bows are deceptively simple instruments, and easily undervalued by outside observers, but nevertheless they have played important roles among the peoples who use them. They have had a powerful influence on the musical techniques of those people – uses of scale, harmony and rhythm.  The songs sung with bows are important carriers of traditional heritage. These songs tell of the lives and culture of the peoples, now and in the past, in many ways. They may also carry important insights into the history of the peoples. It is most comforting that steps are being taken to preserve the heritage of Southern African musical bows, at different educational institutions including at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal. The address will illustrate the various points mentioned with examples from different population/language groups in the region.