Sunday, August 27, 2006


CODA & Dizu Plaatjies - a new collaboration

Last Thursday Peak provided the musical entertainment at the five star Arabella Sheraton Hotel, in Cape Town, for the release of the annual report by the TCTA - a state-owned liability management entity responsible for bulk raw water infrastructure development.

The theme of the event's entertainment had to encompass Rejuventaion, Revival, Renaissance & Transformation, and it wasn't difficult for us to come up with the perfect musical show-piece to capture all these elements.

A show with strings - from a single stringed mouthbow, to the modern and sexy shapes of electric violin and cello - the old collaborating with the new.

Although we had hoped to make use of the expertise of world-renowned mouthbow player Madosini, she was delayed in the Transkei, we were very grateful when master musician Dizu Plaatjies, formerly of Amampondo and now leader of the newly formed Ubuyambo, was able to fill in at the last minute. He was joining Cape Town's hottest electric strings ensemble, CODA, and with only an hour of rehearsal, the group could already feel excitement at this introduction.

In South Africa we are so fortunate to have the modern living side-by-side with the traditional, allowing for so many opportunities to be creative and forward thinking, while still holding onto the importance of the past.

Dizu started the performance alone on stage, quietly starting on his Uhadi (Xhosa mouthbow) playing traditional sounds from Transkei. He was then joined on stage by CODA's Yolanda Yawa, adding
vocals, Rayelle Goodman on Electric violin, Carol Thorns on electric cello and finally DJ Nick Mathews. And that's when the party got going!

Although the clients had requested the music to allow for networking and discussion, by the time all the artists were on stage everyone was tapping their feet, and bouncing to the beat. Old white guys were grinning, middle aged mamma's kicked off their shoes and boogied in front of the stage - and the client was the happiest of the lot! Its not often that the annual report of a company ends with such joy and dance!

As I have mentioned before, we are proud to have introduced the members of CODA to each other last year, and the result was CODA's first performance at the Jacques Kallis Benefit function
on 06 September 2005! Now, after this performance with Dizu, there is already talk about recording with him in the next two weeks, as he adds another exciting dimension to the groups sound!

So the event was hugely successful, the group even played an encore, and Peak is happy to have brought some great musicians together to make Proudly South African music!

I was present during the rehearsal, and the show later, and was able to capture a little of the creativity as it happened. Here are some small snippets of these artists getting to know each other...

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