Thursday, February 14, 2008

African Art Music for Flute: The Music of Ndodana, Nketia, Onovwerosuoke, Tamusuza and Uzoigwe

African Art Music for Flute: The Music of Ndodana, Nketia, Onovwerosuoke, Tamusuza and Uzoigwe was recorded by Wendy Hymes, flutes; and Darryl Hollister, piano (59:04). The CD is AMP Records AGCD 2081 (2008). The release date for stores is Feb. 27, 2008; the CD is also available from at this web page.

The same page contains biographies of the performers, and liner notes by Dr. Wendy Hymes. Fred Onovwerosuoke's works on the CD are Just Before Dawn; Iroro and Ayevwiomo. Bongani Ndodana composed Visions Part I and Visions Part II. J.H. Kwabena Nketia is represented by his Republic Suite, in seven movements. The contributions of Joshua Uzoigwe are Ilulu; Ogbe Nkwa and A Sketch for Flute, all from Oja Flute Suite. Justinian Tamusuza wrote Okwanjula Kw Endere. The idea for the CD came from the doctoral dissertation of Wendy Hymes at Louisiana State University, African Art Music for Flute: Selected Works by African Composers. Darryl Hollister received his Master's in Music from the New England Conservatory of Music.

The liner notes by Dr. Wendy Hymes say of Fred Onovwerosuoke: “Born in Ghana to Nigerian parents, he has traveled to more than thirty African countries doing field work in African traditional musics, played violin, piano, organ, guitar and became an experienced choir and instrumental ensemble conductor.” “Through a desire to foster a better understanding of Africa through music and other art forms he founded the St. Louis African Chorus in 1994, an organization that has become a rallying platform for many African composers who until recently were unknown.”

Bongani Ndodana-Breen is described in these words: “Born in 1975 in Queenstown South Africa, Ndodana studied music at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa and composition with Roelof Temmingh at the Conservatory in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Ndodona-Breen has composed operas, oratorios, symphonies, chamber music and choral works.” We are further told that Ndodana-Breen has been Artistic Director of Toronto's Ensemble Noir since 2000.

Dr. Hymes writes that J.H. Kwabena Nketia was born in Mampong, Ghana in 1921. She continues: “Ghanaian composer and musicologist J.H. Kwabena Nketia is world-renowned for his many scholarly writings including his landmark book, Music of Africa in 1974, and has held teaching positions in Universities around the world including the United States, Australia, and China as well as in Ghana.” “He returned to the University of Ghana, Legon to teach, where he now is the Director of the International Centre for African Music and Dance.”

“Joshua Uzoigwe studied music in Nigeria while at the King’s College High School, the International School and the University of Nsukka, then abroad at the Guildhall School of Music in London, and then the University of Belfast, where he studied ethnomusicology under John Blaking, receiving an MA (1978) and PhD (1981).” “His 1998 book Ukom: A Study of African Musical Craftsmanship shows Igbo traditional music’s great influence on his compositions.”

“Justinian Tamusuza was born in 1951 in Kibisi Uganda. Early on he studied Kigandan traditional music: singing, playing drums and tube-fiddle, endingidi. He studied music with the Reverend Anthony Okelo and with Kevin Volans at Queens University in Belfast, Ireland, and received his doctorate in composition from Northwestern University in Illinois, studying with Alan Stout.” “Tamusuza has been a representative on many juries and taught at Northwestern University and Makere University in Uganda. His first string quartet, Mu Kkubo Ery’Omusaalaba, was featured by the Kronos Quartet on their CD Pieces of Africa, and many commissions have since followed."

African+Flute" rel="tag">African Flute
Fred+Onovwerosuoke" rel="tag">Fred Onovwerosuoke
Bongani+Ndodana" rel="tag">Bongani Ndodana
Kwabena+Nketia" rel="tag">Kwabena Nketia
Joshua+Uzoigwe" rel="tag">Joshua Uzoigwe
Justinian+Tamusuza" rel="tag">Justinian Tamusuza

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