The Bow Project - Nightingale String Quartet / Nofinishi Dywili
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cd cover Nightingale String Quartet / Nofinishi Dywili
The Bow Project (Tutl)
cdRoots Code: tutl-044

In a world full of 'unique projects' this one stands out. These two CDs contain the traditional music of - and modern compositions based on - the bow playing and singing of Xhosa musician Nofinishi Dywili from South African, who accompanied herself on an instrument called the uhadi. One CD contains the Nightingale performances of these works, the other is field recordings of Nofinishi Dywili and members of her village, playing the bow and singing the songs.


Listen to these pairs:
Nofinishi Dywili "UTsiki"

Nightingale String Quartet "Jiwe"


Nofinishi Dywili "Nguwe"

Nightingale String Quartet "String Quartet No. 4"

More info:
Hailed as one of the most important musical heritage projects created in South Africa, The Bow Project was launched in 2002 by composer Michael Blake as a project of NewMusicSA’s annual New Music Indaba at the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown. South African composers were invited to response to the uhadi songs of the legendary performer from Ngqoko Village near Lady Frere, Nofinishi Dywili. It is to the memory of Nofinishi that the project and this recording are dedicated.

Over a period of 7 years, many composers contributed their string quartet paraphrases to the Bow Project, and a substantial selection of these is included on this new CD release. The young dynamic Nightingale String Quartet from Denmark play the quartets on this, their debut CD, and the master herself, Nofinishi Dywili, performs the original uhadi songs which inspired the composers. Grahamstown-based sound engineer Corinne Cooper has remastered the original field recordings of Dave Dargie to create stunning digitized versions.

In 2009 the Bow Project made its debut in the remote Faroe Islands (north of Scotland). Several local composers contributed paraphrases and that set the scene for the South African national tour in 2009 and the present recording, which is released on the Faroe Islands label Tutl (FKT 044).

Composers Michael Blake, Mokale Koapeng, Paul Hanmer, Robert Fokkens, Lloyd Prince, Sazi Dlamini, Jürgen Bräuninger, Kristian Blak, Matteo Fargion, Atli Petersen, Martin Scherzinger, Julia Raynham and Theo Herbst are represented in a wide range of styles; and Aryan Kaganof concludes the second CD with a remix of Blake’s quartet.

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