Wondergigs: Music for the Sake of Music

Music is pure joy and purpose and it is sustainable. In collaboration with SABC staff members, the Wondergigs rolled out January 17 2001 to Nov 17 2002. Many musicians recorded over 250 live, in front of a live audience and together with a live on air broadcast. We marked a period of time with pure effort and love.

Laurence Mitchell, SABC WC (Western Cape) CEO, had a vision to celebrate Cape Town music. Laurence was at that time at the pinnacle of his career of thirty years with the SABC. Laurence had served in the Eastern Cape before relocating to the Western Cape.
SABC Western Cape has the Beach Rd studios, flash, swank, 50's style sound recording gear with a 250 seater auditorium with direct links to several radio stations. The concept to full this venue was live recordings. Music collaborations would actively seek the sound of Cape Town bringing in artists such as Mac MacKenzie, Robbie Jansen, Alex Van Heerden and Khoi Khoilektif. Our concept was: “Music for the sake of music.”

The wondergigs was about a new precedent and together with SABC we brokered a new form of contract whereby the artists received ownership of their work and the SABC in collaboration with afribeat received third party rights. Artists receiving ownership of their work became a draw card to attract the best in music and gave the best back to music. The music could have a free road to join the internet revolution of release on demand if the artists chose it. The wondergigs cast of about 150 musicians reached out to a very wide audience with the live recordings, radio broadcasts and newspaper coverage.

Star performances were recorded: Ernestine Deane sung some of her compositions and 'Amazing Grace,' solo. Kesevan Naidoo performed his composition ‘Eclipse' with Tribe. Jimmy Dludlu created ‘The Shape of Strings to Come,' with his teacher Alvin Dyers and Richard Caeser. Robbie Jansen featured two pianists Hotep Galeta to play ‘Cape After Midnight,' and other classic jazz numbers and Hilton Schilder to play ‘Slow Slow,' and other goema numbers. Alex Van Heerden and Derek Grippe created a duo composition project with Brydon Bolton called ‘Sagtevlei.' The Khoi Khoinextion evolved into a Khoilektif and birthed the Goema Princess V Monica B and Mac MacKenzie with Hilton Schilder and Alex Van Heerden created the Goema Captains of Cape Town. The Cape Town musicians and community gave their all to this project.

"Music for the sake of music."

The Performances

Performers and performamces Wondergigs 2001 - 2002 AD : Thank you to Wondergigs cast, from afribeat, Iain Harris, from SABC, Laurence, Estelle, Bianca, Madoda, Reynaud, and from Redshift Jacques BLK SONSHINE : Neo Muyanga Masauko Chipembere Jimmy Dludlu Masauko and Neo, the dynamic Blk Sonshine duo, had just moved down from Joburg and stepped right into some serious Cape Town demand. They had been on Felicia's talk show, all over the radio and on the day of the show the Cape Times ran a cover feature. About an hour before the show was scheduled to start a crowd had gathered outside the Beach Rd. Studios. It was an evening where some beautiful music was made. Jimmy Dludlu was special guest. It was so beautiful that all thoughts of commercial exploitation were forgotten. It was about the moment, you can't bottle that and sell it. And then it was discovered that the tapes had broken. The recordings were lost but for back up onto DAT. This concert preceded the break up of Blk Sonshine. The solo songs, Ascension by Masauko and Nalate by Neo are preserved in this archive. TRIBE : Buddy Wells Mark Fransman Charles Lazaar Kesevan Naidoo Derek Gripper & Alex Van Heerden featuring Brydon Bolton Kerryn Bailey Fiona Greyer Alex Van Heerden and Derek Gripper released their duo composition project live recording session under the title Sagteveli. The preparations for this session included a month of isolated rehearsals in Tulbagh. GOLLIWOG : Rob Nel Kesevan Naidoo Lee Thomson Farrell Adams Leyton Smith Nick le Roux Gorm Espen Helfjord Daniel 3 GUITARS : Jimmy Dludlu Richard Caesar Alvin Dyers Denver Furness Tony Paco Frank Paco John Hassan Lucas Khumalo Eddie Jooste Alistair Andrews Andrew Ford Ivan Bell Andre Peterson Jimmy Dludlu, Alvin Dyers and Richard Caeser put together a collaboration called ‘The Shape of Strings to come.' The newspaper likened this three guitars collaboration to the three tenors! They played cover versions and the show rolled on. ROBBIE JANSEN & THE SONS OF TABLE MOUNTAIN : Robbie Jansen Hotep Galeta Hilton Schilder Allou April Alex Van Heerden Spencer Mbadu Tony Paco Robbie Jansen produced a powerful evening of music. I like the way he jokingly quipped after the show, 'was that what you wanted!' Yes, indeed. THE ERNESTINE DEANE QUARTET : Ernestine Deane Brydon Bolton Wayne Scholts Ricardo Moretti MIKANIC : Mike Rennie Nick Turner Sylvia Mdunyelwa Ernestine Deane Mike Hardy Lee Thomson Jamie Cloete Schalk Joubert Riaan van Rensburg Mikanic released their live recording session on an album, Swimming with the Women and the Goema Captains went onto an international release. MOODPHASE 5IVE : Ernestine Deane D-Form Ricardo Moretti Brian de Goede Doglas Armstrong EJ von Lyric Burnie Shane MAC MCKENZIE AND THE GOEMA CAPTAINS OF CAPE TOWN Mac Mckenzie, Hilton Schilder, Abubakar Davids, Abdullah Davids Riedwaan Astrud Braaf Alex Van Heerden Liz Brouckaert Kurt Diederichs DJ Hamma The wondergigs was built on the philosophy of ‘immaculate expansion' whereby a star was to become a cluster and then to become a universe. Whereby a spark of inspiration was to ignite an entire scene and pick it up from the bootlaces. Those stars were Mac Mackenzie and the Goema Captains of Cape Town featuring Hilton Schilder and Alex Van Heerden. THE KHOI KHOILEKTIF : Jethro Louw Robbie Rudolf Loit Sols V Monica B Lesley Javan DJ Hamma Songs of the Broken String collaboration featuring the Khoi Khoillectiv moved amongst the most memorable expressions of just being. When the ghetto poet, Jethro sang his freedom song, Loit Sols couldn't help but pick up the clavas and v Monica b couldn't resist singing behind him. It was urban and it was rural, it was a collaboration of the folk tradition that is the Western Cape. SKY 189 PRESENTS : Emile YX? Ray Skillz Thee Angelo Rob Nel Michael Horn Michael Bester David Poole Carla Diamonde The Slowboat Assassin SOS Daniel Multinational Institution Fungus The Mutated Lung Self Frank Talk Nike Jimmy Grinnith Ray Skillz Caramel Animal Chin Judah Bionic Biscuit Mr Pitt Scalywag Brian de Goede Brydon Bolton Wayne Scholts Mizchif Captain my Captive Devious

The Wondergigs Ideology

It was our goal to see the story of Cape Town music united in its culture and heritage and to see the many wonderful colors that make up its diverse population; in a jazz kind of way, whereby music picks up the fragmented pieces of diversity in gathering and creates an urban language from it. The intention was change! Laurence had a vision to celebrate Cape Town music. Laurence was at that time at the pinnacle of his career of thirty years with the SABC. Laurence had served in the Eastern Cape before relocating to the Western Cape. SABC Western Cape has the Beach Rd studios, flash, swank, 50's style sound recording gear with a 250 seater auditorium with direct links to several radio stations.

Together with the SABC we brokered a new form of contract whereby the artists received ownership of their work and the SABC in collaboration with afribeat received third party writes on which the artists received fixed royalties. This was a business revolution. The music could have a free road to join the internet revolution of release on demand if the artists so chose. Artists receive ownership on their work was a draw card to attract the best in music.

We were therefore given an open mandate to create music. It felt as if there was an alignment of stars. Laurence knew about music and illustrated a truly Cape Town yearning to hear a truly Cape Town sound. The idea was collaborative Cape music searching for a unique Cape sound.

In 2002 we recorded live concerts at the SABC for thirteen consecutive weeks. These recording tok us firmly in the direction of defining the sound of Cape Town in that year. There were capacity auditoriums, classic live broadcasts, high quality of musicianship and a general atmosphere of joy and harmony. This is evident on the recordings.

The wondergigs collected musicians across the city and region, bringing them into studio for inspired recording sessions. These sessions were largely collaborative. We marked a period of time with pure effort and love.

With thanks to the Wondergigs, Laurence, Estelle, Bianca, Madoda, Reynaud , Jacques, family Harris and a beautiful family of friends featuring: BLK SONSHINE : Neo Muyanga Masauko Chipembere Jimmy Dludlu TRIBE : Buddy Wells Mark Fransman Charles Lazaar Kesevan Naidoo Derek Gripper & Alex Van Heerden featuring Brydon Bolton Kerryn Bailey Fiona Greyer GOLLIWOG : Rob Nel Kesevan Naidoo Lee Thomson Farrell Adams Leyton Smith Nick le Roux Gorm Espen Helfjord Daniel 3 GUITARS : Jimmy Dludlu Richard Caesar Alvin Dyers Denver Furness Tony Paco Frank Paco John Hassan Lucas Khumalo Eddie Jooste Alistair Andrews Andrew Ford Ivan Bell Andre Peterson ROBBIE JANSEN & THE SONS OF TABLE MOUNTAIN : Robbie Jansen Hotep Galeta Hilton Schilder Allou April Alex Van Heerden Spencer Mbadu Tony Paco THE ERNESTINE DEANE QUARTET : Ernestine Deane Brydon Bolton Wayne Scholts Ricardo Moretti MIKANIC : Mike Rennie Nick Turner Sylvia Mdunyelwa Ernestine Deane Mike Hardy Lee Thomson Jamie Cloete Schalk Joubert Riaan van Rensburg MOODPHASE 5IVE : Ernestine Deane D-Form Ricardo Moretti Brian de Goede Doglas Armstrong EJ von Lyric Burnie Shane MAC MCKENZIE AND THE GOEMA CAPTAINS OF CAPE TOWN Mac Mckenzie, Hilton Schilder, Abubakar Davids, Abdullah Davids Riedwaan Astrud Braaf Alex Van Heerden Liz Brouckaert Kurt Diederichs DJ Hamma THE KHOI KHOILEKTIV : Jethro Louw Robbie Rudolf Loit Sols V Monica B Lesley Javan DJ Hamma SKY 189 PRESENTS : Emile YX? Ray Skillz Thee Angelo Rob Nel Michael Horn Michael Bester David Poole Carla Diamonde The Slowboat Assassin SOS Daniel Multinational Institution Fungus The Mutated Lung Self Frank Talk Nike Jimmy Grinnith Ray Skillz Caramel Animal Chin Judah Bionic Biscuit Mr Pitt Scalywag Brian de Goede Brydon Bolton Wayne Scholts Mizchif Captain my Captive Devious

These recordings presented a number of albums including: A Moment in Cape Town by Various Artists from of Cape Town: 17/11/2002 “ A moment in Cape Town” compilation disk was launched with the generous funding of the Dutch council. It made everyone smile. The album couldn't be printed fast enough to meet the demand.

Mikanic, Swimming with the women Nick Turner and Mike Rennie teamed up to create a gorgeous live session that featured many great contributions and collaborations

Alex Van Heerden and Derek Gripper Sagtevlei: Alex Van Heerden concept album expressing the rural sound of the Cape with a string orchestra featuring Derek Gripper and Brydon Bolton.

Goema Captains of Cape Town Healing destination: A poitjie van die Kaap created out of collaboration.

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