Monday, May 5, 2014

Tswana Men and Their Flutes

"Tswana men dancing and playing their pipes"
12" x 15", oil on board, 2014
Godumaduma Gwa Mosadi is a wonderful piece of flute dance music recorded by the great Hugh Tracey ca. 1948 in Botswana. It is one of the all time favorite recordings of music excavator Jonathan Ward. I found it on Ward's Excavated Shellac site as part of an all flute year-end-mix. The source photograph for the painting comes from the African Music Transcription Library and could have well been taken by Tracey himself, who also wrote a note for the recording: "The simple flute ensemble dances of a simple people. To the tune of these pipes the men dance slowly round in a circle." At the recording there were 16 pipers, of which only four made it into my back yard. I don't know if Modiseng, the leader of the group is included in the photo from the Transcription Library (or in my painting).

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