Welcome to the home of Afro No-Clash

The Long Story

This is a fuller version the events that led to the making of this album (under construction)

Afro No-Clash (the long story)

In 1994, just after Nelson mandela was elected a president, I went to South Africa. I spent much of the first year there adjusting to the complexity of the culture in this new country, and gradually getting closer to the music and musicians. I travelled around quite a lot, from Grahamstown where my home was, to Durban to teach at the University of Natal, to Namibia and Capetown and Johannesburg.

One of the people I met in Grahamstown was Andrew Tracey, a well known and published ethnomusicologist, who was the director of the International Library of African Music (ILAM), which is a part of Rhodes University. Access to the extraordinary resources of ILAM opened a doorway for me to hear an incredible variety of African music from archival recordings. Andrew also maintained the largest collection of African musical instruments in the Southern Hemisphere and this meant I got to play some of them.

It was a tough year, living in a new country, only knowing a few people, and I remember felling pretty low around June because I felt I wasn't making musical connections with many people. Then the Grahamstown Festival happened. I have noticed that when things aren't going well, a festival can be just the thing. I loved it. It is veryt bloody cold in Grahamstown in mid-winter, but the crowds brave the icy wind to attend hundreds of great performances. It was at some of these gigs that I met some excellent musicians and these contacts shaped the send half of my year.

....I'll fill the intervening years in later...

1998- Having accepted a contract offered by ABC Radio National in Australia, I returned to finish recording for my radio documentary series When The West Met The South; The Music of South African History. It was a very busy time. I was working part-time as a lecturer in music at Rhodes, part-time as training co-ordinator for the Development Media Association, an NGO dedicated to developing community media in regional South Africa, and part-time on recording the music, soundscapes and dramatisations for the documentary. In January 1999 I returned to Australia and wen tot Sydney to work with Sharon Davis, the ABC producer in Sydney to put it all together. The six-part series was broadcast in April and May of that year.

After the broadcast I returned to South Africa and took up a full-time teaching position in music at Rhodes and worked again with some great musicians, composers and musicologists, including Geoffrey Tracey, Chris Cockburn, Tim Radloff, Nishlyn Ramana and Rick Van Hearden. I set foot back in Australia again, just shortly before the Big New Years and enjoyed the dawn of millenium up atthe Woodford Folk Festival.

The story of this album formally starts at the beginning of 2002 when I accepted a scholarship to do a PhD in music. I always said that the most important thing in a PhD was the supervisor, but contrary to my well-made plan, I enrolled in the PhD before I even had one. As it turned out though, my leap of faith was a good move, because a few weeks later Sydney composer and academic Richard Vella joined the department as an adjunct professor. I could not have had a better supervisor. Richard had an exceptional knowledge of music theory and composition as well as a wealth of experience as a freelance composer, especially in film and theatre. On top of that he was such an involved and diligent supervisor, and we hit it off. I had such a stimulating time engaging with Richard in philosophy and music theory and learned so much form him about composition and creative practice.

More to come....


Contact me:

Email: rhythm1@jimrhythm.com

Phone: 0400 524 214