Metropolar
Poetry & Spoken Word / Centenary Hall

Metropolar stands as a collaborative multimedia endeavor conceptualized by poet Modise Sekgothe, guitarist/visual artist Jotam Schoeman, and producer/sound designer James Robb. Operating under the collective name IIIFoet (DrieFoet), the trio symbolizes cross-cultural unity and collaboration within South Africa's diverse landscape.

The work delves into the fundamental polarities converging to shape this almost surreal world, guiding us through an immersive journey within this treasured yet treacherous landscape. The original soundscape by Robb and melodic exploration by Schoeman, are foregrounded by Sekgothe’s poetic narration. The verse-narrative poem, presented in seven parts, interweaves with the music to create an organic composition employing haunting vocal chants, guitar loops, and acoustic/synth drum patterns that punctuate the poetic poly-rhythms.

In a live setting, the performance backdrop is crafted from animation derived from sketches featured in Schoeman's successful exhibition "Bedoelende Stad Studies: Johannesburg 01." The amalgamation of poetry, music, and film transports the audience to the city's streets, taxis, and provides a glimpse into Johannesburg's perilous nightlife.

The project is in fact inspired by Schoeman's earlier exhibition, "Johannesburg 01,". Through an illustrated documentary, he explored the city, documenting its defining moments and monuments as he observed them. The progress of his sketches, captured photographically, was compiled into a stop-motion animation film.

Sekgothe utilized this as a foundation to narrate the city's contrasting lives and the subtle resurgence of history. Subsequently, Robb conducted a sonic-world-building experiment, documenting real-life spaces and reconstructing reality through sound.

Production Credits

Writer: Modise Sekgothe

Vocals: Modise Sekgothe and Jotam Schoeman

Guitar: Jotam Schoeman

Animator: Jotam Schoeman

Editor: Jotam Schoeman

Sound Designer: James Frank Robb

Special Thanks: Writers On Main

 

 

About the Artists

Modise Sekgothe:

Modise Sekgothe is a writer and performer who explores the fusion of poetry with music, theater, and visual arts. His practice thrives pushing the boundaries of poetic expression through collaboration. His thematic focus delves into the spiritual and existential aspects of life, contemplating love and its intertwining with loss.

A highlight of his portfolio is the acclaimed project "Meera Me," an award-winning multimedia project that merges documentary and live performance, delving into the complexities of romantic love and intimate relationships through music and spoken word poetry. These projects are further echoed in the audio realm through the DiPOKO tsa DIPOKO EP, Meera Me album and the recently released solo album: The Wilderness .

Modise's literary accomplishments extend to publications in Botsotso Publishers' performance poetry anthology "Home Is Where The Mic Is" and the recently released "Race, Revolution and Rapture: Voices Raised For Rights," published by UKZN Press. 

 

Jotam Schoeman:

Jotam is an audio-visual artist and musician currently residing in Cape Town. He graduated in 2016 with an Honours degree in Film Art. His art is richly inspired by his travels to the Netherlands and influenced by living and connecting with the art communities of Johannesburg and Cape Town. His content contains a local rawness: portraits and sounds depicting harsh city-life, street scenes, the city’s architectural heritage as well as its derelict buildings, markets and the city’s primary character sketches. 

His passion and current mission lies in combining the drawn-moving image with music and live performance. His budding production company (Bedoelende Kommunikatiewe Produksies) is geared towards the experimentation of collaborating with local and international creatives, furthering his inventory of technique and style, and ‘taking the show on the road.’

In his music endeavours, he is known as Tambo Tzolwan, here he crafts a sonic tapestry with live compositions featuring electronic drums, a loop station, guitar, and his voice. To him, music is a conduit for remembering rhythms as it invites listeners into their own soulful experiences. Born in the world's oldest mountains, his sound blends genres and draws from nature. His work reflects a fusion of ancient influences and contemporary innovation. As a contributor to the avant-garde sounds of IIIFoet, Tambo's authenticity shines through, aspiring to mirror genuine expression in his work.

 

James Frank Robb:

Born in the vibrant cultural landscape of South Africa, James Frank Robb AKA Umlungu Deluxe has always been drawn to the intersection of music and cinema. Now based in the dynamic city of London, he has established himself as a versatile and sought-after location sound recordist, sound designer, and music producer. 

For Robb, recording is more than a technical process; it's a form of meditation. Drawing inspiration from the raw beauty of nature and the diverse expressions of art, he infuses his work with a unique blend of organic elements and avant-garde creativity. Whether capturing the ambient sounds of a bustling urban landscape or sculpting intricate soundscapes in the studio, he brings a profound connection to the natural world and a commitment to authenticity in his sonic endeavours. 

When he's not behind the mixing desk or on set, he can be found exploring the vibrant music and cinema scenes of London, drawing inspiration from the diverse array of artistic voices that call the city home. With a deep-rooted passion for storytelling and a commitment to pushing the boundaries of audio production, he continues to carve out his own unique space where music, cinema, and the natural world converge in a symphony of sound.

 

  • Venue: Centenary Hall
  • Location: St Andrews College
  • Ticket price: ZAR 80.00
  • Programme type: Curated Programme
  • Genre: Poetry & Spoken Word
  • Duration: 35 mins
  • Ages: PG (PARENTAL GUIDANCE)
    • Strong Language
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