A Musician’s Guide to the Galaxy

Rumour has it that since musicians were unleashed upon the cosmos, the true purpose and meaning behind the Universe's existence vanished and was replaced with an even stranger and more confusing reality. As the musicians journeyed across the galaxy and into an expanding universe, they made a remarkable discovery. Music had the power to shape reality itself. Musicians could create entire worlds with a single note or cause chaos with a single chord.

 

The musicians were initially overwhelmed by their newfound abilities, but they soon came to appreciate the depth of creative expression that music offered. And so they devoted their lives to crafting and making music for those brave enough to listen.

 

A Musician’s Guide to the Galaxy was composed to help humans, called audiences, understand the universe from a sound perspective. Scored for flute, violin and jazz trio, each piece follows the laws of jazz and classical music. That is to say, the laws are acknowledged and then perhaps reinterpreted. It is impossible to imagine a more complete fusion than this - combining diverse, distinct, and separate musical elements into a cohesive and unified whole.

 

Whether you're a seasoned music lover, or simply curious about strange musicians, A Musician's Guide to the Galaxy will unlock the secrets behind the melodies that resonate across the galaxy.

Production Credits

Stacey van Schalkwyk - director / composer / flute

Virgil Matrass -  composer / piano / keyboard 

Nhlanhla Xipu - violin

Yashin Naidoo - bass 

Pete Glover - drums

About the Artists

PentaFusion was founded in 2022, bringing together renowned and emerging musicians from Gqeberha and Makhanda. They seamlessly merge jazz and classical music, crafting an extraordinary experience that captivates audiences of both genres. Furthermore, PentaFusion’s unique sound allows the ensemble to stand out from other jazz and classical artists, making their music even more attractive to different audiences.

 

PentaFusion has been praised by critics for their "virtuoso" performance and "fresh musical ideas" that resonate with their audiences. Their live performances are known for the captivating atmosphere, and dynamic ensemble playing, interspersed with intricate solo sections. In 2022, PentaFusion made their debut at the National Arts Festival, immediately creating a buzz by winning a Standard Bank Bronze Ovation Award for their performance of Fragments. They returned to the National Arts Festival the following year with a new work, Wilderness for which they also won a Standard Bank Bronze Ovation Award. In 2023 PentaFusion was invited to perform as part of the Makana Society of Music Programme. This again highlighted the versatility and accessibility of their music.

 

Stacey van Schalkwyk (flute/composer/director)

Stacey is a versatile creative with expertise in composing, arranging, playing the flute, research, and education. Nearly twenty years ago, she co-founded the band Mosaic, which had notable performances at events like Nelson Mandela's birthday celebrations, the International Jazz Educators Conference in Atlanta, the African Economic Forum's Heads of State, and the Commonwealth Cultural Exchange Conference. In 1996, Stacey received the IAJE award for her contributions to jazz. She collaborated with renowned musicians such as Deepak Ram, Lex Futshane, Mageshen Naidoo, Brendan Jury, and KZNPO. Stacey's debut recording was on "Gathering Forces Vol 2" with Darius Brubeck, Deepak Ram, and Airto Moreira. She took a break from performing when her son was born, ending in a two-decade hiatus. In 2019, Stacey returned to the stage, co-founding Pentafusion and working as a composer, arranger, flautist, and educator. Since then, she has premiered and performed her compositions in Cape Town, Durban, and at The National Arts Festival, earning Standard Bank Bronze Ovation Awards for these performances. Stacey's works under PentaFusion have garnered much acclaim. Apart from performing she has experience arranging music for school string orchestras, orchestras, and concert bands, including commissioned pieces. She has written a Flute Tuition Book Series that offers a comprehensive learning journey for students, guiding them from basic techniques to advanced skills. In addition to this, she released a Technique Book designed for intermediate players.

 

Virgil Matrass (piano/composer)

Virgil is a professional jazz pianist, composer and arranger who seeks to inspire young, aspirant musicians to reach their full potential. He studied towards a BMus at Stellenbosch University and transferred to Nelson Mandela University where he completed the degree. He is a member of the well-known vocal acapella group, The Creed, who released their debut album in November 2019. He is also actively involved with the popular Erle Felkers’ Big Band. Virgil resides in Makhanda, Eastern Cape where he is Head of the DSG Junior Music School and the Choir Conductor. He also teaches class music, piano and voice and is the Jazz piano and vocal lecturer and accompanist at Rhodes University. Virgil’s extensive knowledge and experience of jazz and contemporary music led to the success of his students whom he has entered for Rockschool examinations.

 

Nhlanhla Xipu (violin)

Nhlanhla a renowned violinist from Johannesburg, is a prominent figure in South Africa's classical music scene. With a versatile repertoire, Nhlanhla has graced the stages of esteemed orchestras across the nation, including the Eastern Cape Philharmonic, Free State Symphony Orchestra, Bochabela String Orchestra, Mzansi Classical Players, and the Buffalo City Metropolitan Orchestra. Beyond the classical realm, Nhlanhla has seamlessly blended genres, collaborating with jazz bands such as Variety, FiddleSaxStics, and Imbumba Orchestra. A multi-instrumentalist, Nhlanhla's musical prowess extends to the saxophone, marimba, and bass guitar, demonstrating a boundless passion for music. Having studied under the guidance of Ms. Denise Sutton at the University of Free State, Nhlanhla currently serves as the Head of Strings at the Diocesan School for Girls, shaping the next generation of musicians with expertise and dedication.

 

Yashin Naidoo (upright and electric bass)

Yashin, a promising emerging artist from the Eastern Cape, excels in photography, filmmaking, and bass playing, garnering various accolades for his exceptional skills. He co-founded Point of Humanness in 2019, working as the producer, cinematographer and photographer. In 2022 he filmed and produced a short film Dying to Be Human, which was part of the Lift-Off Sessions Film Festival. He has also worked on music videos for various musicians, in South Africa, including the acclaimed pianist Paul Hanmer. As a bass player, he focuses on crossover music as well as metal and rock. Yashin has just launched his YouTube channel, focusing on original material and reimagening covers as metal songs.

 

Pete Glover (drums)

Pete is a proficient and promising musician worth noting. During Pete's undergrad years, he played in three bands: The Rhodes Jazz Band, Tonix, and Sfortzando. They performed at various events including the National Arts Festival. After graduating, Pete started a band playing mostly original music in local venues such as the Acoustic Cafe and Organic Live. He also played in other local bands such as ICala, Winternag and Stone House. Pete teaches drums at St Andrew's Prep and helps facilitate various play productions and concerts.

  • Venue: Beethoven Room
  • Location: Rhodes Music Department
  • Ticket price: ZAR 80.00
  • Programme type: The Fringe
  • Genre: Music
  • Duration: 50 min
  • Ages: ALL AGES
    • Suitable for All Ages
Beethoven Room
June 20, 2024 20:00 - 20:50
Beethoven Room
June 22, 2024 12:00 - 12:50
Beethoven Room
June 23, 2024 12:00 - 12:50