Chimurenga presents SOCIAL BREATH

In commemoration of the fighting spirit of 16 June 76 we present a once-off performance of SOCIAL BREATH by ASHER GAMEDZE and the BLACK LUNGS, a collective featuring some of Cape Town’s finest improvisers in creative black music, including:
Sean Sanby (bass), Nobuhle Ashanti (keys), Jed Petersen (tenor sax), Tumi Pheko (trumpet), Athi Ngcaba (trombone), Garth Erasmus (alto sax), Tina Mene (vocals), Ru Slayen (percussion) and Asher Gamedze (drums)

Friday, 16 June 2023 from 7pm
Chimurenga Factory (157 Victoria Rd, Woodstock)
R30 at the door


breath as a basis of autonomous constitution and motion: in a context of dispossession breath becomes a means of autonomously articulating our own rhythm

on the level of the individual
we are literally and physically able to alter the rhythms of our body through breath
slowing ourselves down, speeding ourselves up, calming ourselves down, preparing ourselves for action, preparing ourselves for sleep
independently and for free we have the capacity to articulate our own rhythm, our own movement
autonomy of body’s motion

collectively it is both an ontological and a material way of being together
doing something together that brings us together and establishes us as a ‘together’
a group of people collectively doing the most fundamental aspect of life – breathing
in workshops when we have breathed together as a way of entering a space or done some other activity to change our rhythm and establish ourselves collectively I have always felt that conversations and the general orientation to each other is more generous than if not
its as if our journeys up to the place of gathering are all so divergent and we are all bringing our own rhythms, stresses and inertias
the act of breathing together establishes the possibility of constituting a beginning together and a collective rhythm for the gathering that relates all of our motions to each other but de-individualises and socialises them as we breathe together

breath has always been a kinda touchpoint for me as a musician
I have always wanted my drum sound to breathe
and by extension, my approach to ensemble sound that I have had a role in contributing to has similarly been very influenced by and oriented towards breath
whether that’s an abstract, symbolic, biological, aesthetic, ontological or sonic sense of inhalation and exhalation, I am not sure
perhaps beyond these categorisations it’s about what it feels like to play together and the reception or the effect of the music on someone listening to it because music the product, music the record surely it doesn’t ‘breathe’? at least in the same way that plants and humans ‘breathe’?
does the music breathe? perhaps this is not so much the question as does the music invoke breath? what kind of breathing does it invoke? and in whom?

to sing, breath is a precondition, for which breathable air is, in turn, a precondition
to sing together is to breathe together
to sing together is also to be together
to breathe together is to be together
to breathe together is to be subject to the same atmospheric, which is to say material, conditions
to be together is to share the same material conditions
to breathe together is to engage with and have a bodily response to shared material conditions
our inhalation is imbibing from the same source
the multitude of individual exhalations contributes to the collective product and the collective project
together we breathe
together we move

 (Asher Gamedze)

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