Zulu Songs from South Africa

Zulu Songs LP coverZulu Songs side 1Zulu Songs side 2Zulu Songs liner notes

01 Delisa Sibiya ‘Uyongilobola ngani?’ (4:01)
02 Delisa Sibiya ‘Olwani ujakalwani?’ (2:16)
03 Delisa Sibiya ‘Amadoda kashelani’ (2:38)
04 Delisa Sibiya ‘Sengiyahamba’ (3:22)
05 Delisa Sibiya ‘Molo molo wenkhwenyana’ (3:05)
06 Nomashizolo Msimango ‘Madoda ngenzeni na?’ (4:50)
07 Trizinah Dlamini ‘Ubalwana lwami’ (7:11)
08 Delisa Sibiya, Dora Zulu, Muphokuhle Buthelezi, Clement Sithole ‘Inkomo iyakhuluma’ (3:02)
09 Delisa Sibiya, Dora Zulu, Muphokuhle Buthelezi ‘Uyababona abelungu’ (3:05)
10 Phumzile Mazulu Mpanza ‘Emathanjeni’ (5:22)

Total time 38:45
LP released by Lyrichord LLST 7401, USA, 1987

Intimate, micro-tonal blues songs recorded 1982 in Maphophoma and Ethebini, in the Nongoma area of Kwa-Zulu Natal province, South Africa. This fine Lyrichord LP offers plenty of striking, metallic sounds from bowed instruments recorded in the field among a small assembly (laughters, coughs and baby cries are sometimes heard). Close miking technique allows the listener to enjoy the richness of the instruments’ harmonics. Delisa Sibiya, a young woman from Maphophoma plays the umakhweyana, a bowed instrument with a gourd resonator (actually, a calabash) where a metallic wire is fixed to the resonator via a loop. The bow can play 2 fundamental notes only, while partials can be produced while putting the finger near the loop – Delisa Sibiya is a master of the trick. Other instruments featured on this LP are the ugubhu and the isicelekeshe, a kind of zither (pictured on the cover), mostly played by female singers. Harry Partch himself owned an ugubhu, a one stringed Zulu instrument (see here), ‘struck with a stick, extending over a curved branch of eucalyptus attached to a gourd resonator’ (Partch in Genesis Of A Music, 1947. Quoted in Bob Gilmore’s Harry Partch biography, Yale, 1998, p. 320). Partch’s stage play ‘Delusion Of The Fury’ (1969) included parts for ugubhu that he called ‘ugumbo’.


Ugumbo playerUmakhweyana players

3 Responses to “Zulu Songs from South Africa”

  1. 1 dudu pukwana August 21, 2009 at 7:23 am

    dommage pour les photos de femmes du bas peuple ; les peintures ndebele sont incomparables
    on vient justement de m’offrire Watch Out South Africa, Here We Come de Supermax, c’est génial (moi qui déteste le psychédélisme approximatif des pink floyd de who et des beatles)
    le max affublé de deux superbes afro américaines qui rendront fous les puristes de droite et les nostalgiques de la gauche à papa
    encore une belle composition, mais je sais que vous les adorez
    bien à vous

  2. 2 continuo August 21, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    En tant que puriste de droite, je dis: merci pour le tuyau, Dudu!

  3. 3 Thobile December 7, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    siyabonga! (thank you in zulu:)

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