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Nduduzo Makhathini lets us in on his award-winning Inner Dimensions

Switzerland, South Africa — Music

“I always felt with the kind of work I do it is important that it finds a way of reaching out to more people as I believe that I am doing cultural work rather than entertaining,” says Nduduzo Makhathini of his South African Music Award (SAMA) for the project, Inner Dimensions.

The  album won Best Jazz at the the awards held in May this year.

“Inner Dimensions seeks ways to go deep within the inner realms of our souls and find those melodies that bring about harmony, healing and hope for all people.”

Recorded at Musikerwohnhaus in Basel in 2016, during a residency facilitated by Pro Helvetia Johannesburg, the project brought together an awesome line-up of musicians to create this magical work.

This 11-track album also features Fabien Iannone on double bass, Dominic Egli on drums and kalimba and the One Voice Vocal Ensemble (Lisette Spinnler, Julia Fahrer, Githe Christensen, Christa Unternährer, Ines Brodbeck, Anna Widauer, Maximillian Bischofberger and Yero Richard Nyberg) and was recorded by Hannes Kumke.

Makhathini told alljazzradio.com that recording Inner Dimensions in Europe meant he had to connect with his ancestry in a different way.

“We believe in the African soil, so from a foreign land, trying to make those spiritual connections in a deep way meant I had to do a lot of meditation to make sure I was connecting to what I believe in.”

“The Switzerland visit was more than what I had expected, both in terms of research and my interaction with musicians. The residency at the Musikerwohnhaus was a perfect one it allowed me several informal conversations and interactions with musicians from different parts of the world that I was fortunate enough to hear, exchange music and contacts, and eventually got to play with some of them.”

Residency facilitator and coordinator at the Centre for African Studies in Basel, Veit Arlt said the residency worked out perfectly with beautiful encounters happening throughout the recording.

Egli described the recording of the album as quite an intense time but was very happy with what they created.

“I have a lot of respect for Nduduzo, his music has a lot of energy and at the same time it has a lot of freedom that allows Fabienne and me to contribute.”

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