Containers for performance.
The pianist Charles Mingus once said; ‘Jazz music is a language of the emotions’ and this MIX is proof if ever we needed it. Tempting us to share in her lucubratory state, ceramicist, painter and performance artist Shawanda Corbett presents the soundtrack to her creative practice. A compilation banded in style yet confident in its subtleties.
Flooding thoughts with buttery syncopations, the organic flow of Thandi Ntuli’s ‘13’ starts on a compass of cyclical beats. They’re immersive, caressing lobes with raspy percussion. We sway in a paced aural panorama, moving with Shawanda, following the intuitive convulsions of body, clay and paint that ground her craft. Colouring grey matter and feeding the spiritual soul, Zim Ngqawana then takes us deeper, carving fertile landscapes for his restrained vocals to rise from. With ease, we begin to draw parallels between the intimate, malleable and profound qualities of jazz and Shawanda’s close study of the binary. As a differently-abled artist, her gestural ceramics test the boundaries of physical ability. And so does this playlist; advocating for bespoke considerations of the figurative to employ the body as an interdisciplinary vessel for musical verbalisation. Miles Davis’ wistful ballads set a mystical timbre yet embodiments of inner dialogues best seek expression in the tender strokes of Alice Coltrane’s ‘The Sun’. Here ascensions and descensions of free rhythm are struck in poetic succession. Melodic meditations make for completeness.
The improvisational feel of this MIX reminds us there is truth in dissent. Truth in distinction. Serenity in chaos. Now wise to Shawanda’s instrumental narcotic, we’ll be devoting attentiveness to accentuating our own upbeats.
Words by MILLEN BROWN-EWENS