All strings come together in “Strings and Songs.” The event “Strings and songs” found a platform in Biblioteek productions’ Facebook online events “20/20 – Entertainment in containment”. “Strings and Songs” combines music, poetry and puppetry within a multi-disciplinary visual spectacle.
“Strings and Songs” is the initial brainchild of Elmarie van der Vyver (viola). The concept was proposed to Frankie van Straten (theatre designer/maker & with a specialisation in puppet construction). Frankie merged his unique artistry to the Argentinian folk songs which Elmarie and Mathilda Hornsveld (piano) were already performing.
The puppet characters and story line were moulded by Frankie, to complement the music. The poetry segment is narrated, both in the original Spanish by Ingrid Lisinda Venter as well as Xhosa by Ongi Gongxeka.
Frankie van Straten is serving as the director of this twenty minutes long video production which was filmed and edited by Henry Hancox.
Strings and Songs” can be viewed on the Biblioteek productions Facebook events platform HERE from 28th August – 3rd September 2020.
Tickets are available at QUICKET HERE
See what’s in store from the visuals below
Magdalene Minnaar, the director of Biblioteek productions, founded the “20/20 Entertainment in Containment” platform during the COVID 19 lockdown period. The main aim of this venture is to support and motivate artists from the music and events industry to create and broadcast online productions. This will simultaneously assist artists to generate some income during these difficult times.
These strings of creativity were forged together in Nelson Mandela Bay (Port Elizabeth) to present “Strings and Songs” for the Biblioteek platform, with Elmarie van der Vyver (viola player and music teacher at Alexander Road High school) and Mathilda Hornsveld (pianist).
They are a duo pair that has performed a selection of Argentinian folk songs on numerous occasions. The songs form the foundation of the Strings and Songs production.
One of the narrators is Ongi Gongxeka, a young drama student that matriculated at Alexander Road High school in 2019.
He is currently enrolled as a Dramatic Arts Major at the Waterfront Theatre College in Cape Town. Ongi contributed a very moving and poetic Xhosa interpretation of the text to the production.
The digital string is extended a bit further towards Barcelona, Spain. South African born mezzo soprano Ingrid Lisinda Venter, working at the Gran Teatre del Liceu, contributes the original Spanish poetry that serves as the text of these songs in front of the virtual window of her computer screen.
The final string that completed the harmony of this group, was that of Frankie van Straten, an Old Boy of Pretoria Boys High School, Entertainment technology graduate of Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) and Head of Wardrobe of “Matilda the Musical, and Eric, the International Tour”.
Frankie had to return to South Africa due to all word wide theatre performances being cancelled. He arrived back in Port Elizabeth in a synchronous coincidence – to get involved in designing and directing “Strings and Songs”.
Frankie conceptualised every puppet character, designed, built and made their costumes as well. The production was captured by video and sound editor Henry Hancox of Hancox Productions in Port Elizabeth.
In these uncertain times, the artistic team of Strings and Songs attached all their strings in order to make writer and poet Kamand Kojouris’ words come true:
“The universe is a symphony that creates harmony with the vibration of our strings”
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