Namibian Tales – Kalahari Encounters

Namibian Tales

Record Details

Africa, World

A year after the release of their highly successful debut album Itaala – which was voted “Best World Music Album Produced in the Netherlands”, Namibian Tales return with an exciting new project. Whereas Itaala was a reflection of vocalist Shishani exploring her Namibian roots for the first time in music, Kalahari Encounters is the result of a real and intense collaboration of the band with musicians from the Kalahari desert.

With Kalahari Encounters Namibian Tales not only pay homage to the unique cultural heritage of the San – often referred to as Bushmen – but also enter into a musical dialogue with these people, who have lived in present day Namibia and its surrounding countries since time immemorial.

While doing extensive fieldwork in the Kalahari desert, founder members Shishani and percussionist Sjahin During were struck by the beauty and intricate complexity of traditional San singing and clapping, which inspired them to develop new repertoire for a collaboration between the quartet from Amsterdam and four ‘grandmothers’ from the //Xao /oba village in the Kalahari desert.

Kalahari Encounters is a record of the first outcome of this unique collaboration, a live performance that took place in Namibia’s capital city Windhoek in June of 2017. Instead of making an effort to preserve ‘pure’ tradition, Kalahari Encounters is an exploration of completely new musical territory, respecting local tradition while lovingly blending it with musical inspiration gathered elsewhere.

It’s a movie for the ears, involving the whole body and transporting the listener to a wondrous world of great beauty and depth, a world where the rarely heard vocal harmonies and intricate clapping of the San merge seamlessly with sonic warmth, tight ensemble playing and rhythmic drive provided by the quartet.

Namibian Tales “Kalahari Encounters”
live at Warehouse Theater Namibia

N!ae Komtsa – vocals
Seg//ae N!ani – vocals
Baqu Kha//an – vocals
//Ao N!ani – vocals

Shishani – vocals & guitar
Debby Korfmacher -kora, mbira, vocals
Bence Huszar – cello
Afron Nyambali – bass
Sjahin During – percussion set