The Sunday News
LOCAL arts ensemble, Iyasa, is in Austria where they launched a collaborative album with Austrian musicians, Lisa Stern & Eric Spitzer Marylyn last Thursday.
The album, “Amaculo” is made up of tracks that combine Austrian folk and SiNdebele songs.
In response to questions e-mailed to him, Iyasa director Nkululeko Dube said the CD is a follow-up to an earlier album they did with two Austrian musicians.
The group travelled to Austria a fortnight ago after returning from their annual international tour on 10 August.
“Twelve years ago in Austria we (Iyasa) met musicians Stern and Marylyn and we did a project together using one of their renditions of an Austrian folk song, Mell Tall. The project won a lot of fans and led to the production and airing of a documentary on Austrian television station, ORF.
“Following the success of the first project we started a new act titled ‘‘Amaculo’’ (Zimbabwe meets Austria). The album creates musical connections between Zimbabwe and Austria. We also incorporated more than four choirs in the project, fusing SiNdebele and German text and tunes in the composition and those from traditional music from the two countries,” said Dube.
The launch took place in Horn, the first town in Austria to host Iyasa, 13 years ago.
The group also took part in the 10th anniversary celebrations of theatre house, Dschungel Wien, yesterday (Saturday) and today in Vienna.
Dube said the theatre house had worked with Iyasa since it’s ground-breaking 10 years ago producing various theatre pieces showcased at the theatre and festivals around the world including Sweden, Croatia and Japan.
The director of the theatre, Stephan Rabl met Iyasa in Harare at a children’s performance festival.
“Rabl was the first to invite us to Austria in what was to be a partnership that has lived to be seen today and is destined for many more years to come,” added the Iyasa director.
Dube said they were also selected to talk at a Tedx event in Klagenfurt, Austria on 20 September.
Tedx is an organised international event that recognises and honours extraordinary people, projects and achievers by gathering them to share their vision and inspirations with an international audience.
Iyasa was chosen to speak on their youth empowerment project through the arts in Zimbabwe especially their fairytale rise from a school drama club to an internationally acclaimed arts group.
Dube said they had the honour of sharing the prestigious platform with 18 other nominees among them the first Prime Minister of Bhutan, Jigme Thinley, inventor Sean Dylan Goff from Switzerland and IBM Austria’s vice-president of corporate strategy, Christian Klezl.
“The theme of the event was ethicpreneurs ahead which seeks to honour entrepreneurship and ethics combined in fresh and interesting ideas.
“The talk I delivered bordered on Iyasa as a youth empowerment project driven by the arts. Through music, dance and theatre we strive to make young people believe in who they are and also believe in their capabilities. Iyasa is an open project that does not rely on auditions as we feel that so much talent has been lost to one person’s opinion in many an audition.
“Through cultural exchange programmes, workshops and performances internationally we have created stable relationships with theatres, musicians, directors and promoters. To us artistic and cultural benefit comes first before financial gain and that way we have for over 13 years managed to sustain stable collaborations worldwide,” said Dube.
In his presentation, he told the delegates that they have been able to reach out to international audiences because “the arts are a universal language by which we can build bridges between all continents, cultures, races, countries and realise a real global village.”
The group is set to return home on Wednesday.