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Viva the vuvuzela orchestra!

first_imgPedro Espi-Sanchis conducting a VuvuzelaOrchestra performance in Mofolo Park,Soweto. The orchestra performing at Ellis ParkStadium in Johannesburg.Lusanda NgcaweniThe garish plastic vuvuzela trumpet is synonymous with football in South Africa – and reactions to its brash elephant-like sound are mixed. In a stadium on match day, with hordes of fans bugling away, the vuvuzela is seen by some as a unifying tool, a symbol of affinity to “the beautiful game”. For others, its booming, discordant noise is just too much to bear.Cape Town-based music educator Pedro Espi-Sanchis has a different view: to him the metre-long, brightly coloured vuvuzela is a rousing instrument that can, when tuned correctly, play in an orchestra as easily as a flute, violin or cello.Espi-Sanchis says the vuvuzela is a “proudly South African instrument” with roots deep in local traditional music. It’s said that the earliest form of vuvuzela was the kudu horn, called ixilongo in isiXhosa and mhalamhala in Tshivenda. Espi-Sanchis was introduced to it over 30 years ago by renowned South African ethnomusicologist Andrew Tracey.Power of rhythmA fan of football himself, Espi-Sanchis came up with the idea of a vuvuzela orchestra after realising crowds at a match could coordinate their trumpeting to make music. “I heard the vuvuzelas at soccer games and the sound was not musical at all. Vuvuzelas need to play rhythms together to really show their power,” he says.In 2006 Espi-Sanchis and Thandi Swartbooi, head of the South African traditional music group Woman Unite, officially launched the vuvuzela orchestra as part of the Cape Town-based uMoya Music organisation.“At games you find people in little groups all over the stadium playing on their vuvuzelas, but they don’t listen to each other. All that sound combines to produce a continual drone. South Africa is one of the most musical nations in the world and I know we can do better than that. Imagine 6 000 vuvuzelas playing together and complementing each other with the vuvuzela orchestra to make a harmonious sound – that will make Bafana win!” Bafana Bafana – isiZulu for “the boys, the boys”, are South Africa’s national football team.You’ll probably need a bit of convincing if you’re the type who thinks vuvuzelas produce nothing but a racket. That sound, says Espi-Sanchis, is a b-flat note, which standard vuvuzelas make. Millions of South African football fans have this type of vuvuzela.Colour-chorded nationWith decades of experience in playing and teaching how to play traditional African instruments, it’s not surprising that Espi-Sanchis has realised the discordant trumpeting can be modified into something more pleasant to the ears. For example, by making the standard vuvuzela a little longer, it produces a lower pitch; a shorter instrument produces a higher pitch.“For the most part, songs in South Africa use three chords – tonic, subdominant and dominant. I have created arrangements so that each instrument plays one note in the chord and also makes short little melodies in between to make it more interesting. The three chords can be colour-coded – for example red, blue and green – and this allows you to conduct the orchestra with colours, a good thing for the famous rainbow nation,” he says.“Once the vuvuzela players get the rhythm, then it’s easy. If fans have tuned instruments, it only takes a couple of minutes to learn a song.” Espi-Sanchis’s dream is to see a stadium filled with vuvuzelas making music from the colours projected on the big screen.Espi-Sanchis says the vuvuzela orchestra works on the same principles used in three-pipe ensembles played in Southern Africa: the tshikona of the Venda, the dinaka of the Bapedi – both from Limpopo province – and the dithlaka in Botswana. “Like these instruments, the vuvuzela works on the principle of ‘one person, one note’. It’s very democratic,” he says. “Therefore the vuvuzela players have to work together to make music. This is the musical embodiment of democratic principles, the real essence of ubuntu!” Ubuntu is a Southern African philosophy of fellowship and community.Playing for the publicThe vuvuzela orchestra is made up of a core group of seven people, Espi-Sanchis as conductor and soloist on the lekgodilo flute with six musicians each playing a vuvuzela. Their first public appearance was at the Johannesburg Carnival in December 2006. In 2007 in March they performed at the Africa Day celebrations in Newtown and Soweto – both in Gauteng – and at the Nelson Mandela Challenge football event at Johannesburg’s Ellis Park stadium in November.The orchestra’s most recent performance was at the Super Stadium, west of Pretoria, in June 2008 when Bafana Bafana took on Sierra Leone.Espi-Sanchis has found an excellent local football fan base to accompany his vuvuzela orchestra. Supporters of Bloemfontein Celtic football club, based in the Free State, “form one of the best fan bases in South African soccer. In November last year [2007] we taught 60 of these fans to play seven songs in just five days,” he says. “Each of our six musicians was responsible for 10 fans, and they taught them to play their parts. Celtic fans also taught us some of their wonderful songs and together we supported Bafana Bafana at the Mandela Challenge by singing and dancing with the vuvuzela orchestra.”Looking to 2010“Now we want to bring up a fan base to support our national team. The vuvuzela music can be learnt very quickly … we want to use the Celtic supporters as models for a national fan base. We’re hoping to attract supporters through various advertising mediums, and of course we’re also hoping to attract the attention of the LOC [2010 local organising committee] and Safa [South African Football Association] with an eye to the opening and closing 2010 ceremonies.With millions of soccer fans scattered all over the country, Espi-Sanchis plans to reach them by running uMoya Music workshops at football clubs. “We can work with 200 to 300 people at a time for a week. We’ll be scheduling a road show around the country for training and then perform at matches together with the standard vuvuzelas.”Their plans are not limited to South Africa. “This is an African world cup – we want to train people from Cape to Cairo. We want to broaden the use of the vuvuzela to such an extent that it becomes a musical and rhythmic instrument that unites people from all over the continent.”Keeping busyWhen Espi-Sanchis isn’t teaching fans, he’s working on various other projects, one of which is Mzansi Sounds – a marimba-based group with members from Nyanga, Phillipi, Crossroads and Gugulethu townships in Cape Town. Mzansi Sounds is part of a non-governmental organisation that focuses on empowering people with disabilities. Half of the people in the group, which is made up of children, teenagers and adults, have a disability.Thando Solundwana, a member of Mzansi Sounds, didn’t see the vuvuzela as a musical instrument until Espi-Sanchis introduced them to the band. “I just heard fans blowing them in stadiums and in the streets. I was very surprised that I could make music with it. If I work hard at my music I hope I’ll get the opportunity to play at the opening of 2010 [Fifa World Cup]. I would love to be there,” he says.Espi-Sanchis is currently attending the Le Rêve de l’Aborigène (The Dream of the Aboriginal) festival in France with Madosini, who is widely known as the queen of Xhosa music and one of South Africa’s best-known players of the uhadi (isiXhosa, meaning bow). The event focuses on people throughout the world who make music from organic instruments. Madosini will play her uhadi, umrhube and mouth harp, or isitolotolo, while Espi-Sanchis will perform on his lekgodilo flute.Related articlesWorld Cup 2010: fast factsFootball in South AfricaSouth African musicSouth Africa’s languagesSouth African EnglishUseful linksPedro the MusicmanuMoya MusicYouTube clip of the Uhadi bow and Lekgodilo flute in actionYouTube clip of three traditional pipe ensemblesAfrican Musical Instrumentslast_img read more

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Zuma appeals for peace in Marikana

first_img18 September 2012South African President Jacob Zuma has once again appealed for peace to return to the Marikana mining area in North West province following weeks of violent protests.Addressing the national congress of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) in Johannesburg on Monday, Zuma said worker rights were enshrined in the Constitution, and added that there was legislation giving effect to the constitutional provisions. But he urged workers to respect the country’s laws.He reminded the gathering of South Africa’s biggest trade union federation that employers and employees had the mechanisms to manage relations in the workplace. There was no need to resort to violence.Zuma said the judicial commission of inquiry he had appointed would establish the facts around what happened in Marikana last month when 34 protesting miners were killed in clashes with police, a week after 10 people had died, including two police officers, in ongoing violence among rival unions.Violence ‘cannot become labour culture’“But there are a few immediate lessons,” Zuma said. “Firstly, we have to find a way to restore workplace stability and labour peace. Violence cannot become a culture of our labour relations.”He said workers and employers needed to use the laws of the country, which spelt out clearly how to handle disputes.“Given the levels of violence and intimidation in Marikana, government deployed law enforcement agencies to stabilise the situation. This does not take away the rights of miners and residents to protest, peacefully and unarmed, as provided for in the laws of the land,” said Zuma.The agencies had been told to be firm, but to respect the rights of residents and strikers.This applied not only to labour disputes but also to service delivery protests, which were at times also accompanied by violence, including the destruction of property.Workers at Lonmin platinum mine are demanding a basic salary of R12 500 a month with employers last week offering a R900 increase to the current R4 600 entry level salary.Impact on the economyIn his speech, Zuma urged the workers and their employers to find solutions to the dispute without further delay, given its ongoing impact on the economy.He said indications were that the total rand value of production lost in the gold and platinum group of mines due to work stoppages over the past nine months was close to R4.5-billion. Losses in the coal sector, adds another R118-million to the total.The National Treasury estimates that through its indirect impact on the economy, the strike actions in addition to other stoppages have already subtracted close to R3.1-billion from the national fiscus.The impact went beyond the mining sector. The manufacturing sector, especially the fabricated metal products sector, was already showing signs of strain.“We cannot afford to go into a recession, and revert to the 2008 and 2009 period where the country lost close to a million jobs, which we are still battling to recover,” Zuma said. “We wish the employers and workers well as they seek a solution to this wage impasse.”The government would continue to provide support to the negotiations through the ministry of labour, Zuma added.Housing and living conditions of workersAccording to the Mining Charter, mining companies are required to improve the housing and living conditions of workers and also to invest in skills development, employment equity, ownership as well as local community development.They have to meet certain targets for the conversion and upgrading of single-sex hostels formerly used by migrant labourers into family units or single occupancy accommodation by 2014.Companies are also expected to facilitate home ownership by 2014.“Our monitoring indicates that 50% have complied with the provisions relating to improving living conditions,” Zuma said. “We applaud those companies that are complying with this provision to humanise the living conditions of workers.”Source: SANews.gov.zalast_img read more

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When you play your part SA benefits from your talents

first_imgPlay Your Part can be a cause that young people, and indeed all citizens, can own, says Wendy Tlou, Brand South Africa’s chief marketing officer.• Redefining corporate social investment in South Africa • Active citizenship and changing the South African brand reality• South Africa’s living democracy • Active citizens build South Africa’s brand• Forum focuses on active citizenship Staff writerThe Play Your Part campaign is a call for every South African to do what they do with excellence and diligence in order to help the country become a brand that attracts investment, according to Wendy Tlou, chief marketing officer at Brand South Africa. Tlou has the job of marketing South Africa to the global community – and selling the country to its own people.“Every person needs to realise that the little they do can add value,” she says. “The guy who fills potholes is just as important as the CEO of a conglomerate.”Play your Part was created to stimulate society from the ground up, encouraging South Africans to fulfil their individual potential in all they do.“We need measurable and actionable plans that have a visible impact, and make South Africa globally competitive.”Playing your part to achieve the goals of the NDPBecause of this, Tlou says, Brand South Africa wants to reconcile the National Development Plan (NDP) as an ideological document with a clear and simple roadmap for implementation that can be driven at grassroots level.“The NDP is not some far-fetched, theoretical concept. It is happening right now. We want to demystify it as a theoretical concept. The road works you see every day are the NDP at work.” The NDP is a crystallisation of the vision of South Africa as a globally competitive nation.She says the notion of competitiveness is key to attracting the investment, such as tourism, that is essential for creating jobs.Encouraging foreign direct investment – with a view to achieving the national developmental agenda – is the main objective of forging a strong nation brand. This will have a direct impact on our country’s levels of inequality, which are a source of many social ills.The youth and their aspirations are key to Brand South Africa’s Play Your Part programme. Before democracy in 1994, Tlou says, the South African youth owned a cause – freedom. But after 1994 the notion of freedom and playing your part can still be a powerful mobilising force for active citizenship and nation building. Play Your Part can be a cause that young people, and indeed all citizens, can own.Fighting gender-based violenceAs we look towards the annual 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children, Play Your Part becomes a practical response to the scourge of gender-based violence in our country.Tlou feels passionate about eradicating gender-based violence: “A country such as South Africa that has been such a moral beacon and model of progressive thinking cannot, 20 years after democracy, be facing a situation where at least one in five women are victims of gender-based violence.“In addition, the cost of such a phenomenon to our country is not merely a philosophical one. According to a KPMG report – Too Costly to Ignore – the Economic Impact of Gender-Based Violence in South Africa – released in September this year, gender-based violence costs the South African economy between R28.4-billion to R42.2-billion a year.“With such a reputational and financial risk attached to the consequences of gender-based violence, we need to ask how each of us can play our part to eradicate gender based violence in our country. We need to ask ourselves, how we can play our part to contribute to a safer more equitable country for the women and children of our country?”last_img read more

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IT Poll: Is the Java Dynasty Seeing the Beginning of the End?

first_img3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now klint finley Related Posts IT + Project Management: A Love Affair Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo…center_img We ran two stories earlier today on the state of Java and its complex partner ecosystem. We looked at a report from Forrester analysts John R. Rymer and Jeffrey S. Hammond. Last year, Forrester analyst Mike Gualtieri put it more bluntly in a blog post: Java Is A Dead-End For Enterprise App Development.But considering that last week we ran a post called “COBOL’s Not Dead,” there’s still clearly a potential for a long and healthy life for Java. The report Rymer and Hammond specifically write that their report is not an obituary. There’s also the chance Oracle will get its act together and keep Java relevant for a long time to come.But it’s clear that Java’s grip on the enterprise is loosening. Are you starting to look at, or use, alternatives to Java? Tags:#enterprise#Trends Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of…last_img read more

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DUP denies it has made a deal with Theresa May

first_img Image: Charles McQuillan 73 Comments Image: Charles McQuillan THE DEMOCRATIC UNIONIST Party (DUP) has said that no deal has been reached with Conservative leader Theresa May.Downing Street last night said that Arlene Foster’s party has agreed to the principles of an outline agreement to support May’s Conservatives in government.A Downing Street spokesperson said last night that the DUP had agreed “to the principles of an outline agreement”.However, a midnight statement from the DUP said that talks on a confidence and supply agreement were ongoing, but had been positive.“The DUP today (Saturday) held discussions with representatives of the Conservative Party in line with Arlene Foster’s commitment to explore how we might bring stability to the nation at this time of great challenge. The talks so far have been positive.“Discussions will continue next week to work on the details and to reach agreement on arrangements for the new parliament.”It is believed that Downing Street issued their statement by mistake.May needs the support of the DUP in order to secure a parliamentary majority following her party’s disastrous general election result. Yesterday, her two closest advisors resigned in the wake of this week’s snap election which saw May lose her party’s House of Commons majority.Read: ‘An industry built on human misery’ – in an uncertain world people smugglers are making billions DUP denies it has made a deal with Theresa May It is believed that Downing Street issued their statement by mistake. Sunday 11 Jun 2017, 7:14 AM Jun 11th 2017, 7:14 AM Short URL Share Tweet Email http://jrnl.ie/3438048 16,616 Views By Paul Hosford Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

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La Commission européenne sélève contre la chasse au loup en Suède

first_imgLa Commission européenne s’élève contre la chasse au loup en SuèdeDepuis le 15 janvier, et pour une période d’un mois, la chasse au loup est à nouveau autorisée dans certaines régions de Suède. Une décision à laquelle s’oppose fermement la Commission européenne, qui menace le pays d’une action en justice, rapporte le site du Monde.Cité par le quotidien national, un porte-parole de la Commission européenne pour l’environnement, Joe Hennon, indique que Bruxelles a fait part dès le mois de décembre de ses réserves quant à la légalité de cette chasse. “Car selon la directive Habitat, il n’est pas permis de chasser des espèces protégées comme le loup”, souligne-t-il. Une opposition bien sûr appuyée par les associations de protection de l’environnement, et notamment la Société suédoise de conservation de la nature qui a porté plainte auprès de Bruxelles. “Pour un pays qui prétend montrer l’exemple pour la protection de la planète, la Suède a une politique qui limite à 200 la population de loups. Elle renonce à son rôle, et c’est pour cela que nous portons plainte contre le gouvernement auprès de la Commission Européenne”, explique ainsi Mikael Karlsson, le président de cette association. La Suède a en effet instauré un quota de vingt animaux tués pour l’année 2011 afin de respecter une décision parlementaire visant à limiter la population des loups à 210 individus et 20 familles en 2012.À lire aussiL’étonnante ruse d’un renard polaire pour échapper à des chasseursEn outre, la population suédoise de loups est en grande majorité issue de deux ou trois loups arrivés dans le pays dans les années 1980. Se pose alors le problème de la consanguinité, qui inquiète la Commission.Si le quota de vingts loups abattus devrait être atteint avant que Bruxelles n’ait décidé des suites à donner à l’affaire, “nous devons aussi penser à l’an prochain”, souligne Joe Hennon.Le 18 janvier 2011 à 08:52 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

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Des guirlandes de Noël américaines recyclées en pantoufles chinoises

first_imgDes guirlandes de Noël américaines recyclées en pantoufles chinoisesPendant les fêtes, les Etats-Unis accumulent près de 5 millions de tonnes de déchets solides, constitués notamment de guirlandes. Mais leur circuit industriel de recyclage n’étant pas encore bien développé, Shijiao, un village chinois, se charge de les recycler pour en faire… des pantoufles.Shijiao, un village en Chine, a été désigné comme la capitale du monde pour le recyclage des lumières de Noël qui sont jetés chaque année par les Américains. En effet, ce village situé de l’autre côté du Pacifique a réussi à trouver le moyen de réutiliser toutes ces tonnes de déchets accumulés durant les fêtes. Un moyen plutôt inhabituel puisqu’il vise à produire des pantoufles. À lire aussiQuand des Américains assistent à la naissance d’un bébé phoque sur une plageLes Etats-Unis autant que la Chine trouvent leur compte dans ce marché. Le recyclage de ce genre de déchets reviendrait trop cher aux Américains. De plus, les normes environnementales sont moins strictes en Chine et le coût de la main d’œuvre y est moins excessif. Les ampoules et les guirlandes lumineuses à piles sont vendus 1,2 dollar le kilo à la Chine. Les usines de Shijiao se charge ainsi chaque année de recycler près de 10 millions de kilos d’illuminations de Noël afin d’en extraire le laiton et le plastique. Ensuite, ces matériaux sont utilisés pour fabriquer différents produits dont des pantoufles.Pour cela, les ouvriers fragmentent dans un premier temps les ampoules en petits morceaux. Puis, ils les mélangent avec de l’eau, le tout sur une table vibrante. Enfin, à la manière de l’extraction minière de l’or, ils récupèrent le cuivre, le laiton, le verre et le plastique. The Atlantic explique le procédé : “en même temps que la table est secouée, les particules de cuivre les plus lourdes (du fil de fer) et celles de laiton (des douilles des ampoules) affluent dans une direction, et les éléments les plus légers en plastique et en verre (provenant de l’isolation et des ampoules) dans une autre”. Chaque matériau est ainsi récupéré pour être dispatché et réutilisé.Le 8 janvier 2012 à 11:39 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

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Faire manger de la teinture aux vers à soie pour obtenir de

first_imgFaire manger de la teinture aux vers à soie pour obtenir de la soie de couleurPubliant leurs travaux dans la revue Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, des chercheurs indiens ont expérimenté un moyen a priori écologique de produire de la soie colorée : nourrir les vers à soie avec des feuilles de mûrier teintées à l’aide de colorants.Élevées depuis quelque 5.000 ans, les chenilles appelées “vers à soie” produisent des cocons dont on tire le luxueux textile blanc. Problème : les méthodes industrielles utilisées pour teinter la soie – ou, d’ailleurs, tout autre type de textile – figurent parmi les plus polluantes. Ces techniques utilisent en effet énormément d’eau, et produisent de grandes quantités d’eaux usées qu’il faut traiter avant de les rejeter dans l’environnement. Mais des scientifiques indiens ont imaginé un procédé alternatif pour teindre la soie. Une technique qu’ils sont d’ores et déjà en train de tester : faire absorber la teinture au ver lui-même, afin de lui faire secréter de la soie directement colorée… Ce sont Anuya Nisal, Kanika Trivedy et leurs collègues, du Laboratoire de Chimie du Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) à Pune (Inde), qui ont eu l’idée de nourrir les chenilles avec des feuilles de mûrier (l’alimentation traditionnelle du ver à soie) un peu particulières.Ces feuilles sont traitées, par trempage ou pulvérisation, avec divers colorants azoïques (à base d’azote). Ces derniers sont peu coûteux et représentant plus de la moitié des colorants textiles utilisés aujourd’hui. Sur 7 colorants testés, 3 semblent fonctionner : sans que leur croissance paraisse affectée, les chenilles produisent des cocons de soie colorée.Une alternative ‘verte’ ?À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?Les scientifiques ont remarqué que certaines caractéristiques des colorants, telles que leur capacité à se dissoudre dans l’eau, influaient sur l’efficacité du procédé. “Ces données sont extrêmement importantes dans le développement de nouvelles molécules de colorant qui peuvent être utilisées avec succès dans cette méthode verte de production de soie de couleur”, soulignent les expérimentateurs. Si elle s’avère utilisable, cette manière de produire ‘à la source’ de la soie de couleur constituera une alternative ‘verte’ aux techniques mises en œuvre dans les usines de coloration de textiles.Le 16 décembre 2013 à 10:12 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

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Planned lane closures on I5 Bridge moved up

first_imgPlanned lane closures on the southbound Interstate 5 Bridge will begin 30 minutes earlier than previously announced tonight as crews continue maintenance work, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation.The left and center lanes of the span will be closed from 10:30 p.m. tonight to 4:30 a.m. Thursday, according to ODOT. The right and center lanes during the same time Thursday night into Friday, in addition to the ramp from state Highway 14 to southbound I-5.The sidewalk on the southbound side of the bridge will also be closed to bicycles and pedestrians from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. both nights, according to ODOT.The closures will allow crews from both Oregon and Washington to complete a variety of projects, including electrical work, inspections, catwalk improvements, cleaning, striping and barrier repairs.At least one southbound lane will remain open at all times during the work. The closures will have no impact on the northbound side of the I-5 Bridge.last_img read more

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