Uitenhage-born songstress Nobuntu Mqulwana- Mhlambi, also known as Ms Nobuntu, plans to use nothing but her voice as an instrument in her upcoming Inner Visions, Inner Voice show at the Athenaeum and the PE Opera House on October 6 and 8.
The shows forms part of her Unplugged: Music Can Happen series which she describes as a platform that draws attention to the voice as a main medium of musical expression.
“The foundation of this Music Can Happen Series is genesis and simplicity in the power and ‘enoughness’ of just the voice instrument,” Mhlambi explained.
“I became concerned with the notion that for me to sing, I have to have all these things I didn’t need. Something deeply troubled me about the prerequisite of the facade of lights, amplification, sound systems, bands etc. that made untruthful demands on an instrument (the voice) that inspired the creation and timbre behind a lot of instruments. I felt compelled to take a different route,” Mhlambi said.
Currently based in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal, she will be performing items from her songbook which she has been compiling since the young age of nine. Her style of performance will involve the application of various vocal techniques.
The intimate shows will also allow for crowd interaction in the form of a question and answer session with audience members.
“The show is a collection of stories and revelations in song form carefully curated from my songbook to segue into each other and tell a complete story using extended vocal techniques combined with other methods of singing, including inflections from my classical andoperatic training where relevant. I also make time for a Q&A or to just hear about the thoughts and experience of the listener.”
Mhalmbi said her love for singing dated back to as far as Grade 5 when she initially took basic music lessons at school. From there on she sang in different duets, trios and quartets in high school.
She went onto study a BA in music at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) and has professional received vocal training from Austrian composer Eva Kröniger and Dr TN Mhlambi with whom she has been working for the past six years.
Mhlambi has also shared the stage with a host of well-known artists such as Tumi Molekane (from Tumi and The Volume), Zubz and MXO.
She said audience members should expect to discover a portion of themselves in the music she will be sharing.
The show is at the Athenaeum, Belmont Terrace on Thursday and at the Barn Theatre, PE Opera House on Saturday.
Both shows start at 7pm with tickets available at R50 (pre-sold) and R60 at the door. Inquiries: Nobuntu Mqulwana- Mhlambi, 076-721-3351 or firstname.lastname@example.org.