Solo vocal works

Inxembula

Transcription of Nofinishi Dywili
Text: Traditional
Unpublished
Duration: Variable

Two Landscapes

  1. Totems (2'20")
  2. [Lost]
Poems by Stephen Gray
Unpublished
Duration: 2'20"

Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Voice

  1. Klat-Sonata (c. 5'00")
Text: Michael Blake (adapted from Social Media)
Written for Willemien Wicomb
Unpublished

Première

First performance: Tuesday 23 February 2016; Youngblood Gallery, 70-72 Bree Street, Cape Town, South Africa; Willemien Wicomb reciterperformance details.

Programme note

The first of a series of short pieces using text, Klat-Sonate is a hommage to Kurt Schwitters, but rather than using invented sounds it plays on words, taken from the Social Media.

...only the song of the birds

Text compiled by Michael Blake
Written for and dedicated to Ensemble Resonabilis, Tallinn
Duration: c. 11'30"

Blue

Arrangement for high voice and piano
Text by Don Maclennan
Duration: 5'00"

Fumeux fume

Arrangement of Solage for low voice and instruments
Unpublished
Duration: 4'00"

Freihold

Arrangement of Schoenberg "Sechs Lieder Op 3 Nr 6"
Text by Hermann Lingg
Unpublished

Première

First performance: Tuesday 2 October 2007; Arnold Schoenberg Center, Vienna, Austria; Elisabeth Lang mezzo-soprano, Ensemble Reconsil, Roland Freisitzer conductorperformance details.

Rural Arias

Dedicated to Ensemble Reconsil on their fifth anniversary
Commissioned by Ensemble Reconsil
Parts on hire
Bardic Edition Score BDE 948
Duration: c. 10'00"

Première

First performance: Tuesday 2 October 2007; Arnold Schoenberg Center, Vienna, Austria; Maria Frodl singing saw, Ensemble Reconsil, Roland Freisitzer conductorperformance details.

Programme note

Rural Arias is a lament for the rural areas of South Africa and the people who live in them, those most affected by devastating problems such as climate change, poverty, and HIV/Aids. This is the real 21st-century South Africa, and the disembodied sound of the singing saw attempts to give voice to those fragile and disempowered communities. The first performance was given on 2 October 2007 in the Arnold Schoenberg Center, Vienna, by Maria Frodl (singing saw) and Ensemble Reconsil conducted by Roland Freisitzer.

Press

Blake has nothing to prove and plenty to say. His music has an expressive spontaneity, which conveys in quick patterns that life is pitiless and that nothing can be taken for granted. His Rural Arias is not a collection of folk songs but a magnificent, craggy lament for South Africa’s rural population, feeling the devastating effects of climate change, poverty and HIV/AIDS. As he searched out original methods for evoking truth, and in a bid to jolt the listener out of any complacency, Blake used a musical saw to produce a sonorous sadness which reverberated hauntingly.
Mary Jordan, Business Day, Johannesburg

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All Eleven

Unpublished

Première

First performance: Saturday 1 May 2010; Teatro Nacional de Sao Carlos, Lisbon, Portugal; Musa Nkuna tenor, Musicians of the Teatro Nacional de Sao Carlosperformance details.

Voice and String Quartet

Text by Tonic Solfa
Unpublished

Première

First performance: Friday 5 July 2002; New Music Indaba 2002, Grahamstown, South Africa; Musa Nkuna tenor, Sontonga Quartetperformance details.
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