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Music Crossroads introduces Pakhonde ethno-music camp

Music Crossroads continues to make strides in the creative industry introducing what they call the Pakhonde Ethno-music Festival.

Music Crossroads Director Mathews Mfune confirmed the development Monday saying they are keen to participate in the documentation, revival and development of “our ethnic/traditional music by among other things coming up with innovative initiatives.”

He said the Pakhonde Ethno Music Camp and festival is an initiative that Music Crossroads in conjunction with ethno-musician Charles Mkanthama, who is based in Ntchisi, have created starting early next month.

“This is a big project and other interested institutions are welcome to join,” said Mfune.

Mfune said that the music camp will be held at Search Private School in Ntchisi.

He said guests and artists who will be invited from Blantyre, Kasungu, Dowa, Ntchisi, Nkhotakota, Mzimba, Mozambique, Norway and Brazil are expected to arrive on February 29 and then leave on March 5.

“According to Mfune, the camp will focus on the following local musical instruments Bangwe, Kaligo, Sansi, Gulewamkulu drums, Mkangala and Mangolongondo as well as local folk songs by local people from Ntchisi villages. There will also be local Brazilian instruments plus folk rhythms from Norway and Mozambique.”

He further said that the camp will involve in-depth workshops on each of the instruments, practice, tuning and repair of instruments, workshops with school children, concert rehearsals, improvisation and jamming.

“All these activities will be documented both on still pictures, audio and videos and will later be edited and packaged to promote the project at local and international level as well as use the materials for research, learning, preservation and promotion,” said the Music Crossroads Director.

He said that the music camp will culminate in a free public performance where district and local leaders among others will be invited.

“For this year, this is a pilot project and we hope that we will have massive feedback and encouragement to make a better and bigger one next year,” said Mfune.

He said this project is in line with the Cultural policy that was adopted last year as a country and that as a stakeholder they have started making positive actions towards realising the dream.

“At the moment, we do not have sponsors and would be grateful if individuals, companies and insti tutions can logistically support us in terms of transport and accommodation for artists to be part of this initiative,” said Mfune.

He said Music Crossroads will provide lunch and dinner and that there will be no cash allowances as they want to encourage only those people who have the interest and passion to participate.

According to Mfune, Malawi Commission for Unesco will be part of this programme to take up the role of documentation.

“This is a very exciting project with the vision that it will become an annual and international event taking place in the rural areas with local participation. We hope also that it can be put on the annual calendar and be marketed as such,” he said.

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