Brendon Bussy

If Walls Could Talk Would They Sing?

Posted in Art, Mandolin, Music, Research, Soundtracks by Brendon Bussy on September 30, 2011

In June this year I was approached by Renée Holleman to collaborate on a soundtrack for her upcoming show ‘A Novel in Parts’ at WhatIfTheWorld’s new premises in Woodstock, Cape Town.

The brief she gave me proved to be a great opportunity to explore Woodstock, the neighbourhood Masha and I had just moved into, as well as a useful challenge for my compositional techniques.

This is the final soundtrack:

Woodstock  is today primarily a Moslem community with a growing immigrant population from other parts of Africa, but up until the 1940’s it was a Jewish neighbourhood of Lithuanian decent. Renee explained that the show would touch on specific and tangential references to this context, especially as the exhibition was to take place in the old Woodstock Salt River Synagogue complex – the Hebrew Community Hall having been converted into the new gallery premises.

A detail from a work on the show ‘A Novel In Parts’

[See more images from the show here.]

She also explained that the soundtrack would need to have a clear link to the current context but also in some way evoke the past – and use sound to achieve this.  The starting point would be the location of the exhibition – the Synagogue complex, which had been de-consecrated in the late 1950’s, and had seen a number of other occupants, including a bicycle repair shop and a furniture manufacturer. (more…)

Land of the Underneath

Posted in Invention, Mandolin, Music, Soundtracks, Theatre by Brendon Bussy on September 30, 2011

After seeing our performance workshop at Out The Box, Caroline Calburn approached Jori Snell and myself to present a full length version of Land of the Underneath at the Inside Out festival(4-8 Oct in Observatory Cape Town). We agreed and Caroline also offered to help us a little by casting a critical directorial eye  (which turned out to be a real life saver!).

So after many late nights and bumping into tin cans (intentionally and unintentionally), Baba Yaga Theatre and Brendon Bussy are proud to present the new, fully enhanced, deliciously noisy and sensory adventure:

Land of the Underneath!

Suitable for 3 years to 100 🙂

Jori’s crown is played in Land of the Underneath

In ´Land of the Underneath’ a girl wakes up in a land where nothing is as it appears to be. In this land the not quite ordinary Noise Maker plays his instruments made of what we call ‘trash’, but for him they are magical objects. Together they discover a room full of delicious imagination where stories are born through objects and sounds come alive through playful movement. An interactive play inviting children of all ages to join the two characters on a journey of discovery.

Performance details (more…)

Strange Neighbours at House of Joy

Posted in Events, Music by Brendon Bussy on September 19, 2011

Some time back I approached Kolade and Emma, to have a house concert at their home (the House of Joy) in Observatory, Cape Town. They very generously agreed. It went well and since then they’ve hosted at least one such event a month. It’s really grown with some high profile acts and good support. Well this month I’m back, this time supporting Masha in an evening of story telling using voice and sound this coming Sunday 25 September.

Antjie Donder - One of Masha's Strange Neighbours

Masha will dip into her new short story collection “Strange Neighbours”, bringing its menagerie of unexpected Capetonians to life. These include trolls with a taste for pepper spray, mermaids and mysterious roast chicken eating backyard dwellers. Brendon will provide the live soundtrack using his perishable and astoni…shing instrument inventions – Gourmet Harps and other noise makers made from the bits we normally throw away.

There’ll also be tales from other parts of the world, including the beautiful world of Inuit (Eskimo) legend. But beware: these are grown up stories. Dark secrets will be revealed in these stories with and without words.
Here are the details: (more…)

How We Made Noise at Out The Box

Posted in Design, Events, Invention, Music, Soundtracks, Theatre, Workshops by Brendon Bussy on September 15, 2011

Noise was prevalent at last week’s Out the Box festival, and I made some of it.

I created original music and sound design using a table lamp amongst things, for Ubom! Theater’s Door and sound design for Kim Kerfoot’s hilariously dark Guillotine – part of Iqonga, Handspring Puppet Company’s experimental platform at the festival.

And I also found ample opportunity to test drive one of my new instruments, a perishable harp made from a 5 litre bottle and bamboo rod. Nicknamed ‘the Stick Insect’ I played it at the festival launch and garnered some favourable astonished responses (“What’s That?”). Then I used it as part of a performance workshop which Jori Snell and I ran called ‘Land of the Underneath‘.  Here’s a dramatic picture:

Playing the Stick Insect

And here’s a close up: (more…)

Children’s Theater – Not Only for Children

Posted in Soundtracks, Theatre by Brendon Bussy on September 15, 2011

So the Out the Box festival is over. A huge selection of performances, but I managed to get a taste of some of the best, much of which was high class children’s theatre.

I’ve realised the challenge of children’s theatre – how do you keep a highly energetic and perceptive audience enthralled for the duration?

I saw The Sand Boy, a simple story – a boy on a beach fashions a boy out of sand who then comes to life, has many adventures (including an epic fight with a lobster), then falls for a mermaid. It sounds light and it was, however the story was a vehicle for a sensual feast utilising complex lighting, a dramatic and detailed instrumental score, not to speak of the smoke and bubbles (!). I was really impressed at Omar Alvarez’s skilful control of all aspects of the production, including of course, the puppet manipulation, an impressive demonstration of an Argentinian tradition of puppet theatre where the manipulator does everything on stage.

The Sand Boy with his Mermaid

Another highlight was Bye Moon presented by the Belgium based Pantalone company. At only 10mins long, many avoided it thinking it wouldn’t be worth the ticket fee. (more…)