Winds Of Samsara received a Grammy® Award at the 57th Annual Grammy® Awards for his 2014 album Winds of Samsara, a collaboration with Indian composer and producer Ricky Kej.
Globe-trotting South African flautist and composer Wouter Kellerman’s new album has debuted at number one on the Billboard New Age sales chart in the US.
This is a landmark achievement for a South African artist. The album, called Winds of Samsara, also features at number 18 on the all-category Billboard Heartseeker album sales chart. This chart reflects the week’s top-selling albums by new or development acts.
Winds of Samsara is released in South Africa by Next Music, in association with Kellerman.
The album is a collective collaborative production between Kellerman and Indian producer and keyboardist Ricky Kej, who is renowned for his work on Bollywood films.
“Making this album challenged us as artists to push borders aside and have one common thread through the universal language of music,” said a delighted Kellerman. We’ve recorded in Los Angeles, Seattle, Melbourne, Johannesburg, Bangalore and Bulgaria, with full orchestras on most of the tracks. “The album’s messages of world peace and positivity ring true from the core of the collaborative process,” the musician added.
Kellerman’s debut album Colour, was released in 2008. He won a South African Music Award in 2010 for his live DVD, Kellerman Colour Live. In 2011, Kellerman scooped a Sama for best instrumental album.
Over the last two years, he has toured the world extensively, performing in cities including Berlin, Shanghai, New York and Sydney. His 2012 US tour saw him performing at prestigious venues like the Kennedy Centre in Washington DC and Ceasars Palace in Las Vegas.
Kellerman is touring Australia before leaving for the US. He will be performing at The Grammy Museum in Los Angeles on October 1.The dynamic musician ends his American appearance with a performance at New York City’s famous Carnegie Hall on October 4.
'WINDS OF SAMSARA' has debuted at nr.1 on the BILLBOARD CHARTS for New Age albums
"Mzansi... showcases fascinating idiomatic and cultural mixtures."
My album is featured on the New Age review site, Facing North! See Elizabeth Hazel's review here.
"...Mzansi is a world fusion feast for the ears. Anyone with an interest in world jazz, African music, world fusion, instrumental, and rhythmic, musical wanderings will love Mzansi."
Read Matthew's entire review here!
From Janet Mawdesley's review of Mzansi: "Take care when listening to Mzansi as you will find it brings a lightening of the soul, a lifting of the spirit and a smile to the face. Enjoy every note – I did, I have and I am."
Check out the Janet's entire Bluewolf Mzansi review here.
Mzansi has moved up again! Now, the album is #24 on CMJ's New World Radio Chart! Thank you everyone for your support! Make sure to check it out on all digital outlets.
"Kellerman.. infuses whatever seems to best illuminate his intent... A surprising blend of the dark continent and the land of leprechauns… indeed a hornpipe set into the huge lower continent with Kellerman's flute flying high above like a suffused lark."
To read F&AME's full review, click here.
From CD Insight's review of Mzansi:
"Flutist Wouter Kellerman, who hails from South Africa, truly creates world-fusion music that is multi-cultural and genre-crossing because he brings together global musical elements to form a powerful, jubilant and universal sound."
Read the entire review here.
Producer and guitarist is to join Wouter Kellerman on his upcoming US tour. Performing dates include the 5th and 6th of October 2013 at the South African Film and Music festival in LA and a performance at the Rockwood Music Hall in NYC on the 30th of September.
Mauritz produced Wouter's most recent album 'Timeless' and was in LA last year September to mix the album with Wouter and double Grammy-winning engineer Husky Holskulds.
Other musicians to be part of the tour is Senegalese singer Lamine Sonko, South African bassist Phresh Makhene and drummer David Klassen.
Wouter will be joining Hugh Masekela, The Soil and others at the South African Film and Music festival.
A virtuoso, a new slant and a dash of Dixie
Jazzaholic by Don Albert: Wouter Kellerman is a virtuoso flautist as his latest CD ’Timeless’ proves.
It’s a mix of styles from an Afrikaans liedjie “Ek Verlang Na Jou” to pastoral “Solveig’s Song” and “Greensleeves” to a very sincere tribute to Nelson Mandela which is done over two tracks No 7 “Madiba” and No 9 ”The Long Road”. His explanation of the music in the liner notes helps one paint an imaginary picture of what the music is saying, from rural Transkei and herding cattle to events in Johannesburg and eventually peace.
Besides his beautiful tone, his arsenal of sounds include the use of his throat, percussive sounds with the pads, beatbox playing and tonguing all of which adds colour to the themes. The gospel feel of “Up To The Mountain” is inspired by Martin Luther King’s “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” and there is also a tender version of “Over The Rainbow” among the 12 tracks played by various backing combinations. This is not jazz per se, but what it is, is good music by an instrumentalist we don’t hear enough of in South Africa. The Americans want him back after his recent USA tour, and he often tours Australia.
Kellerman peppers a lot of his music with his African roots and rhythms. His CDs and DVDs, which are well recorded, make wonderful presents especially for overseas family and friends. For info www.wouterkellerman.com or email@example.com.
‘If ever South Africa needed a cultural ambassador, Wouter Kellerman would be the perfect candidate’ - Richard Nwamba, SAA Magazine, Sawubona
‘An extraordinary master flautist’ - Don Albert, Jazzaholic Journalist
‘He musically flirts with the flavours of Latin America, ropes in the rhythmic world of South Africa, borrows improvisatory elements from jazz, while firmly anchoring these influences in his classical and acoustical Roots’ - Classic Feel
‘I loved every moment, wonderful flute playing’ - Sir James Galway
‘Magnificent, diverse flute playing’ - Richard Giles, Nexus Magazine
‘Kellerman’s soul is laid bare through the flutes that he plays, and manages to touch audiences in a special way. He presents a message of universal goodwill for all humanity.’ - Peter Tladi, Standard Bank Joy of Jazz Festival
‘Wouter shows that music goes across cultures and colour, it comes from the heart’- Glenn Masokane, Director Cultural Development, Department of Arts and Culture, South Africa
‘Brilliant South African crossover flautist’ - The Australian
‘Wouter Kellerman’s 2011 show was very popular and had the critics raving. He combines empathy and an unaffected stage presence with a great sense of humour and loves to engage with the audiences’ - Brett Pyper, KKNK Festival
‘At each turn, there was something new or something recognizable with a new spin. Kellerman took his audience on an incredible musical journey’ - Citizen Citi Vibe
‘Haunting, poignant, sprightly, naughty, the emotion flows through, augmented by the very African beats’ - Jennifer de Klerk, Editor, Artslink.co.za
‘Kellerman has an excellent, comfortable rapport with the audience and his band, giving just enough to put the music in context but always allowing the music to speak for itself.’ - Annette Bayne, The Citizen
‘Wouter Kellerman’s show is a listening experience that offers multiple rewards to music lovers of all persuasions’ - Classic Feel
‘Wouter captures Africa in a way that I have not heard anyone else do’ - Mike Fuller,promoter
‘This was a terrific night of marvellous music that left the audience with sore hands from all the enthusiastic applause.’- Barry Lenny, Glam Adelaide
‘South Africa’s amazing Pied Piper’- The Star
‘Fresh, invigorating and a joy to listen to’ - Madeleine Wickins, Arts Alive Festival,Johannesburg
‘I don't think I've ever heard such graceful, gentle and lyrical playing, combined with a sense joyful fun and heartfelt expression.’ - Ceri Balston, Harmonious Living
‘A fusion of classical training, intuition, creative exploration of culture across the world’- King Phatudi, Chairman Moshito and Founder First Son Entertainment Solutions
‘The two voices are my voice and those of the musicians I collaborated with on this album,’Wouter Kellerman explains in the liner notes of his latest release. ‘They are also the voices of myinfluences – African and otherwise…’ The SAMA winning flautist already demonstrates an eclectic mix of influences in his own work. When this is augmented by a series of collaborations with a varied set of highly individual musicians, the result is an aural experience that takes the listener through musical terrain with an unprecedented number of stylistic twists and turns. ‘When I collaborate with someone, I try and adapt to them and get out of my comfort zone,’ Kellerman explains, speaking over the phone from Melbourne during a break in his Australian tour. ‘That makes it really interesting because you discover new music and new aspects of your own music making.’ One example of the collaborative creative process that gave rise to the songs on Two Voices was Kellerman’s work with guitarist Paul Carlos, his co-writer on much of the music on his previous album. ‘Our collaboration usually works like this,’ the flautist explains, ‘we do a yoga session together and then afterwards we just sit and play music – really just playing anything that comes into our heads. We have no structure, no concept of what we want to do, we just play. Most of it doesn’t sound very good, but we’ll hit on one or two things that work and then justgo with them and see where they take us.’ The opening track on the album, ‘Cape Flats’ was written in this way. ‘We were sitting and playing, and I just thought to myself, 'Why do I even need to change the note?' My whole attitude to music is to touch its roots, the core of it. I feel that too much of the music today is created by intellectual activity, rather than coming from the heart. So I thought, 'Let me just try and play one note for as long as I can.' 'Cape Flats' came out of that. I was just trying to be as expressive as I could while playing one note and Paul just played two chords and the song grew out of that.’ Among Kellerman’s other collaborators on the album are Senegalese vocalist Lamine Sonko, much loved South African songbird Nianell and pianist Wessel van Rensburg. The back-up musicians include some of South Africa’s most well established and trusted session players such as bassist, Victor Masondo and guitarist, Mauritz Lotz. The recording is co-produced by Kellerman and local hit-maker JB Arthur. The music runs seamlessly through genres and styles that one might normally think incongruous: Senegalese folk songs, tango, Irish hornpipe tunes (with a strong African flavour), rap and jazz. There is a risk, with all of this wondrous variety that the finished product may end up fragmentedand scattered. But this is not the case with Two Voices, because there is one factor common to all tracks and all the ideas represented on the album, and that of course, is Kellerman himself.‘People are complex beings,’ he says, ‘and musicians are complex, and I want to challenge this concept that an album has to have just one type of music. I get bored listening to a lot ofalbums out there. Take an album of Mozart or Bach flute sonatas, for example. You don’t need an hour of flute sonatas – one sonata’s enough and then you want to listen to something else. An album should be an expression of who you are at that moment. I listen to lots of different music – classical, jazz, hip hop, folk and roots. This album is an expression of who I am and what I like. The decision to put it all on one album was a difficult one to make at first because it’s contrary to traditional wisdom. My thinking is that the listener might like and relate to one song, and then the next one will be something completely different but it will stretch the listener a bit. As a musician, I’m saying, 'Maybe you like this, but here’s something else, maybe you’ll like that too.' It’s challenging the listener, which is what I enjoy when I listen to music.’ Kellerman’s musical training was entirely in the classical field. The flute was his instrument of choice from the moment his parents took him to his first symphony concert. He later went on to become one of the ountry’s top young flautists, playing in the South African National Youth Orchestra. But even hile he was learning his trade as a classical performer, he listened to all kinds of music and knew that eventually he would need to find a way to express those influences. However, the transition from orchestral performer to composer and improviser was not always smooth. ‘I found it a huge tumbling block at first. As classical musicians, we always read music; we don’t often create orimprovise new music. In the beginning Paul Carlos and I were both classical musicians and we thought that we were both equally clueless when it came to improvisation, so we felt comfortable improvising together. I remember the first time we decided to try and improvise something and we said, 'Okay, but how do you improvise? What do you do? Well, I suppose you just play whatever comes into your head and see if it sounds good.' So that’s what we did.’ Two Voices offers listeners the opportunity to experience some of the musical adventure that Kellerman and Carlos first embarked on then, and which still continues, now with several equally intrepid fellow travellers. It is a listening experience that offers multiple rewards to music lovers of all persuasions.
Venue: Nexus Cabaret, Lion Arts Centre, North Terrace, Adelaide
Season: One night only
Duration: 2hrs 30min
Award winning South African flautist, Wouter Kellerman, presented a superb concert to launch his latest CD, Two Voices. Playing a range of instruments, from bass flute, through concert flute, to a simple plastic, six hole fife. Kellerman brought Senegalese singer and percussionist, Lamine Sonko, and South African singer and bassist, Phresh Makhene, with him, adding Melbourne based guitarist Ben Hauptmann to complete the group for this concert. Hauptmann has been playing with them regularly, whenever they in Australia, for the last couple of years
.This was a very varied concert, with a number of Kellerman's own compositions alongside traditional tunes, and not only music from Africa. Among them, interestingly, was a piece he called Irish March, a slow and atmospheric version of the Irish tune, Brian Boru's March, a 6/8 march more often played as a lively jig in Irish music sessions. Retitled as African Hornpipes was a set of three Irish hornpipes consisting of Boys of Blue Hill, Harvest Home, and the three part Belfast Hornpipe. They were given a very different treatment, however fusing them with hints of classical flute technique and African rhythms initially created by only voices.
A stunning flute solo, In the Moment, includes beat box techniques he learned from the acclaimed American beat-boxing flautist, Greg Patillo. Kellerman has a great many techniques at his command from triple tonguing, to flutter tonguing, over blowing for a percussive effect, tapping hard on the keys for another percussion sound, singing while playing and more. He used these with great effect during the course of the concert.
The world of the Classics gets an update with Folies d'Espagne. written by Baroque composer Marin Marais and based on a folk tune, now given some exciting new variations. Duel is another beautiful piece for flute and guitar, initially copying each other then slowly expanding and becoming more complex as Kellerman and Hauptmann take turns in demonstrating their virtuosity and the capabilities of their instruments.
The tango music of Astor Piazzolla got a new treatment and there were jazz influences in some of the tunes but, in spite of all of the fusion, there was always that magical flute sound and infectious African rhythms that provided the linking force that ran through the concert. One great number followed another and, as an encore, a traditional gumboot dance closed the evening, with Kellerman and Sonko energetically performing to guitar and bass accompaniment. This was a terrific night of marvellous music that left the audience with sore hands from all the enthusiastic applause.
Needless to say, Lamine Sonko, Phresh Makhene and Ben Hauptmann are of the same high calibre of musician as Wouter Kellerman, making this a wonderful concert in all ways through the close interaction between them.
Get a copy of the Two Voices CD and his first CD, Colour, as well. Watch for him to return to Adelaide again and make sure you grab every chance to hear him live.
Kellerman’s Colours - The amazing thing about the flute is that it’s simply a pipe with holes in it, yet the sound it produces in the right hands can be truly captivating, writes David Jenkin
The Yopanis Gallery, Randburg
Wouter Kellerman, Michal George, Phresh Makhene
Wouter Kellerman is a renowned flautist who put his talents on display on August 7 and 8, along with international award-winning classical guitarist Michal George, amazingly talented percussionist Phresh Makhene, powerful vocalist Nonhlanhla Mdluli and Wessel van Rensburg, one of SA’s leading jazz pianists.
The venue was small, with a just a few chairs set up in an art gallery with a small stage.
There were perhaps no more than 20 people in attendance, but it made for a more intimate performance.
Before the show began, an arist painted a picture in front of the stage on a transparent canvas.
Beginning with very soft tunes, Kellerman introduced his band through a gradual build-up. The music had a distinctly African flavour which was supported by bongo drums.
As the rhythm picked up, three dancers came to the fore.
The dancers, Muntu Ngubane, Carmia Cruywagen and Kabelo Sebusi, moved with appropriate rhythms and demonstrated some remarkable skills with vivid movements, and a bit of Latin flavour incorporated at times.
For one of the final pieces, the dancers joined the band on stage as they played a thundering drum beat accompanied by the guitar, keyboard and flute.
There were very few points worth criticising – one or two slip-ups, but nothing too noticeable.
Much of what they performed was more or less improvised, such as a duel between Kellerman’s flute and the guitar.
The music the flute produces is very simple, and one song in par-ticular was composed with only two chords, but as Kellerman himself stated: “There is beauty in simplicity.”
Kellerman’s new album, Colour, reached No 1 on the Classic FM charts in SA, and was nominated for a Sama award.
He’s recently secured record deals in Europe and received offers from Australia and the US. Most of the music performed on the night was from this album.
Like most people across the globe, the bulk of the employees at SXSW were obsessed with the World Cup from start to finish. Sad we couldn't witness it unfold live, we came in late and took long lunches for the month it was on TV. Most of us - except for maybe the bossman - were sad to see it end, but imagine our surprise and excitement when we saw SXSW alumni Wouter Kellerman playing his flute live at the World Cup Closing Ceremonies.
The close of the FIFA 2010 World Cup was a magnificent display of light, art and dance, and the music that accompanied it was top notch. Shakira, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Zolani from Freshly Ground, Ihashi Elimhlophe, Abigail Kubeka and many others from across Africa and the globe performed, and Wouter Kellerman, to our delight, was one of them. Making his Texas debut at SXSW 2010, Kellerman made quite a splash in world music circles.
SXSW was happy to welcome a handful of acts from South Africa and across the rest of the continent, and hope to see even more at SXSW 2011. Congratulations to Wouter Kellerman and to the nation of South Africa for a stellar World Cup Performance.
Three years ago, flautist Wouter Kellerman exploded on to the South African world music scene in a burst of musical colour and texture. His first album, Colour, was nominated for a South African Music Award (Sama) for Best Instrumental Album in 2008. The album’s DVD – Kellerman Colour Live – won the 2010 Sama for Best Jazz/Instrumental/Popular Classical DVD. Kellerman has been travelling the world with his flutes and multi-layered sound. This year he has performed at the opening ceremony of the international Midem conference in France and at the closing ceremony of the Fifa World Cup. When asked what it is about his music that has garnered him such a diverse, multicultural fanbase, Kellerman put it down to two things; his influences and the flute. “I think the fact that I’m influenced by such a wide range of different things makes my music accessible to many people. There is Irish influence as well as Latin and African.”
But it is the flute that Kellerman believes attracts people to his music – it isn’t an instrument commonly played outside of the classical music genre. “It is very unlikely for a flautist to play at a World Cup, isn’t it?” he points out. “I think people relate to the flute because it is played by breathing and everyone can do that. “My kind of flute playing is not a classic style, where you try and hide the breath. You have to hear me breath. I am a live musician. I like people to hear the breath when I play and to hear the air in the notes. I am very particular about that in my live concerts and in my recordings.” One could consider Kellerman a collector of sounds. He celebrates diversity and experiments with a wide range of influences and sounds. Even the sound of the Joburg hadedas – which he loves – has found its way into his music.
Colour was really the solo result of these sound experiments. Kellerman’s new album, Two Voices, takes his diversity of ideas one step further, as he collaborates on each piece of music with a different artist. “When I work with another artist, we start with a totally blank page. “We will just start playing and in that process we will hit on something that sounds good and then we will use that as the starting point for the piece,” Kellerman says “Or there might be something that I hear that really moves me and I know immediately that I have to do this song.” Kellerman has pulled many of the themes from his first album into the second and many of his original influences are still there. However, there is a much stronger African flavour, with some interesting collaborations with Senegal’s Lamine Sonko. “Every musician influences you and from every collaboration you learn something,” he says.
I AM not sure how many album launches require audiences to do a little bit of yoga in the middle of the show. But at the launch of Wouter Kellerman’s new album Two Voices, it somehow seemed to fit, considering many of the songs, written in collaboration with JB Arthur, followed a yoga session. In his quiet, gentle manner, Kellerman took his audience on an incredible musical journey through his new album.
He was joined on stage by Phresh Makhene on bass and vocals, Mauritz Lotz on guitar, Senegalese singer Mo Dediouf and David Klassen on drums and percussion. At each turn, there was something new or something recognisable with a new spin. For instance, in African Hornpipes, the Irish hornpipes were given a African flavour, played by Kellerman on a plastic fife. Mzansi, written by Paul Carlos and Kellerman, was an experiment with harmony and discord. But perhaps one of the most moving moments of the evening was the performance by Kellerman and Makhene of a song called Sylvia. Makhene has been Kellerman’s long-time bassist and this was the song they wrote together for the new album. The piece started with Makhene creating percussion sounds in a bowl of water on stage. The effect was quite beautiful. Kellerman has an excellent, comfortable rapport with the audience and his band, giving just enough to put the music in context but always allowing the music to speak for itself.
A pair of ethnically painted gumboots stood centre stage, teasing the audience, without any mention made of them from start to finish of the show. It was in the encore that Kellerman pulled the gumboots on in order to “prove that white men really can’t dance”, joining Makhene in a gumboot dance. Upbeat and lively, the rubberslapping high jinks was a perfect ending to the show.
From Latin America to Ireland and Africa. Kellerman's diverse styles and arrangements make this primarily instrumental, world music album a listening pleasure.
Colour is the long-awaited album of one of South Africa's premier flautists, Wouter Kellerman.
A strongly collaborated album that includes the talents of artists like Mauritz Lotz, Paul Whellock, Nianell and Tim Moloi and double Grammy winner Husky Hoskulds who is responsible for mixing the album.
Colour includes both arrangements like Piazzola's Vuelvo Al Sur, a Latin American piece, and on the other end of the spectrum, Prince's Nothing Compares To You and composed pieces by Kellerman.
A surprising album in the way of a traditional Celtic piece like Irish March can lie side by side with unusual Khokho. An African-inspired celebration of the most versatile of instruments - the human voice. And neither piece seems to be out of place. But one thing is for certain, this is not a traditional flute album.
Vanjaar se KKNK sal onthou word vir die Nederlanders, stiller strate, maar bykans stampvol sale.Die Nederlandse plek-spesifieke produksies het die Karoo-landskap ingespan as rekwisiete en agtergrond vir sonderlinge teaterervarings en hoogstaande vermaak. Die kroon was gewis TUIG se Sal to Vitale wat elemente van die sirkus se waagkuns en “Middeleeuse” meganika gebruik het om ’n visuele sprokie oor waagmoed, hetsy vir kreatiewe uitlewing of vir die lewe self, te vertel. Die maan het op die koop toe kom oogknip in ’n blouswart naghemel.
David Geysen se Ararat het weer ’n volstruiskamp omskep met droom- en drogbeelde om die skeppingsverhaal te herskryf, en die heerlik komiese Onder Constructie het ’n uitgeleefde toekomstige wêreld uitgebeeld waar die oorlewing van die geskikste steeds aan die orde is. Die Belgiese sanger Stef Bos het ná ’n te lang afwesigheid van dié fees sy splinternuwe
Afrikaanse liedere kom sing – sy Stillewe skyn ’n kosbare kleinood vir algar wat by die eenmalige konsert was.’n Tsjeggiese dansgeselskap se produksie, Ontbloting van die Vroulike Siel, het heerlik ondermynende vermaak verskaf. Dit is ’n diepsinnige draakstekery van truuks om skoonheid te probeer verewig – die dansers se uitlokkende kommunikasie met die gehoor was verrassend anders.
Saam met die Nederlandse Introdans het hulle vir die hoogtepunte op die dansprogram gesorg.Hennie van Greunen se produksie van Rachelle Greeff se teks Die Naaimasjien was gepas die Herrie-gunsteling en Sandra Prinsloo die beste vroulike kunstenaar. Aan die toneelfront het ook verlede jaar se Aarklop-gunstelinge soos Marthinus Basson se produksie van Blou Uur uitgetroon – laasgenoemde is met ’n Kanna vir beste algehele produksie bekroon. Op die fees het Marion Holm dan ook haar gewilde Sussie-karakter vaarwel toegeroep met Sussie Cheers!.
Om ’n vars bries te voel, moet jy soms moeite doen om daarna te gaan soek – om te sien waartoe jong akteurs en musici in staat is
.As jy wil saampraat of kritiseer, moet jy sien en hoor wat die jonges interesseer.
Die temas wat in die drie produksies Die Bannelinge, Die Wagkamer en Spokie Snygans maak sy Buiging vir die Spat-kompetisie ondersoek is, was neerdrukkend.
Dis nie dat ’n mens die ou klassieke klug Die Wildsboudjie terugwens nie, net dat vaardigheid en intensiteit nie noodwendig bloed en derms nodig het nie. Gesoute akteurs sal bevestig dat die teenoorgestelde waar is.
’n Stuk oor, eerder as deur, jonges, is Samoerai en ’n persoonlike gunsteling. Hier is bewys dat die afwesigheid van bloed selfs meer ysingwekkend kan wees as ’n konfrontasie daarmee.
Die stuk 2-21 is half verkeerdelik as musiekteater geklassifiseer, maar dit is geen maklike taak om dit in ’n genre te plaas nie. Hier het Anneke Weideman (16) verbyster. Sy was eerder ’n teenwoordigheid as ’n karakter.
Nog ’n jong kunstenaar wat verras het, is Jaco Blomerus met sy toonsettings van Antjie Krog se gedigte. Hy was met reg een van die benoemdes vir die Kanna vir beste nuweling.
Twee hoogtepunte in die genre kontemporêre musiek was Saam met Amanda Strydom en Lize Beekman, en Kleur met Wouter Kellerman op sy fluite en die res van sy orkes en dansers. Dié twee produksies was balsem vir die siel.
Wouter Kellerman is 'n begaafde fluitspeler, maar is daarby 'n musikant wat hom komposisioneel en improvisatories oop laat vir heelparty invloede, selfs van ver buite die landsgrense. Hy is 'n wereldreisiger gewis, en in die opsig word sy eerste album geklassifiseer in die vreemde kategorie genoem "Wêreldmusiek".by Thys Odendaal from Beeld
Wouter Kellerman is ’n begaafde fluitspeler, maar is daarby ’n musikant wat hom komposisioneel en improvisatories oop laat vir heelparty invloede, selfs van ver buite die landsgrense. Hy is ’n wêreldreisiger gewis, en in dié opsig word sy eerste album geklassifiseer in die vreemde kategorie genoem “Wêreldmusiek”.
(In die kolomme is daar al dikwels verwys na die benamings vir musiek- idiome bloot as bemarkingstrategie.)
Waar Kellerman hom ook al wil inskakel, is nie belangrik nie. Hier is die (veilige) titel van sy debuut van veel meer belang. Dat Colour verwys na die kleurryke musikale omgewing waaraan hy hom blootstel, en wat hy met heelparty ander musici op uiteenlopende instrumente aan sy luisteraars aanbied.
Ná ’n rustige Piazzolla (Vuelvo al Sur), stel Kellerman hom as komponis voor.
Onthullend, vernuwend is sy musiek nié, maar dit word baie knap gekonsipieer. Die melodieë word kundig omring in welgekose harmonieë. En dit klink altyd spontaan. Kellerman plaas die musiek voorop, en sy komposisionele strategie berus op eenvoud. Dit blyk ook duideluit die instrumentasie in ensembles wat van snit na snit verskil. So word ’n subtiele kontras in die musiek bereik, wat, soos die ganse album, ’n berustende, byna luilekker ambience optower.
Sy eerste bydrae, geskryf saam met sy musikale sielsgenoot, Paul Whellock, heet Told U So. Wat die titel beteken, is vaag, maar nie die musiek nie: subtiele Afrika, met lipposisies op die fluit wat ’n aardse gevoel skep.
Die tweede “song” – “song” word hier nie as “liedjie” bedoel nie, maar “song-like” – is Half Moon wat Whellock op die kitaarinlei en waarom Kellerman sy dwarsfluit sirkel.
Sonder om die algemene stemming prys te gee, stuur die Irish March die musiek in ’n ander rigting: die jolige dansritme, as landelike vryheid met sagte perkussie, gekompleteer deur Mauritz Lotz se omvangryker aandeel aan die snaar-insette.
Kellerman skep ’n stil, onbelemmerde atmosfeer in met die opname, maar die kontraste toon ’n goeie onwaaghalsigheid. ’n Hoogtepunte, veral in klankvariasie- en kombinasies, is Khokho: vokale improvisasie word uitbundig ingeskakel by die fluit en perkussies. Meer nog, hier is die komiese, die satiriese ook ter sprake, wat die CD wegstuur van die wroegings wat so baie opnames uit eie bodem kenmerk. Dié groep musikante put oneindige genot in hul sáám-musiekmaak. G’n wonder kreatiewe kragte bruis hier opvallend.
Met Buenos Aires, ’n Latyns-Amerikaanse luier-kuier, word tongtegnieke op die fluit geïllus-treer; knap opgevolg Quisas, quisas, quisas. Veronique sing dié welbekende deuntjie idiomaties.
Invloede strek wyd, ook Afrikaanse liedjies word ingesluit, maar ’n deurlopend individuele klankpalet word in die klankboog behou. Dis doelgerigte dissipline, sonder om spontane bydraes te smoor. Die CD is tegnies puik. Die boekie-notas, benewens die stapel bedankings “for always being there”, is kort en kragtig.
Kortom, ’n debuut van hoë gehalte, hoogs professioneel en waardevol. ’n Sonstraal in die vloed van middelmatigheid.
Steeped in classical tradition, the flute is not usually associated with innovation. This technical and idiosyncratic instrument seemingly doesn’t lend itself to wild musical explorations.
Now Wouter Kellerman wants to bring the flute back to the mainstream. “I want to show audiences the versatility of the instrument,” he says. His performance at the Beethoven Room does just that. Switching easily between classical, jazz, African and Irish music, Kellerman weaves a rich sonic tapestry.
SAMA-nominated Kellerman started young, playing mainly classical music. He attended master classes with great flautists in Europe. He was rated the top young flautist in SA.
More recently, he has begun an exploration into more contemporary styles. His new album, Colours, was mixed by Husky Huskolds, one of the best-known sound engineers in America.
On the live front, helping him on his musical journey are some excellent musicians: Michael George on guitar and Phresh Makhene on percussion and vocals.
Driven by passion
Makhene’s rich voice is a particular highlight of the gig, as is the interplay of Kellerman’s flute and George’s guitar on Duel. There are also some very different elements to the set, which includes the use of Tibetan singing bowls and an outstanding dance number.
Even though Kellerman is an engineer by trade, his passion for music keeps him coming back to performance. “For the past six years it’s been going better, and I have been able to do this professionally. It’s just my passion and it’s deep in my heart.
Voorheen het ek al kleur gepróé in die donkerpers van bosbessies, die pienk van ’n waatlemoen, die skreeuoranje van ’n ryp lemoen. Maar nog nooit het ek geweet ’n mens kan kleur hóór nie. Die towerklanke van Wouter Kellerman se verskeidenheid dwarsfluit voer jou mee. Beligtingswerk verf die.
I sit, astounded, as Wouter Kellerman describes the uncompromising attention to detail and demand for the perfect sound that went into his new album Colour. This album is his first and started as a tiny seed in his mind, where it’s been growing over the years. Five years ago he made the decision to start working on realising this dream.
Classically trained, Kellerman performed as principal flautist with the National Youth Orchestra and was a soloist with the Johannesburg Symphony Orchestra. In planning the album he moved from classical music, with its dictated notes, to improvisation, and was regularly jamming with Paul Whellock.
The outcome of many of their sessions makes up the bulk of the new album. When playing together, neither of them ever play the same thing twice – an element that can make recording a complex process. Kellerman kept a hands-on approach when producing his album, going out of his way to ensure the best.
In his search for the perfect sound he sent the album to the Grammy-winning Husky Hoskulds, a move that paid off as Hoskulds was involved in the final mix. Best described as world music, the name of the album is interpreted in a number of ways, Kellerman explains. “It’s about the different colours of the flute and my different cultural influences in-cluding African, Latin and Irish.” The strong musical influences that distinguish this album from others, have been brewing in Kellerman since a tender age.
The African music he was listening to on the radio combined with his parent’s taste in Mediterranean music. He chose to play the flute at the first symphony concert his parents took him to. Justifying this decision, he claims that “All the other instruments were being played forwards while the flute was being played to the side, and therefore it had to be a special instrument”. It was a decision that has served him well and he now plays a number of different types of flute, including the small plastic fife.
“The flute is one of the most versatile instruments available and even the little fife can create beautifully expressive music.” Currently, Kellerman is dividing his time between SA, where his performances are increasingly in demand, and internationally where he is “sticking his feelers out”. “It is very difficult to release an album overseas and many top South African musicians have been unable to do so, but I will still be going to try, and I believe that my music will appeal to the wider international audience.”
Some might think that for a talented musician, recording and releasing your first album is a straightforward process. Sign a record deal, get a fat advance, spend some time in a studio with a big-name producer, do some promo and then sit back and watch your debut opus climb the charts, right? The experiences of South African flautist Wouter Kellerman, whose self-financed debut album Colour has just been released, say otherwise.
Kellerman has supported himself professionally in dual careers, working as an electrical engineer while sidelining in the flute, including playing as principal flute in the National Youth Orchestra back in the 1980s. This duality has given him the means to finance and produce his album himself, affording him the luxury of treating it as a personal work of art, not a product needed to turn a profit commercially.
In 1997 Kellerman took a year off to focus solely on music and enter competitions, winning the Perrenoud Foundation Prize at the Vienna International Music Competition. After that he decided to explore different musical sources, to play 'music from the heart'. Colour reflects the personal journey of a classically trained musician towards world music and jazz-informed improvisation. The album has been a five-year work in progress, which began when Kellerman started jamming with his friend, guitarist Paul Whellock.
These guitar/flute duos, tracks such as Irish Moon and Buenos Aires, form the backbone of the album. Also in the mix are pieces that began as improv sessions with dancers/percussionists/vocalists David Matamala and Salome Sechele. These sessions created basic musical outlines that were 'crystallised' into definite forms in the studio by producer Maurice Lotz.
South Africa's premier flautist Kellerman (aka Wouter Kellerman) brings us his long awaited debut album, 'Colour'. From the very first note this is one of those CDs that you just know will be glued to your CD player for months to come. Relaxing, fun, soulful and joyful throughout 'Colour' is destined to be a timeless classic.
You can tell that one of Kellerman's passions, apart from music, is for the vibrant and diverse cultures that cover our world. Throughout the album he joyfully explores his own South African heritage (and Akrikaans roots in the final track 'Al Le Die Berge'), as well as delving into the rich and passionate world of the Argentinean Tango, whilst Spanish and Irish themes also abound.
Highlight tracks include the beautifully seductive and sultry tango 'Vuelvo al Sur' which just oozes with South American passion, 'Told U So' a lively and cheeky South African number and 'Quisas, quisas, quisas' the Lila Downs song made popular by the film Tortilla Soup. Having chosen those tracks I do have to say that every time I listen to 'Colour' I keep changing my mind about my favourites, the CD is just that good with tracks appropriate for all times and moods.
In this album Kellerman is joined on many of the tracks by Paul Whellock and Mauritz Lotz on guitars with artists such as Nianell, Veronique (of Idols fame) and Salome Sechele, amongst others, adding their considerable vocal talents.One of the most striking features of 'Colour' is that everything feels so personal, and throughout there is an overriding sense of fun, you can just tell that these musicians enjoy jamming together.
Also impressive is the very high production quality, I wasn't surprised then find then that this is in part due to Kellerman securing Husky Höskulds to mix 'Colour' for him, a man who has won Grammy's for his work with Norah Jones and Sheryl Crow.
If anyone is wondering how versatile and how beautiful the flute can be then this is the perfect CD to listen to. I don't think I've ever heard such graceful, gentle and lyrical playing, combined with a sense joyful fun and heartfelt expression. In the sleeve notes Kellerman ends by thanking his parents who after taking him to a symphony concert asked 'Which instrument would you like to play?', I'm certainly glad he chose the flute.
So if you're looking for something to add to your collection that will help you unwind at the end of busy and stressful day, one that will make you forget all your troubles, put a smile back on your face and even get you dancing around the house, then look no further than 'Colour'.