By Bamuturaki Musinguzi
Published November 5, 2013
Burnt Friedman from Germany and Hakim Kiwanuka of Uganda only rehearsed for two days in Kampala but managed to stage a captivating electronic – acoustic music experience extravaganza.
The two extraordinary musicians, Friedman on keyboard mixed with the baseline and drums and Kiwanuka on African percussion, tube fiddle, flute and shakers, took their fans through a musical journey of exceptional talent.
They played seven untitled tacks without vocals on a rainy evening much to the delight of the audience, who were glued to their seats enjoying rear unique rich sounds.
The Burnt Friedman and Hakim Kiwanuka Live in Concert was held on October 10, 2013 at Ugandan German Cultural Society Gardens in Kampala.
Friedman said he was excited about his concert with Kiwanuka. Despite the many shows he had had on his sub-Sharan African tour before and regardless of the rain that pounded Kampala, Friedman said the Kampala concert provided the best cooperation and that he was very happy with the quality of sound and the high level of professionalism exhibited.
Friedman said he was also very happy with the cooperation of Kiwanuka who proved to be both skilled and open to learn the new rhythms and break boundaries and patterns.
“I enjoyed performing with Friedman because of his style of play and musical arrangements,” Kiwanuka told ArtMatters.Info. “It was my first time plating with an electronic musician of his caliber. It was really a good experience for me because his tracks are within the four – nine notes.”
The concert was part of Friedman’s Sub-Sahara African tour initiated by the Goethe-Institut head office in Munich, Germany.
Among the concerts held were those with Warusamba in Lagos, Nigeria on October 4, 2013: with Otieno Wakake in Nairobi, Kenya on October 7 and with Tlale Makhene in Johannesburg, South Africa on October 13.
Friedman is one of Germany’s most long established and highly rated electronic musicians with a career spanning almost 40 years.
Friedman, who was born in Coburg, Germany in 1965, likes to describe his music as non-place. He is not very fond of the idea of giving music “nationalities” or “geographies,” since he believes rhythm and music are universal.
Friedman’s music discovers the magic moments during the repetition of musical patterns. His aim is to invent music that is extraterritorial, post-national and non-place.
After studying art in Kassel, Friedman decided in the late 1980s to pursue his creative ideas exclusively over the medium of music. He attended the Academy of Media Arts Cologne as a postgraduate guest student, and subsequently began to publish the audio repertoire built up since 1979 along with current studio productions.
He also gave concerts and became involved in collaborative projects overseas. His productions were noticed by the Cologne electronic music scene in the 1990s, and roused even more attention at international level. His output is characterized by a series of collaborative projects with, or published under, names like Atom, Flanger, Jaki Liebezeit, Hayden Chisholm, Root70, Mark Ernestus, Steve Jansen and David Sylvian.
In 2000 Friedman launched his own record label, Nonplace, with 35 releases to date. Working under the solo artist name of Burnt Friedman, he sought to address the prejudices people had then about the authenticity of programmed music.
Friedman, whose work has been critically acclaimed by the international music press, will be releasing a new album in 2014.
His studio and on-stage partnership with Jaki Liebezeit, the former drummer of CAN, developed pioneering electronic-acoustic music. On the strength of their craft and universal musical vocabulary, they have consciously distanced themselves from the traditional formulas of Western European and Anglo-American music. Their recordings and work should be seen as intermediate phases in an on-going process.
Kiwanuka is a multi-talented Ugandan musician who has experimented with the merging of traditional instruments with the most different music styles. Born and raised in a musical family in the eastern part of Uganda he started playing music at the age of 10 years and became a multi-instrumentalist, dancer and percussionist who is now playing most of the Ugandan traditional instruments such as flute, xylophones, drums, tube fiddle and others.
As a musician Kiwanuka has been on tour in Europe and Africa, and played alongside artists like London Sinfonietta, Myko Ouma, Isaiah Katumwa, Richard Kawesa, Benon Mugumbya, Sarah Ndagiire, Suzan Kerunen, Qwela and Soul Beat Africa. At the moment he is recording new material with his own project, African Orchestra.