Pauw projects

Pauw, and Erasmus, November 2015. ‘Memory wrapped in the lament I hear’

A music curation by Garth Erasmus (Khoi memory instruments bow, blik’nsnaar, etc.) and myself (flute). The curation was conceptualised as an interrogation from within decolonial aestheSis whereby the disruption of established frameworks occurs. The curation was based on the historical forced removals of people from ‘Roesdorp’, Stellenbosch, 1971. The programme comprised a lecture on the history of Roesdorp presented by myself, and the music included solo flute compositions by Bongani Ndodana-Breen, Roelof Temmingh, Francis Poulenc, Edie Hill, and a commissioned composition from Paul Hanmer, titled, ‘…ma Wanne Kommie Druiwe?’ (2015). To these solo pieces that I played, Garth Erasmus improvised simultaneously, thereby signifying layers of history, and openings into dialogue from memory into history—through arts that were formerly seen as exclusionary to one another. The event was presented as the annual 2015 Huberte Rupert Memorial Lecture, hosted by the Stellenbosch Arts Association in the Rupert Gallery, Stellenbosch. The poster, programme notes and public lecture is on: The first public screening of ‘Kreun’ is advertised on the poster image:

Three films were produced on the Roesdorp event, all by Director Aryan Kaganof:

‘Kreun’ (2016) (c 17 minutes), or, as commissioned by New Music SA: (under the section ‘Soundings’).

A second film, more critically edited, is titled ‘Khoisan ghost kreun’ (2016) (16’33”)

The third film is ‘Roesdorp naklank’ (2017) (3’38”), with piano music by Michael Blake, and my voice as recorded during the lecture to the event.


Pauw, and Bam, March 2016. Poulenc Portrait: Poulenc and his rebellions

In 2016 and clarinettist Annamarie Bam and I designed a concert programme for five woodwinds and piano that centred on the music of Francis Poulenc. Our colleagues were John Rojas (oboe), Len Worthington-Smith (horn), Glyn Partridge (bassoon) and Benjamin van Eeden (piano). Our programme was designed to indicate what music styles Poulenc rebelled against, and included a composition by one of Poulenc’s contemporaries to indicate musically some of the tensions at play. However, the programme was also designed to invite the audience to critical self reflection on taste, style, concert manners, and the place of ‘ruin’ in a post-occidental society situated in the Global South. The concept of ‘ruin’ was referenced in the performance of the flute solo by Poulenc, title ‘A flutist serenades the ruins’. The sound clip of the flute solo (1’05”), recorded in performance, can be heard here (played on alto flute, recorded by Aret Lambrechts of the Stellenbosch University Sound Studio): The programme was presented on March 10, 2016 as part of the Stellenbosch Woordfees. The concert became source material for one of the case studies of interrogating contemporary ‘critical’ music practice in my article publication in Acta Academica 49:2 (2017): ‘Musicking Poulenc’s ruins in Stellenbosch’.


Sze and Pauw, June 2017. ‘Sensing Colour’, curated by Winnie Sze, at the Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town.

Presented with flutist Alexandra Osborn, playing three compositions, with videography by Dave Osborn.


Pauw, with Erasmus, and Blom, March 2018. ‘Khoi’npsalms’: Garth Erasmus (Khoi memory instruments), Francois Blom (organ) and Marietjie Pauw (flute)

Synopsis of project: With ‘Khoi’npsalms’, the bringing together of historically impossible relationships of music-making help us to re-imagine intimacies and care amidst remembering. These intimacies, portrayed in the film on the music theatre production, lie at the heart of decolonial arts projects that move through troubling history to traverse into archaeological, improvisatory and unexpected engagements with the present. Genevan psalm melodies and psalm texts, translated into Dutch, were brought to South Africa by the ‘Hollanders’ of the Dutch East India Company/ VOC in 1652. In 1937, Totius—Afrikaans poet and Afrikaner-political activist—translated the texts into Afrikaans; texts still used today.

In ‘Khoi’npsalms’, South African Khoi music on bow, saxophone and blik’nsnaar is played by Garth Erasmus. His music laces into fragments of 16thcentury Genevan psalm melodies played by Marietjie Pauw (flute) and Francois Blom (organ).  There is no explicit dialogue. The psalms are woven into memories of Khoi music to engage with shared, violent histories, including imperial genocide and violence from apartheid social engineering of people, legislated in 1948—harms that still persist.

Accompanying programme notes suggest a narrative. The six selected psalm melodies are thereby referenced and translated freely from the Afrikaans texts and contextualised by Khoi remembrances. A sound recording of the final performance (8/3/2018, Stellenbosch, 45’) is at

Programme notes in Afrikaans are posted on

Programme notes in English, are here.

Film made in response to the music event, directed by Aryan Kaganof (2018), titled ‘Nege fragmente uit ses khoi’npsalms’ (21 minutes): Also see The film was selected for its world-première screening on the ‘International Encounters Film Festival’ (June 2018, The Labia, Cape Town), with Directors description noted:

Another short film was released prior to the music event, based on a rehearsal: ‘Khoi’npsalm 45’ (7 minutes),

Reflections on aspects of collaboration, based on sound clips form the music event, were written by Pauw, Erasmus, and Blom, published in Oxford Artistic Research, Issue 4 (forthcoming, 2019).

A response to Aryan Kaganof’s film, written by Erasmus and Pauw, in Third Text: Critical Perspectives on Contemporary Art&Culture, is forthcoming.


Pauw, with Erasmus, Kaganof and Biscombe, July 2018.

‘Life writing 7 Joubert Street’: work in progress: an article, a commissioned video by Hilton Biscombe, a film by Aryan Kaganof based on live music-making on the premises of 7 Joubert Street (music by myself and Garth Erasmus). This project acknowledges the history of this locality and its wider contextual signification and invites future contributions about the address, and the families (Okkers, Du Toit, Stellenbosch University) that resided there. 7 Joubert Street, situated in the house that we have requested be named Pieter Okkers-huis, is (since October 2017) the address of Africa Open Institute for Music, Research and Innovation. Our music-making in 7 Joubert was based on a score by Aryan Kaganof, ‘Suiwer’ (2017). Screen 7 of ‘Suiwer’ was filmed and edited by Aryan as ‘Suiwer in Blauw’. ‘Life writing 7 Joubert Street’ is included in the first edition of the AOI online journal, ‘Phulaphula’ (2018), with editor Julia Raynham. URL forthcoming on publication.


Pauw, with Erasmus, 2018 (work in progress): Oorlogskloof

A live website that invites artists to contribute visual and sound clips on their experiences of Oorlogskloof, near Nieuwoudtville, Northern Cape Province. My and Garth Erasmus’ music making remembers the layers of history associated with this arid kloof, which, in the few winter months has the Oorlogskloofrivier full of water, at times impassable. Our music-making remembers the siege of 1739, when the trekboer commando (Boer colonial farmers) ambushed the Khoi kraal headed by Kaptein Jantjie Klipheuwel. The colonials killed 13 Khoi people, and captured ‘162 cattle, 209 sheep, three iron pots, a copper kettle, three horses and a saddle. One of the colonial Khoi was killed and Hendrik Debes, a cavalry captain, wounded in the head. Before leaving the kraal, the commando returned 48 cattle and 48 sheep to the survivors’ to make, what I call: a cheap peace (Information quoted from Northern Cape Nature Conservancy Service Oorlogskloof brochure, based on research by Penn, 1985.) Throughout the valley, and along the hiking route lie scattered the unnamed, but prominent graveyards, most probably dating to the time of the Great Depression when farmers tried to make a living in this valley. URL forthcoming on publication.


Pauw, 2018 (work in progress). Critical edition of Arnold van Wyk’s score: ‘Poerpasledam’ for flute and piano

This composition exists only in manuscript form in DOMUS, with edited markings inserted by Van Wyk’s friend, Howard Ferguson. The work was composed in 1944 as a piano duet, revised and adapted in 1981 for flute and piano, with, to date, public performances in 1945 (piano duo), and in 1981, 2014, 2016 (flute and piano duo). For a self-reflexive essay on the ideological tensions of the performance of this composition, see my article in Afrikaans (with extended English summary) in LitNet Akademies (2017): ‘Reverberations of Poerpasledam for flute and piano by Arnold van Wyk’. URL forthcoming on publication.

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