As part of the rock gong project, we began the idea of clapping patterns in music with games that included clapping in different ways and with various actions. Clanwilliam children took to this with great enthusiasm. Red Hill children needed a bit more encouragement. It requires quite a bit of energy to get things going – and facilitators who can keep up the excitement.
Rosemary Bangham and Emily Hallinan proved to be excellent at this! Musical accompaniment from croc E Moses on guitar and Anele Mhlahlo on violin helped things along.
In Clanwilliam we gradually introduced the rock gongs – the portable ones – into the equation and then the improvised music from the instruments.
Anele initiated a project where the children sang various chords with his violin and John Woodland joined in (after a mad dash from Cape Town to be with us). We could see that this aspect needed much more time and rehearsal, but it worked – if one was not expecting instant excellence.
This gives us encouragement that the idea of building a piece of music with children and rock gongs is achievable. The plan (at the moment) is to record tracks of clapping, rock-gonging, humming, clicking, whistling and then add the sound of choirs on top of that. Our iPads (donated by Help the World to read in Sweden), will be invaluable in making the initial recordings. If the process works, we will do additional fund-raising with the aim of a full-on musical project.