Germany’s 18-piece Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra (AMEO), in conjunction with Lusubilo Band, will date Malawi with four live performances next month.
In a press statement, Lusubilo Music Centre coordinator Charles Sinetre said the tour, dubbed What Boundaries, seeks to blend and combine Malawi’s traditional music with international jazz, current electronic music as well as elements of contemporary European music.
Sinetre said to achieve that goal, the tour will rope in a group of traditional musicians from Nsanje, who will contribute traditional Malawian techniques and instruments such as Ulimba to the sessions.
He said: “What Boundaries?! is all about breaking down boundaries – by writing and creating together.”
The visit has been designed as a three-week workshop at Karonga’s Music Centre of Lusubilo where composers from AMEO and the Lusubilo Band will create new and exclusive pieces, which they will in turn rehearse with the entire group.
Towards the end of the workshop, they are going to present the collaborative compositions, a combination of music, dance and spoken word poetry, with shows at Karonga Amphitheatre on August 13, Grand Palace Hotel in Mzuzu on August 14, Robin’s Park in Blantyre on August 20 and Bingu International Convention Centre (Bicc) in Lilongwe on August 21.
Later in October, Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra will hold joint performances with the Lusubilo Band and the Ulimba musicians of Nsanje in Germany.
The tour of Malawi is a collaborative project supported by the German Kulturstiftung des Bundes. The Berlin-based orchestra was founded in 2006, and it is directed by saxophonist and main composer Daniel Glatzel. The ensemble comprises 18 musicians and it is known for its unlikely and unique instrumentation, including strings, winds, electric guitar, drums, harp, and keyboards.
Over the last few years, AMEO has played with various pioneering artists such as Tony Allen (co-founder of Afrobeat alongside Fela Kuti), legendary Brazilian composer Hermeto Pascoal as well as the internationally renowned indie-rock band The Notwist.