It was an exploration of a different genre of music, the kind of music that not many Malawians are exposed to.
While there were few that packed a section of the banqueting hall of the BICC, the groups, Durant from US and Joyful Souls from Malawi, were in a class of their own, enjoying doing what they know best—perfoming acappella.
First on stage for the show that was raising funds to address Malawi’s oral health care challenges through Toothsavers International, was the legendary group Joyful Souls.
They started with Tsopano Nthawi Yatha before moving to the hymn When Peace Like a River. Depending on the kind of song they were doing, the members were switching roles until they finished. That alone added colour to the performance.
Despite the absence of Bram Fudzulani and Chilinga Tembo, the present seven members; Lloyd Kaisi Phiri, Rogers Mpinganjira, Lovemore Kamtsonya all on first and second tenor, Mark Zakulanda and James Chirombo on second tenor with Melvin Ching’amba on Baritone and Arthur Chidothe on bass, the sound was outwitting classical.
The vocal, humming, beat-boxing and some sort of bleating were a marvel to watch for the audience which at intervals joined in.
God of Second Chance, Mombolo Wanga Tiri ku Mapeto
and Sabbath were also on the menu before they took a bow for Durant.
The award-winning US group brought a new dimension of acappella, as opposed to Joyful Souls, which is 100 percent male, Durant is a female dominate act.
With Julie Tracy on tenor, Melisa Lancaster and Danielle Sprawling alternating on different voices, Stephanie Harding on Soprano and William Gooch on bass, the group took people on a rollercoaster ride of acappella.
Durant’s acappella was also different as, at times, they brought in a rap element as well as a bit of dancing. With songs such as Colour Blind and He Lives, the quintet with little effort could even change the tempo and flow of the song to high note and produce sounds that sent a couple of people on their feet dancing.
They proved how the human voice is the best music sound ever.