Some of my Most Memorable Experiential Experiences

An experiential experience is all about combining and igniting the five senses, from sight and sound, to touch, taste smell in one event. I get the audience excited through perfectly matching my audio composition with the visual execution. I also believe that for impact, less can be more, depending on the venue, set size and structure”.

Miriam Makeba at the Hollywood Bowl, 2001

One of the highlights of my career was Miriam Makeba’s performance at the Hollywood bowl, 2001  a three-night, sold-out concert. “This was actually an event due to the magnitude of the stage which was 30 metres wide and 20 metres deep. It had a 90-piece orchestra, a 70-piece choir and a 12-strong back-up band. We also closed the show every night with a lightning and pyrotechnics fireworks display in front of 15 000 cheering fans..

Launch of the Lost City at Sun City, with Jean Michel-Jarre

One of my all-time favourite  was the launch of the Lost City at Sun City, which I co-produced, co-wrote and staged with Jean-Michel Jarre. “Another epic event! Imagine the calls of the wild blaring through a massive audio rig with lasers depicting the animals in the sky, African drums beating all around you, while in the dark distance you see 500 Zulu warriors marching down from the Pilansberg Mountains with torches and beating drums to do a dance battle at the Valley of the Waves. I had such a fun time choreographing the battle with sound, lighting and phenomenal visuals to create an explosive audio-visual spectacle for the audience. It was all rehearsed to absolute timing and precision. The show closed with the warriors dying on the battle field with a massive fireworks explosion while the big, rich sound of melting lava oozed loudly from the many speakers we had placed all around the mountains. It took three weeks just to prepare the show!”

Africa Channel Launch – Atlanta Georgia

Another Experiential Experience was held in Atlanta Georgia in 2006 at the Zoo’s auditorium for the opening of the Africa Channel. “This was a ‘less is more’ show in its purest form”, The set was small and accommodated just 500 people. So we used a giant screen as a backdrop and projected an African tapestry behind the performers – so the audience was instantly ‘transported into the wild. The sound and lighting was spectacular. I also brought two of my favourite African singers over from JHB, Innocent and Margaret, who were dressed in traditional African outfits and cross-pollinated them with 60 traditionally-dressed Atlanta Gospel Choir who we chose after auditioning for four days. The title theme was We Are Africa. The show only lasted 15 minutes .  The performance received  a standing ovation.

Nelson Mandela’s 93rd Birthday Legacy Concert and The Mayors Gala Dinner  City Hall CT July 2011

The legacy concert was very moving and a stellar performance all round… To kick off, We did not have a whole lot of time to rehearse the 110 strong performers for my dedication to Madiba. I had four days to get all rehearsals done in different sections and then rehearse on stage for lighting and sound . I had to go out of town to rehearse my 40 piece choir twice and teach them the melodies plus have their choir master conducting. I rehearsed my 6 piece band with 3 back up singers  plus the Diva’s Jennifer Jones, Vicky Sampson and Sibongile Khumalo on stage for set up, cameras and placement for two days plus a three hour rehearsal with the Orchestra conducted by world renown Orchestrator Jeremy Lubbock.. I then brought 20 Jembe playing kids on stage for the finale. I  rehearsed them at their school for an afternoon. The excitement and performance was a show of absolute passion and musicianship to a full house.

Nelson Mandela’s 90th Birthday at the JHB Stadium August 2008

This was one of my most special performances ever…

78 people on stage.  I only had three days to rehearse, plus a dress rehearsal prior to the show for cameras, sound and lighting….My band were incredible, all twelve players plus 3 back up singers,  plus the choir that I rehearsed in Soweto for  two nights. The Diva’s, Vicky Sampson, Jennifer Jones, Josie Fields and Judith Sephume   were an amazing vocal ensemble that propelled the excitement of the packed Stadium. The most wonderful part of our performance was having Madiba sitting ten feet away from me as I played for him and all performers acknowledging his presence and watching him and Graca enjoying his tribute.