Thursday, February 11, 2010

Kinshasa Symphony Orchestra

Another hat tip to Africa is a Country. "The trailer for the documentary, “Kinshasa Symphony,” about the Kimbanguist Symphony Orchestra and Chior, ... based in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital." It will be debuted at the Berlin Film Festival next week.

From the blog Solo Kinshasa:
Why ‘Kimbanguist’? Because the orchestra (originally a church big band) was founded and is led today by Armand Diangienda, the grandson of Simon Kimbangu, the popular Baptist faith healer who was imprisoned by suspicious Belgian authorities from 1921 until his death in 1951, and is today revered by some 5 million followers.
The musicians are largely self-taught, and all have other trades, of course: pharmacists, electricians, hairdressers, food sellers. Among them is a guitarist who makes some of the stringed instruments and other craftsmen who invent the tools to fix and maintain them, although recently the orchestra has received more support from admirers, including donated instruments and training.

Best quote as men practice singing 'alle Menschen' from Beethoven's Ode to Joy in the background: "It may not be obvious, but there are African rhythms in Beethoven."

If my unreliable French is right, the orchestra is 15 years old.

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