Abel Selaocoe: Where Is Home (Hae Ke Kae)

Sunday 25th September

Abel Selaocoe, cellist and musical innovator, explores the meaning of home, drawing on diverse influences from across Southern Africa and the Baroque era.


At its heart is a music that is about learning to understand the different ways we seek refuge, and how this is not always a place of comfort, but one of empowerment and the potential to live a fulfilled life.

It’s also a music which understands that our homes exist not just in geographical spaces, but also in spiritual ones, in our habits, in the people we choose to be around, and in communal ceremonies.

It draws on elements of South African culture personal to Selaocoe.

‘From spoken word and deep voices of Makoloane (boys of age from Lesotho and South Africa going through initiation school) to Tswana rhythmic dances with foot stomps, and taking inspiration from African string instruments such as the uhadi from Southern Africa, sekhankhula from Lesotho and zeze from Tanzania,’ he says, ‘going on to weave connecting threads between Baroque music and South African hymnal song that took this sound world through its colonial past.’

The result is something which celebrates an environment which, Selaocoe says, allowed ‘a deep religious and cultural practice while learning Bach cello suites and hearing the same melodies I practised through African voices of family who interpret the music in the way which they hear it’.

Both cultures have an improvisational nature which allows a freedom that leaves labels of genre behind, revealing a story about finding your place of empowerment: home with expressions of different dialects.

Discover that story for yourself in an event featuring musicians including theorbo player Elizabeth Kenny.

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