A weekend of Circle Singing, TaKeTiNa and Vocal Improvisation

By Dorcas B. Molefe

In the lush and green beautiful Tara Rokpa valley, on the weekend of 9 to 11 November 2018, Kathrin Sirtl accompanied by her partner offered circle singing, TaKeTiNa and vocal improvisation. The fun-filled musical workshop succeeded in bringing out pleasant surprises as workshop participants made discoveries of their singing voices that had been denied freedom of expression for many years by their owners. Myths about inability to sing were disproved and by the last day all were thrilled and enjoyed singing. The duo proved to the participants that the famous proverb ‘If you can walk you can dance, if you can talk you can sing’ was actually true.
The workshop attracted vibrant singers from the Tara Valley community, Gaborone, Johannesburg and Cape Town. They had fun playing with their personal language, making music with the body (clapping, tapping, stepping) as well as moving to the rhythm of the Surdo drum.

Kathrin produced beautiful melodies through the Berimbau (setinkane in Setswana) always spicing up the new, unknown, unplanned musical compositions of the participants. The participants reported experiencing a positive shift in their relationship with their voices and music. On that journey, they discovered more and more of what they could do with their friend, the voice.

The dialogue and conversations that characterized and punctuated the workshop helped the participants to integrate the new experiences. The sound healing and meditation further enhanced deep relaxation. Being in rhythm and sound for an extended period of time opened a doorway for participants to be fully present in the here and now.