Updated: Oct 23, 2020
Artist Sonya Rademeyr's interpretation of Franco Prinsloo's composition "Prayer to the Young Moon".
The artist and composer has an ongoing collaboration, interpreting and reinterpreting each others works.
Photo credit: Jemima Kola. Sonya Rademeyers interpretation of Franco Prinsloo's "Prayer to the Young Moon".
Prayer to the Young Moon
Composer: Franco Prinsloo (1987-)
Text: Poem by !nanni (included in the Bleek & Lloyd notebooks)
Prayer to the young moon is a drawing performance that was created in response to a composition by composer Franco Prinsloo. The composition, in turn, is a setting of the poem by !nanni which was recorded in the famous Lloyd and Bleek notebooks. The work is thus re-interpreted and re-imagined not only across artistic disciplines but also across time and space to when !nanni’s drawings were documented by Lucy Lloyd between 1879 – 1882. !nanni unknowingly becomes an important informer to this work, specifically influencing the performative element of the drawing: where !nanni is able to draw imagery sourced from innate memory of the local fauna and flora and folklore of the !kun, I am drawing imagery sourced from a position of innate embodiment. Through deep-listening I am re-translating the composition by way of my body and outputting these sounds through automated gesture in a very primal way through the direct use of my hands. Approaching the drawing performance with sincere humility, the wings point toward the inherent and deep embodied spirituality of !nanni’s people known as the |kam-ssin !ku or 'Sun' Bushmen. The drawing surface consists of two distinct halves which my body continuously interprets as such. And, although visually divided, the work is eventually re-conjoined into one piece visually. This speaks to the healing power of the creative arts in reconciling what has been broken. Therefore, as much as the prayers to the young moon may have been a means of asking where to find food, my drawing performance of prayer to the moon is the asking of forgiveness for the inter-generational trauma caused by Colonisation. - Sonya Rademeyer
Listen to Vox Chamber Choir performing a snippet "Prayer to the Young Moon"
Listen to our recording of "Prayer to the Young Moon" featured on ou album "Speak to me"
Prayer to the young moon is a collaborative video piece based on a poem by! nanni which was mediated by Lloyd & Bleek in the late 19th century. The narration of the poem – echoing from a no-longer distant past – is by cultural treasure and renowned poet, Diana Ferrus. The piece freely interprets! nanni’s prayer to open up discussions around the impossibility of a pre-colonial Southern Africa. Through the imagined space of mark-making, a transcendence into time is imagined, to facilitate healing.