Chuchumakhala (1983 recording)

(The Train)


choir SATAB
Joshua Pulumo Mohapeloa Critical Edition

Originally written for SATAB choir and published in 1937, Mohapeloa’s Chuchumakhala was recorded by the Sebokeng Training College Choir for the SABC in 1983.This historic recording was reissued in 2014 by ACE as Track 23 on the CD African Choral Legacy: Historic Recordings of Joshua Pulumo Mohapeloa. A much earlier version for jazz vocals was recorded by the Manhattan Brothers with Miriam Makeba in 1954 and can be found on Track 9. The regular phrases imitate the rhythmic regularity of the imagined train rushing along – to which choirs may have done ‘choochoo train’ actions – and the periodic ‘stop-starts’ and changes of tempo suggest slowing down and stopping at stations.