masakane – let us build together (orchestral score)

masakane let us build together (orchestral score)


baritone, choir, orchestra
Surendran Reddy Performing Edition

masakane – let us build together was meant to have constituted ‘Part 3: Family and Ownership’ of a Human Rights Oratorio commissioned in 1996 by the Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) for performance at the Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia. The composers commissioned to write the other six parts were Peter Klatzow, Sipho (‘Hotstix’) Mabuse, Hans Roosenschoon, Denzil Weale, Carl van Wyk and Jeanne Zaidel-Rudolph. The oratorio was never completed or performed in its entirety, however. Reddy wrote and orchestrated his section – one can think of it as a cantata – in April-May 1996 while living in Durban, Amman, and Konstanz, as he notes at the end of the score. Reddy based his text on the ‘Universal Declaration of Human Rights’ adopted by the United Nations in 1948, creating lyrics about family that express his sense of ‘the global family’ and ownership as ‘sharing’ in a much wider sense. The work is scored for Baritone solo, SATB choir and piano in the vocal score version; the orchestral version is scored for 2 fl, 2 ob, 2 cl, 2 bn, 4 hns in F, 3 tpts in C, 3 trbs, timps, marimba, xylophone, synthesizer, and strings. In the pencil autograph, Reddy also allocated single staves for ‘Drums’ and ‘African Drums’ but did not write for them. He made a live electronic version of this score in Johannesburg in 1996, and his own slightly incomplete electronically generated recording is given below: it ends in bar 272 of 341 bars.

‘Stylistically’, Reddy wrote of the work in 1996, ‘I have endeavoured to fuse a wide variety of influences that have been highly significant to me in the formation of my own musical language … Javanese gamelan, traditional African music, mbaqanga, classical western music’. The joyfulness of the music mirrors the dreamed-of integration of all South Africa’s peoples, in ‘celebration of their common interests’ by ‘rejoicing in their differences’, a mood that epitomises the heady days of 1990s South Africa and also expresses Surendran’s vision of a world, a society, going far beyond South Africa. Reddy wrote the orchestral score in 1996 by hand, in pencil on manuscript paper. He later typeset the vocal score in Sibelius (2001), making a few minor changes, but he did not typeset the orchestral score. SAMRO’s reproduction of the full score cannot be sold here and in any case has a number of errors. For this ACE publication, Michael Blake has created a new orchestral score that takes into account the autograph, the SAMRO proof, and the vocal score; and he has generated a set of orchestral parts. The first page of this score is shown on the right


masakane – let us build together (orchestral score)

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Electronically Generated
Surendran Reddy
Heike Asmuss