- Category: PA 2012
Latozi Mpahleni, better known as Madosini, was born in 1943 in Mpondoland, Eastern Cape. Growing up as a girl would in a traditional Xhosa household, she did not go to school and so never learned to read or write. Her mother taught her how to make and play the instruments she plays - the Uhadi (music bow),Umrhubhe (mouth bow) and Isitolotolo (Jewish harp) - when she was 12 years old.
Madosini’s music was first recorded in the late 1970s. The harmonic progressions she uses are as in the ancient African tradition of two chords and one whole tone apart, while the melodies she creates have astounding evocative power and use a scale similar to the Lydian modes used in Jazz.
In 2008, Madosini performed at the WOMAD festival and was the first person to be recorded and documented in the festival's Musical Elders Archives project.
Madosini's sound has inspired many musicians to collaborate with her, including the South African collective of ancestral sounds, PedXulu, at the North Sea Jazz festival in Cape Town, Vuyo Katsha of Amapondo, British rock singer Patrick Duff and Jazz musicians in Vienna and Cape Town.
After working closely with Madosini, Duff described her music as “a true unadulterated expression of the creative spirit”, while Hans Huyssen, an acclaimed classical composer, cellist and conductor, whose collaboration with Madosini resulted in The Songs of Madosini, says: “Madosini offers us one of the very last chances to catch a glimpse of Africa’s prehistoric musical past…”
Madosini’s last collaboration was with Gilberto Gil, the famous Brazilian musician. She currently performs internationally with fellow musician and storyteller, Pedro “The Music Man” Espi-Sanchis.