EXPERIMENTAL: Coila Enderstein and Nicola van Straaten.

Arts Writer

The second Purpur Night of Transgressive Arts is back in town with a boundary-bashing mix of classic experimental pieces of the 1960s which will be rubbing shoulders with some of the latest music by Cape Town-based composers for one night only at YoungbloodAfrica, at 70-72 Bree Street.

Purpur has become something of a household name on the local avant-garde scene, and through its association with YoungbloodAfrica it is now the festival of choice for many composers, performers, dancers and actors.

Kicking off at 5.30pm on Tuesday, a dedicated focus running through this festival is that of text – sound poems, narratives, deconstructed texts, computer processed language and song.

Three minimalist classics will frame the evening: Alvin Lucier’s Music on a Long Thin Wire performed by Theo Herbst and TE; Steve Reich’s Clapping Music, and Tom Johnson’s Narayan’s Cows for speaker and ensemble – embodying his unique brand of minimalism, based on mathematical problems and theories – performed by Louisa Theart, Frank Mallows, Gareth Harvey and Wilmien Wicomb.

At the centre of the evening is the first performance in Cape Town of Gavin Bryars’s monumental 1969 classic Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet, with The Purpur Players making their debut to accompany the poignant taped voice of an unknown London ‘tramp’.

Closing the festival will be a special guest artist – Swedish percussion virtuoso Jonny Axelsson. Currently visiting Cape Town armed with a new dance composition for a show at the Baxter Theatre.

Axelsson will perform the music of Kevin Volans, as well as his own work.

For the rest, Coila Enderstein will give the world premiere of Michael Blake’s à b – a memorial for one of the last of the 20th century giants Pierre Boulez; Joanna Wicherek will play fellow Pole Pawel Mykietyn’s Epiphora for piano and tape; and flautist Louisa Theart will perform Miles Warrington’s electro-acoustic PARA=METER.

Frank Mallows on vibraphone and Brydon Bolton on laptop will develop their ongoing improvising project to include text, as will Room 11, featuring artist Dedre Fouqet, and improvisers Pierre-Henri Wicomb and John Pringle.

More collaborative arts will fill the gallery interior in the shape of Prematuur’s edible installations.

Kurt Schwitters’ groundbreaking Ur-Sonate, which has been presented in serialised form at previous Purpur events will reach its conclusion, once again with Wilmien Wicomb, who also premieres a short homage to Schwitters by Michael Blake.

She also joins Mabet van Wyk, Coila Enderstein, Sima Mashazi, Suzaan Keyter, Richard September and Amelda Brand for the premiere of Pierre-Henri Wicomb’s theatre piece On Air.

l 021 424 0074, [email protected] Cash bar and snacks available throughout the night at the Beautifull Food restaurant in the gallery.