Root Jam is an example of merging music from the African tradition to the concert platform. The piece employs the melodic variation-and-repetition of traditional African music as well as the jilting rhythmic qualities of African rhumba and soukous, but written in the harmonic and developmental framework of 20th century classical music. The playing techniques are largely conventional, employing pizzicato, glissandi and briefly col legno battuto, but the writing for each instrument is unconventional; each instrument plays their own role in forming the rhythmic character of the piece, forming complex off-kilter tapestries that develop and expand as the piece unfolds.
Composer: Blasio Kavuma
Blasio is currently an associate composer with new music label and events org NonClassical. Blasio was formerly a participant on Sound&Music's 'Pathways' programme, which resulted in him winning the 2019 George Butterworth prize for composition-dance collaboration ‘Spirit Level’ with Wayward Thread.
Blasio has received commissions from ensembles and artist including COMA ensemble, City of London Festival, 'Fretwork' viol consort and Marcus Joseph. He is currently working on a comission for Southbank Sinfonia, where he is exploring the Hip-Hop aesthetic. He is also curating a night in collaboration with Nonclassical, where he has commissioned a series of works merging 90's Jungle music with classical, jazz and musical theatre.
Drawing equally from classical and Afro-diasporic music traditions, he has developed a sound-world full of rhythmic vitality and stylistic versatility, and is committed to championing forward-thinking music that is accessible to a wide audience.