Madiba 46664

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Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born July 18, 1918 into the Madiba clan in Mvezo, Transkei, South Africa. Mandela was a lawyer by trade and a freedom fighter who envisioned freedom

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born July 18, 1918 into the Madiba clan in Mvezo, Transkei, South Africa. Mandela was a lawyer by trade and a freedom fighter who envisioned freedom and equality for all South Africans regardless of race. In 1965, Mandela was imprisoned at Robben Island for twenty-seven years for treason and terrorist activities against the South African apartheid regime: he was assigned prison numbers 46664. In 1992, Mandela was released from prison and two years later not only became the first democratically elected president of South Africa, but also its first black president. "Madiba 46664" is an eight-minute chamber work scored for flute, oboe, clarinet in B-flat, and bassoon; vibraphone, and two percussionists; piano; violins, violas, and celli. The work blends traditional South African rhythms of the drumming culture with elements of Western harmony and form in contrasting textures of homophony, polyphony and antiphony. "Madiba 46664" utilizes Mandela's prison number, birthdate and age (at the time the composition process began in 2013) for the initial generation of meter, rhythm, harmony, melody, and form. The work also shares intercultural concepts that can be seen in the works of three contemporary African composers, South Africans Jeanne Zaidel-Rudolph and Andile Khumalo, and Nigerian Ayo Oluranti. Each section represents a period of Mandela's life as a freedom fighter, a prisoner, and a president. The inspiration stems from the composer's discussions with Mandela soon after his release from prison and prior to his presidency. These lively discussions pertained to the state of traditional music in then apartheid South Africa and led to this creation. The conversations also played a role in the creative process.