NewMusicSA is a non-profit organisation that aims to foster a sense of community surrounding New Music in South Africa through our unique events and activities such as the New Music Indaba and Unyazi festivals, and the Visby Residencies exchange programme. We provide a resource for composers, performing musicians, sound artists, sound activists, interdisciplinary and cross-boundary artists, curators, writers, thinkers and musicologists: therefore all persons interested in New Music as a newly dated art creation, and also as a cutting edge intervention in artistic spaces. News and information can be found on our website, in our bulletin and also in our e-newsletters.
NewMusicSA provides a link to the international new music community in our role as the South African Section of the International Society for Contemporary Music and we convene an annual jury to select South African compositions that are then submitted for performance at the ISCM's World Music Days festival.
We collaborate with the Gotland section of the ISCM that, together with the Sterkfontein Composers Meeting, makes it possible for South African composers to spend time on their work at the Visby International Centre for Composers in Sweden, via our Visby Residencies exchange programme.
Our main festivals are the Unyazi (‘lightning’) and Indaba festivals that occur annually. Composition workshops and masterclasses held at these festivals aim to develop music-creating talent in South Africa.
The Soundings series of events comprise a network of inter-disciplinary arts events that are conceptualised and curated by practitioner artists and then supported by NewMusicSA as and when funding is available.
The Bulletin (which is available as a print and electronic journal) provides a space through which to foster critical engagement with aspects of contemporary music-making in South Africa. Published annually, it curates scores, essays, and interviews along with news from the New Music community in South Africa. Two Bulletins were produced in 2016, under the editorial team consisting of Aidan Erasmus, Clare Loveday and Alfred Vorster, each aligned with a specific theme. In 2017, the Bulletin editorial board consists of Aidan Erasmus, Alfred Vorster and Coila-Leah Enderstein.
Chairpersons who have served NewMusicSA in the past include Michael Blake (who founded the organisation), Mokale Koapeng, Christopher Walton, Cameron Harris, Angie Mullins, William Fourie, Chris Jeffery, S'fisokuhle Jiba Xulu and Malcolm Dedman. Our current chairman is Douglas Scott.
NewMusicSA supports South African conceptual music practices primarily through our support of composers, but also extends this to include support for the wider community of performance artists, curators and writers. In this regard NewMusicSA aims to promote and exchange ideas and practices between composers, performing artists and musicians, curators, researchers and writers nationally and internationally.
NewMusicSA supports composers through the following objectives:
To encourage the composition, performance and curation of contemporary work and composition, in particular the work of South African composers in cooperation with artists and curators.
To make information available on aspects of contemporary composition.
To help foster communication between South African composers and practitioners who may represent diverse composition and music-making traditions.
To promote public awareness and appreciation of contemporary composition and curation. To develop a critical climate in which aspects of contemporary music and musicking can be discussed with practitioners and audiences.