Event Description

On June 5, Ensemble Dal Niente is thrilled to give the first ever Chicago performance of music by South African composer Andile Khumalo, whose delicate yet powerful music fuses painterly textures with compelling narratives.

Khumalo draws from a broad range of influences, including European spectralist notions of harmony; the rhythmical expressivity of amaXhosa traditional music; American experiments with form; and the neo-tonality of popular African contemporary classical composers. Within these varied approaches to composition, Khumalo finds his own original, clear and urgent voice.

The program includes the world premiere of Beyond Her Mask, written for Ensemble Dal Niente and in response to the global pandemic. In Khumalo’s words:

 “[The pandemic] emphasized how connected we are to each other…[as well as the issue of] violence against women….The composition starts with sounds that are more like a dream world. Out of this horrible re-lived dream, different emotions come out. The voice which expresses both the internal and external emotional world is hugely overpowered by the environment (ensemble). Through the inner power encouraged by faith, the music leads to the voice coming through and ‘seeing’ the voice as worth being listened to. When this happens, we start to hear the harmony between the two worlds and form a unity.”


Beyond Her Mask (2021) (World Premiere)

Shades of Words (2004)

Cry Out  (2009)

Iso[r] (2004)

Live Stream