Hear space, see music: experiencing collective culture by experiencing music
‘Africa United in Cultural Diversity’ is what is written in bold on a musical event poster outside Home Affairs, during the 2015 xenophobic riots in Johannesburg. In smaller writing it says ‘Opening the doors of learning and culture from Cape to Cairo ’.This thesis is an exploration of how music can act as a universal medium of engagement in an urban space, where interactions between an African diasporic and the local communities can occur. The thesis discusses the relationship between inclusiveness and civic life through Sociologist Ray Oldenburg’s hypothesis of The Third Place (A place between home and work that is critical to the cohesion of diverse society). I also look at ethnomusicologist Ruth Stone`s work on the development of cultural music traits in Central and Southern Africa. Additional I speak to famed composers and performer of traditional Southern African music Dizu Plaatjies. What emerges from this research is a unifying musical pattern (Keita`s Asymmetric Timeline) that mirrors the qualities of The Third Place in its engagement with the inhabitants of the city and sense of the familiar amongst the general public. My building design process then demonstrates that through the use of these two, a spatial and networked experience of African culture can be created in the city. Informing a place where a dialogue of understanding between an African diasporic and the local communities can begin to occur. This place provides an exciting opportunity for designing the way that production and engagement of vernacular music is used as unifying source in shaping The Third Place as a musical performance venue.
A research report submitted to the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture (Prof), 2016
Sikazwe, Nondo-Jacob (2016) Hear space, see music: experiencing collective culture by experiencing music, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, <http://wiredspace.wits.ac.za/handle/10539/21144>