Music Computer Workshop - Konjila - Report + Feedback

“Go to Binga” for “Music and Computers”!

The Music and Computers Workshop which took place at Binga High School from 16-18 September 2003 and the stakeholders meeting on Saturday 19 made valuable statements regarding the interest in and need for digital technologies in what are traditionally referred to as 'more remote areas'. Binga Information Technology Centre ITC and the planned satellite centres at Siachilaba and Sianzyundu have the potential to become the cutting edge for computer training and information dissemination not just for Matabeleland but for the whole of Zimbabwe.

Binga is also providing an important lead for the use of computers as a compositional tool. The training provided in the use of the new computer music workstation was a first in Zimbabwe and was offered to music teachers from four centres in the South of Zimbabwe. The fact that this training could take place in Binga is highly significant. Those attending the course had some idea about what they wanted from the workshop but their expectations were not only met but transcended. The production of a small soundscape by the participants in under 3 days demonstrated that concepts of electro-acoustic music production are not foreign or bizarre to people outside contemporary music circles.

Participants expressed an interest in exploring matters relating to computers and notation and a follow-up workshop is planned for next year which will tackle matters relating to the representation of sound especially in connection to the analysis and understanding of Tonga Ngoma Buntibe music which, until now, using traditional techniques, has defied accurate transcription. That the tools for this analysis are in the hands of those who produce this music is highly significant.

The archiving of living culture was of particular interest to those working in museums. The production of sound installations by music students to accompany Binga museum exhibitions will soon become a reality. No other museum in Zimbabwe has been offered this potential.

It is my belief that, in five years time, when people think about training in matters relating to information technology or music and computers, the first thought that will come to mind will be "Let's Go to Binga".

Keith Goddard
Development Director/ KUNZWANA Trust