Gugulethu Duma (aka D U M A M A) explores life after life as we know it in her transdisciplinary artistic practice, inviting the structures in formlessness to simply be. Her practice involves consciously deconstructing and critiquing archaic modes of representation of Southern African & African sonic and performance culture. She works predominantly with uHadi, synthesizers, vocal loops and processors, field recordings and distortions.
As a compelling storyteller and lyricist, she works seamlessly to mend together the divide between traditional South African oral culture and futuristic globally-oriented poetics, with a delicate care and awareness of the value of both. As one part of the duo dumama + kechou, Dumama released her debut album buffering juju in 2020. Weaving together childhood songs, stories and personal memories with electronic hues and gestures, she resists typical archival practices around oral traditions and advocates for a recalibration of our transcendental, futuristic Black and African sense of being and belonging.
For XJazz, Dumama presents her solo compositional process titled Bottom of The Blue features Àbáse on synths, electronics and percussion, Lukas Akintaya (drums) and Sofia Eftychidou (double bass)
It explores what hope owes to the night, inviting listeners to engage with thoughts around a black so dark; a black so deep, a black so blue - echoing the sounds of the stillness inviting explorations around what can be found when we learn to see in the dark.
The composition archive for this project comprises documented dreamscapes, historical and contemporary encounters, books, poems, photographs, slides, films and other ephemera collected and experienced. This work encompasses detangled embodied memory and the cascading voices of an ancestry in the abyss, borrowing from a multitude of sonic traditions ranging from free jazz, ambient, electronic, blues and Xhosa chants from South Africa.