1887

n South African Journal of Cultural History - Fathoming the musical identity / identities of James Phillips aka Bernoldus Niemand

USD

 

Abstract


Literatuur oor musikale identiteit het in die 1990s gedy. Tog is dit opvallend dat tot op datum min mense hulle oor hulle eie musikale identiteite uitgespreek het - musici en navorsers ondersoek en skryf meestal oor ander se musikale identiteite. James Phillips het snerpende lirieke geskryf, wat diep sosiale kommentaar ingesluit het. Hy het 'n formele musiekgraad verwerf en is, as uitvoerder, wyd deur sy eweknieë as die beste 'rock'-musikant van sy dag erken. Tog was hy gesteld op sy privaatheid, en het hom nie maklik uitgespreek as hy direk oor sake uitgevra is nie. Hy het hom beslis nie oor sy eie musikale identiteit uitgespreek nie - behalwe in terme van wat die musiek self te kenne gegee het. Was hy verward? In watter stadiums was hy James Phillips en wanneer was hy sy alter-ego Bernoldus Niemand? Was hy, in die Suid-Afrikaanse konteks, 'n Engelse of 'n (alternatiewe) Afrikaanse musikant? En kan ons moontlik meer hieroor uitvind, meer as 'n dekade na sy voortydige afsterwe? Hierdie artikel poog om dit te doen, gedeeltelik op grond van bepaalde nuwe bronne, asook 'n vergelyking van baie konflikterende sieninge in beskikbare literatuur en uit onderhoude.

Writings on musical identity blossomed in the 1990s, yet it is notable that to date very few people have expressed themselves on their own musical identities - musicians and researchers mostly consider and write about the musical identities of others. Despite writing biting lyrics with deep social commentary, holding a degree in music and being a performer hailed by his peers as the best South African rock musician of his day, James Phillips was a private man, non-committal when asked about things directly. He certainly did not voluntarily express himself publicly, other than through his music itself, on his musical identity. Was he confused? When was he James Phillips and when his alter-ego Bernoldus Niemand? Was he an English or an (alternative) Afrikaans South African musician? And can we possibly discover any more about all of this, more than a decade after his premature death? In this article attempts are made to do so, partly based on some new and previously untapped sources, and a comparison of many conflicting views in available literature and from interviews.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/culture/22/1/EJC30719
2008-06-01
2016-12-06
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error