n SAMUS : South African Music Studies - The flute becomes a gun : a flautist’s perspectives on Aryan Kaganof’s film Night is Coming: A Threnody for the Victims of Marikana - Node 5: Music/Vision/Blindness

Volume 34-35 Number 1
  • ISSN : 2223-635X


In Aryan Kaganof’s film Night is Coming: A Threnody for the Victims of Marikana (2014), the filmmaker registers a critical perspective on an inter-disciplinary conference that attempted to hear landscape ‘critically’ without hearing the event of Marikana as a grotesque blight on the South African landscape. During the same conference the author played a flute solo by Stanley Glasser to sound aspects of the local South African landscape. In Kaganof’s film the image of the flute is merged into the image of a gun by rapid edits alternating between footage of the concert and of the massacre. In so doing, the flute becomes the gun and the flautist becomes the gunner. In this article I explore the potential residue deposited by this film on my flute concert practice. I rely on analyses by Aidan Erasmus, Heidi Grunebaum, Gilles Deleuze and Patricia Pisters in particular. I then draw on aspects of contemporary curatorial practice to argue that this film subversively reinforces an acknowledgement of the power of curatorial intervention with respect to classical performance sites of the flute. Hereby, the Glasser solo potentially transforms from ‘aesthetic product’ into ‘artistic argument’ (Borgdorff 2012).

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