Field Band Foundation has taken it to another level, expanding their musical diversity and creating a new range of music repertoire. PULSE team has been tasked to come up with musical arrangements from Bollywood to celebrate Diwali. Diwali is also called the Festival of Lights which is celebrated for five days by Indians all over the world to honour Rama-Chandra, the seventh avatar (incarnation of the god Vishnu). It is believed that on this day Rama returned to his people after 14 years of exile during which he fought and won a battle against the demons and the demon king, Ravana.
For this task, the team did a research on the elements used when composing Indian and Bollywood music. After the research they had to find ways in which they can transcribe the music to fit the level of the Field band members and to fit the instruments used by Field band as they are brass instruments tuned in G Major.
On this project elements from Aller spiller a project which Khaya was part of in Norway were put into good use by transcribing difficult part of the songs and breaking them down so that they can be played effortlessly by the beginner musicians. Learnings of the Aller spiller project were also visible through the creativeness of making difficult passages of the songs interesting for musicians in state of being challenging.
Khaya Benela and Franqo Ntshole where at the forefront, leading with creating the arrangements which came out outstandingly. Names of the songs arranged are
Kal Ho Naa Ho: by Loy mendonsa
Teri Meri: by Himesh Reshammiya
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai: by Jatin-Lalit
Bole chudiyan: by Jatin-Lalit
When Franqo was asked about his experiences about writing the music he said “Arranging music from a different culture was a very interesting experience because while you are in your comfort zone as an arranger, you are also out of your comfort zone because all the elements are what you have never been exposed to. However, it is very fun because it gives you the opportunity to explore in depth using your artistic knowledge. The nice thing about music is that if you treat it like art you can make anything work or sound beautiful. After all, the most important thing is to connect, be relatable, make a statement and have fun, just to name a few pivotal factors”.
And this is what Khaya said
“The process was not easy as we are used to writing classical and African traditional songs, but it was also fun, and motivating learn more about different cultures and types of music. After writing all the songs and testing them with the members, it felt good as it was sounding as planned. I feel that I have gained a lot of experience even though this is my first time writing Indian music”.
Are there challenges? Of cause! But that is what makes it fun! The challenges are what gives you the opportunity to explore. The challenges you are more likely to encounter is deciphering several elements such as a special traditional or cultural instrument and finding a suitable way to represent it in your arrangements because the actual instrument might be sacred and not accessible to anyone. The advantage of this is that it gives you the opportunity to learn and improve your diversity.
As the South Participants are in the office in Johannesburg, we are working from our home offices here in Oslo.
The days are surely much different than what they used to, but we are all still adjusting to the new normal and our new tasks. We are also happy that our team of 2 has been expanded a little by having Ingrid, a former PULSE participant, on our team once a week.
Because of the current situation, our tasks have also been adjusted to fit this work situation. Right now we are focusing on four, big tasks where we have managed to create work groups consisting of both FBF and NMF staff. This is the first time we are trying such collaboration, and it is a very interesting way of working. Everyone have such different experiences and knowledge and the collaborations bring much value to the project.
Our different tasks consist of:
Where we are focusing on creating an overview for PULSE participants with everything from HR questions to what to expect before, during and after the exchange.
M&E Tools for PULSE
Where we are looking into strengthening our monitoring and evaluation systems both on the PULSE North and South side.
20th Anniversary Alumni Survey
With the 20th Anniversary of collaboration, there is an Alumni Survey being developed
2021 will be our anniversary year, which will be celebrated and marked both in Norway and South Africa.
We are very excited to see where this collaboration will take us.
Ponaholo Free State workshop fant sted på Lapa Mandzi i Parys fra 18. – 21. september.
Formålet med workshopen var å forsterke kompetansen innen musikk og bevegelse, ensemble fremføringer og kommunikasjon til de ansatte i Field Band Foundation.
Dingani Chabalala (bandkoordinator for Kimberly FBF) og Khayalethu Benela (deltager i PULSE) hadde arrangert to låter til workshopen. Dingani hadde arrangert den verdenskjente sangen Jerusalem av DJ Master KG, mens Kaya hadde arrangert en sang kalt «He lives in me» av Lebo M fra filmen Løvenes Konge.
Tilstede på workshopen var 17 deltagere og 5 fasilitatorer.
Sindisiwe Ncobo(Education Facilitator)
Peter Maluleke(Education Facilitator)
Dingani Chabalala (Band coodinator)
Workshopen inneholdt undervisning i:
Kommunikasjon og utforming av CV
Utvikling av ferdigheter
Positv syn på livet og livsmestring.
Lek – tradisjonelle leker fant sted
Formålet med lekene var å styrke samholdet i teamene, forbedre fleksibilitet og evne til kritisk tenkning.
I disse undervisningstimene ble deltagerne gitt mulighet til å danne egne små ensembler og spille selvvalgt repertoar.
De mindre ensemblene deltagerne hadde satt sammen jobbet med dikt, kor og brasstykker. I tillegg til dette, hadde man øvelser med fullt ensemble som besto av brass, perkusjon, pit-perkusjon og dansere.
Workshopen ble avsluttet med en konsert hvor deltagerne hadde forberedt deres egne kreative innslag. Publikum på konserten var medlemmer av lokalsamfunnet som hadde blitt invitert av verten for lokalet, Lapa Mandzi.
The purpose of the games was to strengthen the team spirit, improve flexibility and critical thinking.
The participants were given an opportunity to creatively come up with their own choice of ensembles and repertoire to perform.
Ensembles consisted of choir ensemble, Poets and brass ensembles. There was also a full band sessions which consisted of Brass, Percussion, Pit percussion and dancers
The workshop was closed off with a concert whereby participants prepared their own artistic creativity to perform at the concert, which was attended by community members who were invited by the accommodation manager of Lapa Mandzi
COVID-19 har kommet med en del utfordringer for PULSE programmet, noe som har skapt en styrke og motstandsdyktighet i teamet. Vi har nylig startet å jobbe fra Sør-Afrika hvor vi er plassert på Field Band kontoret og ting er ikke slik de pleide å være før pga av retningslinjer og smittevern vi må følge slik at alle ansatte er trygge på arbeidsplassen.
På kontoret må vi sprite henda når vi ankommer jobb og vi må også alltid ha på munnbind når vi er med og blandt folk. Vi må registrere oss hver dag, ta temperaturen og sjekke oss for symptomer.
Håndspritstasjoner er lokalisert på forskjellige områder på kontoret og vi må sprite oss hvert 20 minutt- også på øvelser.
Før vi går hjem så må vi ta temperaturen og registrere det ned i loggboken igjen
Første uken tilbake på kontoret var litt utfordrende fordi vi måtte bli vandt til nye COVID-19 reglene. Det er forskjellige regler i Sør-Afrika enn det var i Norge så det var en omstilling vi måtte gjøre. Etter ca en uke var vi blitt vandt til de nye reglene i Sør-Afrika og på kontoret, og det å holde avstand og bruke munnbind ble nå vår nye hverdag. Nå vasker vi og spriter henda helt automatisk, uten å måtte tenke over det engang.
Dersom man blir syk eller viser tegn til COVID-19 symptomer i arbeidstiden, blir man isolert inne på et komfortabelt “isoleringsrom” mens man venter på legehjelp.
Selvom livet har endret seg med pandemien, så har vi klart å adaptere oss til situasjonen og står sterkt sammen som en gruppe
I Norge så har PULSE teamet blitt redusert fra 6 til 2. Madelene og Sol jobber på hjemmekontor og er fortsatt i kommunikasjon med både Field Band og NMF. Jobben har endret seg fra mye praktisk arbeid til å bruke digitale medier som et undervisningsverktøy. Det har vært en stor endring, men de omstiller seg også på den nye hverdagen
COVID-19 has presented numerous challenges for the PULSE programs and with those challenges we have grown resilient by the day and stronger from every stride we make. We have recently resumed work tasks in South Africa, working from the Field Band office and things are no longer the way they used to be, because the office restriction which are made to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to keep the employees safe at all times.
At the office we are required to sanitize our hand upon arrival and we are also required to put on a must when ever we are around people. We also have to register in, check temperature and symptoms of COVID-19.
Sanitizing stations are allocated in different parts of the office and we are required to sanitize every time after 20 minutes including during rehearsals.
After working hours before we go home as a requirement we take temperature and record it in the registration book.
First week was somehow challenging working at the office because we had to adhere to the COVID-19 regulations. Coming from Norway we were not used the South African COVID-19 regulations and it was somehow challenging to get used to them. After a week, we adjusted well to the regulations of the country and the office. Social distancing and wearing a face mask is a new normal. Washing and sanitizing hands regularly comes automatically without thinking about it.
If one gets sick or shows signs and symptoms of COVID-19 during office hours, they will be isolated in a special and comfortable room while waiting for paramedics or doctors.
Even though life has changed since the pandemic of COVID-19, we have managed to adapt with the situation and we are thriving as a group.
In Norway, our PULSE team has been reduced from six participants to two. Madeleine and Sol are working from their home offices, still communicating regularly with both Field Band Foundation and NMF. The job tasks have changed from a lot of practical, hands-on work, to using digital media as a teaching tool. This has been a big change, however they are also adjusting to the new normal.
The journey has been long with lots of mixed emotions, learning curves and gaining tremendous work experience in Norway.
Upon Arrival, in Norway, we had plans that were aimed at putting our names in the books of those who have worked hard and diligently in making PULSE a great success. As things stand, we believe without a doubt that we have left a huge footprint of positivity and dedication towards our work. By so doing we have great convection that we have accomplished our mission with all the challenges that we have come across.
Our stay in Norway had unforeseen challenges. Thinking on our feet and out of the box had to be done. During March 2020, the PULSE team just like the rest of other organizations around the world was affected by the ever-growing pandemic of COVID-19, which led to changes to our year plan. We had to come up with new innovative and exciting ways of working so that we can be fit for the purpose of delivering our tasks. The pandemic brought lots of anxiety and uncertainty in terms of not knowing what the future holds for the project, but with the assistance of our management, we came with lots of ideas to execute our tasks, mostly which were digital tasks. We managed to deliver seminars through digital space successfully.
Our challenge was not knowing when are we going home to South Africa as we were told that our contract was going to end in July 2020. To add to our challenges, we were notified that flights going to South Africa were suspended to curb the spread of COVID-19. Our hard-working management team successfully achieved to save our contracts and they managed to get us an amended contract so that we continue working when we arrive in South Africa.
During July 2020, we were notified that we will go back home to South Africa through a repatriation flight, after many attempts of getting us flights to South Africa. As planned, on the 1st of August we boarded our flight to South Africa from Amsterdam. When we arrived in South Africa we went to a quarantine where we were checked daily if we had symptoms of COVID-19. We stayed at the quarantine for 10 days and I am glad to announce to you that we are healthy and negative from the COVID-19. On 11 August 2020, we were discharged and all four of us are now in our homes missing Norway.
We are looking forward to resume work after our holiday as our amendment contract will be starting.
Get musical summer activities right in your inbox! 🙂
Do you like music, dance and cool rhythms? Then keep an eye on our musical summer activities!
On Tuesday and Friday in week 29 to 32, you can get tips for musical summer activities right in your inbox.
Want to make your own song! Or maybe you want to join the whole family in playing some fun games? As well as musical games and South African games, learning to make your own instrument and fun South African dances are also among the activities you can enjoy this summer.
There will be up to four activities in each email, so here are activities for everyone! The activities can be done wherever and whenever you wish!
If you want to sign up please follow the link bellow
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the end of PULSE 7s year is soon coming to an end. Being in lockdown and under restrictions has been challenging us to be creative and think outside the box. A lot of plans were cancelled, some of them postponed, whilst new ideas came up together with a good spirit and believing that “Yes, we can!”.
With this round coming to an end, PULSE wants to throw back to some of the moments in Field Band Foundation that we will never forget. Meeting young Field Band members, getting to know a dedicated and passionate staff, and experiencing the valuable relation between music and health has been enriching and the gratitude is big from our side.
Throwing back leads us to looking forward. Forward to a new phase with new projects, plans, ideas and challenges that will make us grow. PULSE want to thank all our dear colleagues is Field Band Foundation and Norges Musikkorps Forbund for the opportunity and the valuable experience that we will bring with us going forward.
PULSE and Field Band Education on Educational Band Visits
At the beginning of the year we saw the world attacked by a deadly Corona virus whom most of us thought it will pass in few weeks. we saw people´s lives change drastically and economy around the world falling which led to organisations and companies loosing income and living many people unemployed. Many can not travel to visit their friends,families and to go to work as a result of restrictions put in place for our safety. Sadly, most has also lost their lives and loved ones due to this virus.
One way or the other we are all affected by Corona virus irrespective of which side of the world you are on and we, as PULSE South Participants went through difficulties and anxiety because of uncertainty of the future and mostly being locked down in a foreign country. Luckily for us we have a great management team, which is checking on us every day and making sure that we are in a perfect state of physicality ,emotion and mental.
Nomkhosi Mnisi went through a stressful time when this situation of Corona virus started and dealing with it was difficult for her.This is what she said.
“At times I found myself thinking about what is going to happen to me, and being away from home was difficult for me to stay strong. A lot of times I thought I am alone in this situation and no one will understand what I am going through. It took some time for me to talk about this as I did not know how people will respond to my situation. One day I just took the phone and started calling my friends and family back home and that was the best thing I did for myself. On the day I called, I told them how I was really feeling and I could not believe the amount of support I got from them. This showed me how much support from the loved ones means to me. From that day I pulled myself together and became positive about life”.
“I believe we all go through difficult situations at times and we do not know what to do about them, and that can lead us to a breaking point and a build up to anxiety, because we don`t know what the future holds for us during these times of Corona virus. I have learnt that it is okay not knowing everything about what the future holds and also learned the importance of having people that you can always go to when you feel like everything is not going well. We all need a support structure that we can always rely on when we need help and that kept me going until this day.” Says Nomkhosi Mnisi.
Khaya Benela a trumpet player living in Oslo mentioned that.
“It has been months since the pandemic started and as individuals, we have different approaches in facing the challenges and the new lifestyle that we have to adjust to in the working environment and social life in general.Ever since we started working from home due to the pandemic what kept me going was that, in our workplace we had developed the digital teaching methods and we filmed digital tutorial videos so we could share with the band members and conductors around Norway. I was motivated and happy to learn and challenge myself as I have never done this before, and I had to learned how to do a digital video tutorial using myself and creating the script and performing my own script which was a challenge, but I finally knew how to do it with the help of my colleagues.”
He continued by saying “Another thing that kept me away from thinking too much about this pandemic is a project I was selected to take part in which is called alle spiller. It is based on arranging and composing music for bands around Norway where we take children’s songs from around the world and make arrangements and compositions for the NMF bands in Norway. Basically my work kept me motivated and going through these difficult time.”
Tebogo Ntshole who is also known as Franqo, lives in Bergen. He as well had gone through a fair share of worries and found a way to deal with his worries in a positive manner. this is what he had to say.
“I remember When the pandemic first exploded all over the news, I was at the office reading about the symptoms and how to stay safe. I then found out that people who where suffering from certain illnesses where at a higher risk of getting infected. I completely went into panic mode because those where illnesses my mother is suffering from. This was the beginning of my emotional roller coaster ride! As if things weren’t already out of proportion and then the travel ban hit happened. Oh my goodness, how do I get home should something happen to my mother who has a dangerous cancer and respiratory problem, whose going to take care of my baby sisters if she gets hospitalized for Covid19?” I’m asking myself these questions while trying to remain calm. I felt trapped and claustrophobic.
Franqo found a friend to keep him going through these difficult times and he is in a better state of mind even though things are tough. this is what he had to say.
“Resilience is my best friend right now because it’s what helps me to get through this, with the support from work, family , friends and keeping contact. Keeping my mind busy and active with creativity was what I had to do to make it through the bad days. I am more resilient right now than before. I have learnt so much from this journey and I’m a happier person now”.
Jacob Mhlapeng also living in Bergen never thought this out break will last this long and turn to be a pandemic.
“At first when I heard about the out break of Corona virus, I thought it was one of those viruses which can be easily cured as I trusted in modern medicine and science. When Corona virus was announced to be a pandemic and many countries are going through a lock down I then realized that we are all in trouble. At that moment anxiety and panic started to kick in,lots of questions with little or no answered started roaming in my head. Whats going to happen with us here in Norway?, Are we going to be sent back home?, Are we going to lose our jobs as people predict?, how is my family surviving this ordeal at home?. These were some of the questions that I had”.
“Through constant communication with my colleagues, friends and family I grew stronger emotionally and I had less anxiety every day. Knowing that there are people who cares about my holistic well being made me resilient from breaking down.And the new tasks that we received at work also helped a lot in keeping my mind sane as it is some times tiring working from home. Currently I am in a better state of mind and health despite the fact that that life is not as we usually know it to be. I hope in the next coming months things will be better than this and every body will get back to their usual daily lives”. says Jacob
With this article,PULSE team would like to convey a massage of support to every one who is infected and affected by this pandemic. Remember to wash hands with soap or sanitizer all the time. when you go out remember to cover your face with a face musk and put on gloves lastly stay home and stay safe. This too shall pass.
Written by: Nomkhosi Mnisi, Khaya Benela, Tebogo Franqo Ntshole and Jacob Mhlapeng.