South African multi-award-winning, orchestral film score composer and conductor Trevor Jones headed home last month to capture a piece of musical magic.
As the longest running soap opera in South African television history, Generations’ creators decided, as part of the shows 20th anniversary celebrations, to invite one of our finest musical exports to write and record an original piece of music for the show.
Locally Trevor Jones’ creations helped make Jozi H great and the likes of Notting Hill, Angel Heart, The Last Of The Mohicans, GI Jane and Around The World In 80 Days box-office hits. His compositional genius is known, respected and called upon the world over. The fact that he took time out to come home and record a piece of music that will welcome in audiences Monday through Friday speaks mountains of his will and want to work and play in his country of birth. “I love a challenge,” Jones says. “Collaborating on a piece of music for a soap opera as successful as Generations meant I had to find a way to do justice to a show that mirrors popular society as well as it does. The music runs in tandem with the energy and aspiration that’s broadcast each weekday.”
From last night onward a beautifully orchestrated and produced piece of signature music, featuring the legendary musician Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse on saxophone, will welcome the millions of South Africans who tune in Monday through Friday to get their daily dose of riveting intrigue. Jones and Mabuse met up for the first time earlier this year at the independent music conference Music Exchange. “I knew who Trevor was, and was always in awe of his work, ”Mabuse says. “When we did meet, the prospect and possibility of ever working together suddenly seemed within reach. We just needed to find the right moment.”
With a mere two years between the two musical giants, Mabuse the junior, and Jones senior, the former Soweto-born musician and the latter District Six prodigy have both spent the better part of their lives wowing audiences the world over, away and beyond their township roots. Today the two stand united, collaborators and joint peers equally committed to leaving a lasting impression beyond Generations’ opening credits.
Jones got the call from Generations’ creator Mfundi Vundla in late July and quickly set to work crafting what will soon become one of the most recognisable refrains to this well-loved and entrenched weekday distraction. “I did it for love,” he says.
Besides spending time with the shows head writer, Bongi Ndaba, and watching clips from the show, Jones wrote, scored and produced a piece of music so compelling that finding the right players to match his vision meant calling in one of South Africa’s finest musicians. “I had been working on a bigger composition with Sipho Mabuse in mind,” he recalls. “So when the opportunity came along to work on the Generations score, inviting him along for the ride made perfect sense. Sipho’s a consummate professional, a wonderful friend, gifted musician and performer. His contribution here is nothing short of inspired!
“This piece of music could not have been created with anyone other than Sipho,” Jones continues. “He has a distinctive way of playing, and you can hear his signature saxophone from the opening bars of the piece.”
With instrumentation and melody that need capture and enthral in no more than 45 seconds, Trevor Jones and Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse have delivered a piece of music fitting of the 20-year legacy Generationshas created for itself. Now all that’s left is for the ever-evolving plot to unravel around a critical composition that only a man of his calibre can claim.
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