The New Project: Collaborative Tour

In association with Concerts SA, pianist Coila-Leah Enderstein and percussionist Dylan Tabisher present the national tour of The New Project, an improvised music collaboration with bassist Carlo Mombelli.

The New Project is a music improvisation initiative formed by pianist Coila-Leah Enderstein and percussionist Dylan Tabisher in 2018. The project aims to foster collaborations between various musicians, merging diverse backgrounds into an ‘instant-compositional’ performance. The focus is to push the boundaries of artistic intuition and the concept of musical style in an effort to create a unique experience for performers and listeners alike.

In this iteration, The New Project invites Johannesburg-based bassist, composer and improviser, Carlo Mombelli to collaborate on a four-concert tour taking place in Johannesburg and Cape Town from 24 – 30 March 2019, made possible with the support of Concerts SA’s Music Mobility Fund. The tour is in collaboration with Nirox Foundation, University of Johannesburg Arts & Culture, Youngblood Arts & Culture, All Saints Concert Series and The Piano Man.

Coila-Leah and Dylan are both emerging South African artists with an interest in blurring the lines of musical performance. Both have a classical training background – Coila-Leah completed her BMus (Hons) at the University of Cape Town in 2014 and she has since produced a number of interdisciplinary performance projects in South Africa, Namibia and The Netherlands. In 2018 she released her first classical album with flutist Sally Minter, “Avanti Live in Concert.” Coila-Leah is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Sound Studies and Sonic Arts at the University of the Arts, Berlin.

“We came up with the idea to collaborate at the beginning of 2018. We both felt we were expanding from our roles of interpreters of classical music and wanted to see how we could move into a realm of composition, together. We got together for a number of sessions where we played around with material. Dylan already had a jazz sensibility, while my improvisation style is more abstract, inspired by 20th century compositional techniques. Within a few sessions we developed an understanding of each other’s musicality. Our performance moved seamlessly from atmospheric sound to tunes with discernible structure. This eclectic quality is something we felt would appeal to Carlo, so that’s partly why we asked him to work with us.” – Coila-Leah Enderstein

Dylan received his Master’s degree in Percussion Performance at Stellenbosch University in 2015 and in 2016 was selected as the overall winner of the SAMRO Overseas Scholarship Competition. Thereafter he studied with Keiko Abe in Japan, regarded as one of the most important marimbists in the world.

“Why I enjoy improvised music and especially playing with Coila is that we are able to reach moments of intuitive synchronisation where we connect in the performance and our minds are in the same place at the exact same time… It feels like magic. Carlo has always been an icon of mine and I am really excited that we’ll be working with him. The music that emerges is not intellectual. In fact, we try not to overthink it. It is quite intuitive, and foregrounds listening and musicality. The risk of making choices in real time creates a heightened experience for us and the audience. It can be a very special thing to share because each performance is unique to the time and space in when it is created, and the audience’s energy influences the material.” – Dylan Tabisher

Dr. Carlo Mombelli requires no introduction. One of South Africa’s most prolific composer/performers, Professor at the University of Witwatersrand, he has produced numerous critically acclaimed albums, the most recent being Angels and Demons featuring Kyle Shepherd, Keenan Ahrends and Jonno Sweetman.

The New Project Tour is supported by Concerts SA through the Music Mobility Fund, a funding mechanism which offers opportunities for South African musicians to undertake live music tours.