On Meeting Tamatiby Ts'eliso Monaheng / 12.11.2013
I finally got around to hearing the other half of folk duo 8Bars Short, Tamati Biscuit, for the first time this past weekend. I’ve been intrigued by her music since she first appeared on Motif Record’s second annual Youth Day initiative, “16s for 16”. I had the opportunity to speak to her moments before she got on stage. Her soft mannerism complements her music perfectly – a lush and alluring hybrid of acoustic guitar and voice designed for healing sick souls. She ran solo; her partner was deep in the academic trenches in Grahamstown. She sang sad songs about, among other things, being afraid to commit to a relationship. In-between, she shared heartwarming anecdotes about a performance she’d watched the other day. “I was very impressed because he wasn’t making contact with the audience”, she said in-between short bursts of nervous laughter.
I eavesdropped on a conversation between two ladies after the show. They spoke about how hard they fought back their tears as the music played. And that’s not to say the sound is necessarily sad or even depressing. Instead, it’s because of its delicate beauty and required emotional engagement that the audience in attendance found it so easy to relate to.
* Images © Ts’eliso Monaheng