The Black Music Tour Experience
SIX multi-media rooms capturing the history and culture of black music are used in an exhibition to honour legends of this genre
A touch-screen smartphone and noise-cancelling headphones are all you need to operate and control your tour and experience of The International Exhibition of Black Music currently showing at Museum Africa as part of the France-South Africa Season 2012.
Twenty-two music legends of all races have been honoured for their contributions to the industry and struggle for humanity.
Fela Kuti of Nigeria, Nina Simone of France and Elvis Presley of the US are some of the greats featured.
Miriam Makeba, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Hugh Masekela are also honoured.
I learnt about Danyel Waro, his song Bastardity and his brand of Maloya magic.
I also became acquainted with Malian guitar hero and the first African to win a Grammy Award, Ali Farka Toure, and Brazilian Gilberto Gil.
It was indeed an honour meeting you all.
Caught up in the lives, magic, achievements and struggles of the legends, my three-hour journey around the world was viewed through stand-alone cylinders projecting each artist's story and whispered into my ears via my headphones.
For a techno boffin, the experience is heavenly. Yet it is also user-friendly for those who are lacking in that department as there's help on hand from readily available coordinators.
The rooms are dimly lit for your viewing pleasure. Imagine being in a small movie theatre with remote, revolving big screens and surround sound speakers that tease your senses. That was basically the effect of the echo of the powerful voices and thrilling music in my head.
No matter where and who composed the music, be it African instruments, chants, dance, jazz, classic, rock, traditional and soul, it was all equally moving.
Highlighted in a second room themed Mama Africa, the whole continent is broken into five parts, and the space pays homage to the continent's music roots and greats.
The third room, Birth of Black Atlantic, is a dark passageway that reflects the slave trade.
The fourth room, Sacred Rights and Rhythm, illustrates the connection between Africa and American Christianity.
The fifth room, Black America, is a time-line of tradition combined with new ideas throughout the 20th century and it leads to the sixth room, Global Mix, that sports a graffiti wall, record mixer and video. Smart tech is all you need for the experience.