Tsotsetsi takes music lovers back in time via The Suit
Musical director excited about thrilling audience
Music director of reimagined theatre show, The Suit Concer-tized, Tshepo Tsotetsi plans to take music lovers back in time.
Tsotetsi, a musician, is among the young minds that have been chosen to create music for Mothobi Motloatsi’s fantasy production.
The play opens on Friday night at the Joburg Theatre in Braamfontein.
Tsotesti is working alongside Viwe Mkizwana one of the music arrangers.
The play is adapted from Can Temba’s short story of the same name and will be presented with movement, acting and for the first time, will include an orchestra.First staged in 1994, it features stars like Vusi Kunene, Khutjo Green, Job Kubatsi, Brian Temba and Alistair Dube.
Speaking to Sowetan this week, Tsotetsi is relieved that everything has come together so well.
He wants the audience to experience different emotions as they watch the show.
“The orchestra is beginning to be excited about the show. They are finding things that they like within the story and it is relatable,” says Tsotetsi.
“I have directed music for stage productions before but this time, I am excited. I’ve always found a grey area to focus on and this time it is the hundred percent black cast, orchestra and a high level of professionalism.”
Born in Benoni, on the East Rand, Tsotetsi explains that when Motloatsi invited him to be part of the production, he jumped at the opportunity because The Suit is a classic play, which is part of SA’s heritage.
He admits that he was impressed by the concept before he could even read the script.
In sourcing the music, he says he and his team had to look at Sophiatown where the story is based.
“We had to think of Sophiatown and the music of the time., the interpretation of Can Temba and Mr Motloatsi. The nice thing about him [Motloatsi], he has time to explain things. For many people it is overwhelming because there is a lot of information. For me it was gold. When we sat down, I could understand the ideas he had and get into his mind. I wanted to understand where he wants to take his fantasy world.
“I wanted to buy into his world of wonder. I also live in that world of wonder but we are generations apart. He has a lot of ideas and I live in the wonder he lives in but we are just generations apart. I think that many pioneers are really misunderstood. I look at the music and realise that it makes things easier and more believable. But I have a great team that includes Viwe Mkizwana who is a fantastic arranger. We took all the themes of music of Sophiatown where we modernised them. And made it relatable for the current timeline.”
Theatre lovers can expect to hear classic songs like Meadowlands, Mangwane and Nomali. Tsotetsi believes that it is important to revisit these songs, especially on Heritage Month.
“Heritage is a serious thing. The more we progress, the more there is a need to take care of our heritage. Artistic history must be archived and preserved very well.”
Tsotetsi whose music journey began when he was in grade 7 when he joined a church brass band in Katlehong.
He took music classes until he went to study at National School of The Arts in Braamfontein. At a young age he played with the National School of the Arts, Johannesburg Symphonic Wind Band, South African National Symphonic Wind Band and Johannesburg Philharmonic Academy Orchestra.
Tsotetsi is an accomplished musician and a founder of the New Skool Orchestra and New Skool Sextet.
He is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, speaker, producer and photographer.
He dropped his album titled Forgive Yourself in 2022.