Inside Kampala

African Suite No. 22

For Flute, Recorder, and Piano

Score and Three Parts

First Movement: Boda Boda
Second Movement: Karungi
Third Movement: Too hot!

Inside Kampala is my African Suite No. 22; its about my impressions of the 4-million-population capital of Uganda where I stayed many times during my travels through Africa in recent years.
Boda Boda is the name of the motorcycle taxi you find everywhere in Kampala (often there are no car taxis at all). They are by far the cheapest and most dangerous way to move – considering the dense traffic, the age of the motorcycles, the lack of street lights and the fact that there are often more holes than pavement on the streets. Once a friend wanted me to show me his church and called a boda for us; it turned out the church was far away in the outskirts and the ride took one hour. He must have told the driver we are in an extreme hurry, because he did James-Bond-like stunts, driving on the opposite lane, between the cars, on the sideway, everywhere. Even as an atheist I started praying. I tried to capture this momentum of excitement, adventure and joy of speed in this piece.
Karungi means beautiful and its also a women’s name in Luganda, the language of the biggest tribe in Uganda. I think Karungi is a beautiful name for beauty. This piece describes an intense moment of tenderness and love, a heavenly atmosphere. Musically, you will find that I use the notes from the ostinato pattern of boda boda in slow motion as a melody here. So, I transformed a wild boda boda ride into a tune of love and longing. This movement challenged me the most; I wanted it simple and complex, beautiful and melancholic at the same time.
The third and last movement is called TOO HOT. I cannot say much about it, it’s just pure African energy! I never wrote a piece like this before, I never came so close to Jazz and Pop. Too hot refers of course to the temperatures in Sub-Saharan Africa which are sometimes hard to bear for a Northern European like me; but obviously too hot also can mean too spicy and too sexy. All of the three meanings you will easily find in Kampala - and in this piece!
I wish to thank the flute genius Katharine Rawdon, who commissioned Inside Kampala and interviewed me about it for the Indian Classic Magazine Serenade, by far the most interesting interview that someone has conducted with me. And of course I wish to thank her ensemble Syrinx: XXII, including the fabulous António Carrilho (recorder) and Raj Bhimani (piano), who played the fantastic premiere on November 26, 2018, in the National Center for the Performing Arts in Mumbai, India.
I am always delighted to receive recordings and comments.

Hamburg, June 2019

number of pages: 
19,90 Euro