Knowing Me, Knowing You — Dr Alvin Petersen
In the second profile of a staff member (and the last for this year), we present Dr Alvin Petersen, Senior Lecturer in African Music.
African Music, Music Education, Social History of African Music
I play the piano, all the recorders and a small selection of African musical instruments. For my sins I play the organ in church.
Current research trends in ethnomusicology, African music, African music and music education, African music and cultural tourism, the music of the Xhosa and Tswana peoples
Top 5 must-hear music:
1. Madosini and Xhosa bow music
2. Rachmaninov — Vocalise (any version/arrangement)
3. Beethoven — Adelaide
4. Schubert — Symphony No. 5 (especially the slow movement)
5. Queen — We are the Champions
Which personal music experiences are most memorable to you?
• I played organ for a church service in Cape Town in early 1980. Quite unbeknown to me, the ‘service’ turned out to be a stirring political rally. We, the ‘congregation’, experienced difficulty in exiting on account of all the tear gas and police dogs.
• I once played the sopranino recorder for a concert. The problem was that I did not know in which pocket I had put it and hastily felt my pockets whilst the introduction was played by my accompanist.
Top 5 must-read books:
1. Magnificent Desolation by Buzz Aldrin
2. Buckingham Palace, District Six by Richard Rive
3. Down Second Avenue by Eskia Mpahlele
4. Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling
5. Whitney Houston by Richard Parrish
“The secret to a successful life is to fall seven times and to get up eight times” – Paul Coelo
Top 5 must-see movies:
1. The Last of the Mohicans (the soundtrack is by South African-born composer, Trevor Jones)
2. The First Grader
3. Immortal Beloved
4. Mamma Mia
5. Any opera
Which movie(s) did you walk out of before the end?
Which television shows can you watch over and over again?
Dinner for One
Cape Malay anything, especially the koesistas
Lime and soda
How do you relax?
I read novels and play the piano.
Which places would you still like to visit?
Zanzibar, Puerto Rico, Saint Helena Island
What is the ringtone on your cell phone?
It’s a buzz
If you should win R1 million, what will you do with it?
I’ll create a few patents and donate the proceeds to charities of my choice.