The central aim of “Polyversal Souls in Ghana” is to develop a new composition and establish a temporary German-Ghanaian orchestra called “Polyversal Souls”, conducted by Max Weissenfeldt. Weissenfeldt is a highly acclaimed percussionist and a pioneer in merging traditional African and Asian music with urban soul. As a bandleader and musician, he has released a number of albums in a variety of formations (e.g. Poets of Rhythm, Whitefield Brothers, The Golden Age, etc.). The basic compositional idea of the Ashanti Suite is to musically interweave the polyrhythmic Ashanti music of Ghana with contemporary, polyphonic music typically performed in the West. Polyversal Souls, an orchestra comprised of 19 musicians, will unite two very disparate types of instrumentation – that of West Africa and Western Europe: the Ghanaian drum ensemble (Fontonfrom) featuring lead and back-up drums, shakers and cowbells, and the big-band jazz formation, comprised of a saxophone, trumpets, trombones and rhythmic instruments. The goal is to form a balanced orchestra based on the interplay of these two ensembles. The Fontomfrom ensemble will be conducted by the master percussionist and instructor at the University of Cape Coast, Nana Akoto Bruce. Polyversal Souls will feature renowned instrumentalists from Ghana and Germany in joint performance. The Ashanti Suite will be presented on tour through Germany and Ghana and produced as an album.
A project by Benkadi e.V. Berlin and the Department of Music at the University of Cape Coast.
November/December 2014 Rehearsals and tour in Ghana
Summer 2016 – Planned release of the album by Polyversal Souls featuring extensive material from the Ghana tour
Summer 2017 Concerts planned in Wolfsburg, Bremen, Halle, Munich, Hildesheim, Cologne, Hamburg and Mainz