School of Arts

Music Student Wins International Independent Music Award

Music student Mr Wessel Jansen van Rensburg.
Music student Mr Wessel Jansen van Rensburg.
Music student Mr Wessel Jansen van Rensburg.
Music student Mr Wessel Jansen van Rensburg.

Master of Music student Mr Wessel Jansen van Rensburg’s composition has won the Independent Music Award for best short video in the Social Action category. 

Van Rensburg is the composer and co-producer of the award-winning Baroque to the Rescue that features flautist Wouter Kellerman, hip-hop artist Konshens and South African singer Lady Zamar.

‘It was an honour to have been nominated for this track as a producer but more so a privilege to have worked with such wonderful musicians on this project,’ said Van Rensburg, who developed a passion for music at a young age, influenced by his mother, Marlene.

‘I chose UKZN since so many of my fellow jazz artists through the years have studied here and some of them finished their post-graduate studies at UKZN – the music department is respected in the South African music industry.’

Van Rensburg’s research is about the evolving relationship between Artificial Intelligence (AI) and music composition, particularly how AI impacts on the creative processes and how it influences perception of art in modern society.

‘This is a wonderful time to be alive despite the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. We as human beings are becoming integrated with technology more than ever before and it is not necessarily a bad thing. We now have a vast array of musical tools instantly available to us just by using our mobile phones!’ he explained.

Van Rensburg believes musicians should embrace these new technologies, to develop musically and find new paths to explore. ‘Just look at the invention of photography – it brought an end to fine art portraiture as a means to memorialise loved ones but forced artists to explore novel techniques of art creation such as expressionism, cubism, surrealism, etc. We cannot fight technology – it will be with us forever, but we can use it as a tool to explore our creativity and it will deliver surprising results.’

His advice to new students is to embrace technology and use it to further themselves musically.

What are his s after lockdown plans? ‘I would love to spend time making music with my friends for sure! Despite the adversities we are experiencing now, the future is full of promise and wonder – all this in the eye of the beholder, of course.’

The award-winning track can be viewed on YouTube

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