Finding your own light source with Kaleidoskoop
Kaleidoskoop is a South African band best known for their acoustic folk music, which mainly consists of original Afrikaans songs. However, they also released an Acoustic Cover album in 2014 featuring songs such as Zombie by the Cranberries, You can call me Al by Paul Simon, Billie Jean by Michael Jackson and a few others.
The meaning behind their name; Kaleidoskoop
Their band’s name is based on an old type of toy known as a kaleidoscope. A toy made out of a tube with mirrors and pieces of coloured glass and paper. This toy’s reflections produce colourful changing patterns when the tube is rotated while aiming it at a light source.
Kaleidoskoop decided to use this toy as a metaphor for their outlook on life and to create their music. Their main goal is to cultivate positivity and hope by focusing on their light source, which they identify as Jesus Christ.
My first time meeting the band
The first time I attended one of their concerts was in December 2019 at Hermanuspietersfontein Wines, South Africa. It was a very cosy and intimate venue with only a small amount of people. Each of us had our own table to sit at and we could order a cheese and meat platter with wine at the restaurant.
Due to the fact that I’ve never seen the band before, I didn’t realise I was talking to the two lead singers at the entrance gate. I had thought they were restaurant staff who were helping out in scanning our concert tickets and explaining how the seating arrangements worked.
What an amazing surprise to find out that those down to earth people were actually the entertainers of the evening. I love that they did this. That they decided to engage with their audience in this way. It made them human and their music relatable and real.
During their performance, they would tell jokes and stories about their experience as musicians, what inspired them to write certain songs and the places they went to write.
I enjoyed these little interludes. It gave context to their songs, made you listen more attentively to the lyrics and contributed to the cosy vibe of the evening. I would highly recommend attending a live performance of theirs.
Why I enjoyed their music
Each CD cover is like a little letter written to the person who bought it. Apart from the CD album, Platsak comes with a bunch of little printed photos of the band and their writing road trips. The lyrics are written on a folded up paper – which really makes it look like an old letter tucked away in the CD cover.
In comparison to this, Gunsteling Seisoen has a small booklet with the song lyrics printed inside. The gems of this CD cover is the gorgeous illustrations of the two lead singers, Anique and Jouba Jordaan, created by Lanka Cronje and Karien Nel.
By now I’ve listened to these CD’s so many times that I know the order in which they appear on the playlist. I love all of their songs. However, there are specific songs that speak to me personally.
- Stellenboschkind and Moedersmelk for its cute sound effects and nostalgic memories of Stellenbosch, the town I moved to during my University years.
- Somersreën and Gunsteling Seisoen for its beautiful stories of love, friendship and the fingerprints people leave behind in our lives.
- Soms wonder jy for the lesson on just being yourself and finding joy in the simple things in life.
- Bladwisselend, Fakkels and Die Goeie for the difficult questions these songs ask about life, death and how we choose to live it.
The song I resonate the most with
However, their song, Die Goeie, is the song I love the most and that touches me deeply every time I listen to it.
When I was little the adults around me would sometimes get stuck in a negative outlook on life when they talked about politics, the economy and life in general. This suffocated me and drained me of any hope for the future. The only way I could escape was to go for a walk on our family farm.
Only by focusing on my breathing, the sound the red sand made underneath my feet and the variation of wildflowers, I managed to silence the negative voices in my head. It freed me to dream and hope for a future where everyone treated each other with kindness and a time we all could feel proud of our country.
Some people might call the negative voices, reality and label it as being realistic. These same people might even call me naïve. However, I am not naïve. I am not unaware of the brokenness of the world. I simply refuse to let it steal away the beautiful things we have left to cherish and to give it the power to make me a prisoner of grief, fear and hatred.
Kaleidoskoop‘s song, Die Goeie, reminds me of this childhood experience and other similar experiences in my life. It kindles the hope that lives within me and it makes me feel even more hopeful to know there are others that feel the same way.
I also feel that this song is a perfect example of Kaleidoskoop‘s outlook on life. Despite all the bad, painful, uncertain and broken things in the world, they keep pointing their kaleidoscope to their light source. Not to deny or ignore the fact that bad things happen, but to do the difficult thing by still believing in the good of the world and to hope for a brighter future.
For more information
Thank you Kaleidoskoop for this precious gift. For reminding us through your art, to point our own kaleidoscopes to the light source in our lives and to allow it to transform and renew our perception of the world.
If you you are interested in finding out more about Kaleidoskoop‘s music, follow this link to their website. You will be able to listen to and buy their songs and albums via their online store.