Souls of Ancient Fish live at The Forge, Kalk Bay, during their 2018 SA Tour.

RUBEN MOWSZOWSKI poetry, voice
DIZU PLAATJIES uhadi, umrhube, mbira, harp, drums, percussion
MAXIM STARCKE electric guitar, electronics, soprano saxophone, soundscape composition

Photography: Ronan Skillen (Kalk Bay) / Dirk Hugo (EOW) / Lisa Bauer (The Forge)


Fusing poetry, world music, electro-acoustic soundscapes and jazz, Souls of Ancient Fish offers a mystical journey that’s hypnotic, haunting and sublime. A collaboration between the poet Ruben Mowszowski, traditional music artist and cultural historian Dizu Plaatjies and soprano saxophonist and electronic musician Maxim Starcke, it forms a lush current, a confluence of leaping vocabularies that celebrate the fluid and rich possibilities of words and sounds. Tempered by love and loss and infused with the musicality of the oral tradition and ritual, the group’s incantations are a poetic and spiritual atlas of new imaginative territories.” - Mail & Guardian (This Week’s top 10)

A remarkable interdisciplinary meditation.” - Peter Merrington (author of Zebra Crossings: Tales from the Shaman’s Record and The Zombie and the Moon)

A true trance journey.” - Tom Glen, film-maker

All of these feel like incantations or rituals, exorcisms even, and they work because their context and purpose remain partially mysterious. It means that they can be, maybe should be heard repeatedly. I’ll definitely make the next reading.” - Jacques Coetzee

Souls of Ancient Fish live at Edge Of Wrong Festival 2015, Straight No Chaser Club, Cape Town

First performance at The Forge, Kalk Bay