Homeworld Drift

A structured improvisation by Andrew Garton and Benguela. Performed on the 31st of July 2009 at the Alliance Francaise, Cape Town.

Homeworld Drift

TONG TANA, a fusion cabaret
Benguela, Alliance Francaise, Cape Town. Photo by Niklas Zimmer.


A structured composition performed in Cape Town, South Africa, Jul 2009. Collaborating artists  seek to represent the transition from homeland to homeworld.


As humans drift, migrate or flee, generations of cultural knowledge is lost, languages are extinguished and attachment to home land is diminished. Where are the new home lands?

We may immortalise those who have fallen in battle but we all too quickly forget the cultures that perish due to our appetite for resources that must sustain is all, now and into the future.

From home land to home world – perhaps our consciousness will grow to embrace this for the common good and in doing so, that which we have lost will not have been in vain… Lest we forget[1].

Homeworld reminds us of the fragility of cultures in transition and those who remain, and seek to sustain themselves on their ancestral, customary lands.


  1. Create an individual movements based on the core themes. Four, five or six movements (depending on the final number of performers in the Terminal project) in all will be created.
  2. Ensure the piece can be performed for at least 5 to 7 minutes and enough resources available to contribute to a 20 minute improvised movement with all members of the Quintet.
  3. Movements are composed, constructed and developed in isolation from other members of the Quartet. Unless required for technical reasons, or as defined by the context or theme of Homeworld Drift, neither performer may be aware of the strategies each may employ to perform their movement.
  4. Technical requirements to be ratified in scheduled workshops.


Musicians (n the form of a quartet, quintet or sextet) will perform each movement one by one at five minute intervals with an additional three minutes (drift sequences) within which to interact with the next performer.

In short, performers have each three to five minutes to perform their movement and three minutes to drift into the next.

The order in which each movement is performed may be defined by the composer prior to, or allocated at the time of a scheduled performance of the work. However, this is not mandatory. Depending on technical requirements of Homeworld Drft, it may be necessary to define an ordered arrangement in advance.


  1.  “Lest We Forget” is from the refrain of “Recessional” (a poem by Rudyard Kipling). The phrase became popular as a warning about the perils of exaggerated self pride or self-confidence and the inevitable decline of imperial power.