what is HA!

20 January 2017




Actually, i do not know. Cannot know. That is why i came up with the "term." Because knowing by itself does not reach into the fullness of what it is to be creative. How to describe something that is actually grounded in Nothing? But HA! is not empty. To me it is a breath, a feeling that i have each time i perform or create. I could have said "improvisation," but i don't want to. HA! goes deeper still.

Mm.. but there is a story behind it. I was a student at Stellenbosch University and one day coming down the stairs for lunch, something in me snapped, a kind of connection between mind and body, a moment when my thinking turned me towards a concrete awareness of where i was. Feeling. Present. As my thinking at the time was so much about the meaning of life, i decided that this would be the most apt answer to that age-old question: "HA!" Just that. A simple breath. A snapshot of what it is to be alive.

Years later, feeling the need to cloak myself with a stage identity, i went back to that moment. Spontaneous music making is so much about that snap into awareness of the present, of the indelible link between body and mind. And so "HA!Man" kind of slipped in as a stage name, never quite at ease with it, never quite able to cut it loose.