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Robin Hogarth

Robin Hogarth is a long standing composer and producer of music, particularly for film and TV, a music publisher, and a specialist in African and Southern African music.

Born in England in 1948, he began his music career in Zimbabwe with original bands, after training in piano, choral work, and later guitar.

Moving to South Africa, he wrote and performed material with a number of bands, having chart success, and a number of his songs were subsequently recorded by other artists.

He then began writing for film, initially for two feature films, and subsequently for TV.

From 1987 to the present day he has written and produced the theme and incidental music for numerous South African TV series, and made-for-TV films. These productions have received local and international recognition (South African awards, a New York Film Festival award), and range from comedies to action thrillers, historical drama to modern dramas, covering a panorama of different musical styles.

African music composer and producer Robin Hogarth with a Bushman musician

Based in the UK, he has been involved in a wide range of other projects, including more films, and co writing and co producing an international dance album.

In addition to the KPM double CD Colours of South Africa he has composed and produced the music for two wildlife programmes for Survival Anglia in the UK (one based in Bushman music, the other native American), and completed an album of African music (Southern Africa) for the London label, Music House.

In recent years, Robin has been involved in a wealth of projects. Many continuing African albums have been released, including The Sound of African Mbube, a rerelease Bushmen of the Kalahari, South African Gospel, and compilations Ancient Civilisations of Southern Africa 1,2 and 3, all on ARC Music. In 2006, Robin completed composing, arranging and producing a double CD for UK label KPM, for television and film use, entitled Spirit of Africa. This music, now in use around the world, features a number of Southern Africa artists, including Soweto Gospel Choir, and is a panorama of traditional and modern African styles in a wide range of moods.

An exciting world music project has been Tribal Beatz, a collaboration with drummer Barry van Zyl. This project includes a track from Johnny Clegg, and utilizes the talents of many of Johnny Clegg's musicians, stars in their own right, in a fusion of rhythms, voices and instruments from all over Africa.

Mood Afrika is an experimental series of fusion African tracks, only available as downloads from Afrodesia. 2007 collaborations and co-productions with Barry van Zyl include Goema Music from Cape Town, and a solo album from Barry entitled African Heartbeat, both on ARC Music. In 2007, work was completed on another KPM double album, also with Barry van Zyl, based on rhythms from around Africa, entitled World Beatz. A 2007/8 co-production, Obababethu (Our Fathers) by the Durban Black Drifters, released through Universal Records, was nominated for a South African Music Award, in the category 'Best Traditional a Capella Album'.

In 2007, Robin produced the album We Are Together (Thina Simunye), released with an already very successful feature documentary of the same name. This EMI release features the Children of Agape Choir, including performances with Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Soweto Gospel Choir, and a live concert piece, with Alicia Keys and Paul Simon. 

He has produced all the Soweto Gospel Choir albums, all of which have topped the Billboard World Music charts.

GRAMMY AWARDS

The Soweto Gospel Choir album, ‘African Spirit’, produced by Robin Hogarth, won ‘Best Traditional World Music Album’, at the 50th Grammy awards held in Los Angeles on the 10th February 2008.

Robin Hogarth was also the producer of the Choir’s previous Grammy winning album ‘Blessed’. In the introduction to ‘African Spirit’ he said: ‘South African gospel music has developed from traditional African forms centuries ago, through the western hymn structures of the early missionaries, and then the many evolving gospel and music styles both in Southern Africa, and internationally, throughout the 20th century. Make no mistake however – this music is unique and colourful, African style!’. Robin has been involved in evolving new recording approaches, both to adequately technically capture African choral and playing techniques, and to develop in the studio the capacity to reproduce the level of excitement and live communication of African music.

In addition to winning the previous 2006/7 Grammy, the Soweto Gospel Choir, formed over four years ago, has performed extensively in Europe, Australia, the far east, and the US. It has won numerous awards including an Australian Helpmann Award, and an American Gospel Award. The choir was formed by promoters Andrew Kay, David Vigo and Clifford Hocking, in association with Executive Producer Beverley Bryer, and Musical Director David Mulovhedzi. The choir averages 30 members from Soweto near Johannesburg, and surrounding areas. They have become known for their soaring voices, and colourful movements, rhythm and dance. They perform mainly unaccompanied, or with one or two playing percussion, or employing their own talents as an accompanying band on a number of vibrant pieces.

Robin, having been involved with African and World music for many years, with over 50 albums to his credit, said of these awards:

"Through the years of turmoil in South Africa, and the long walk to freedom walked by Nelson Mandela and the people, music and art have played a vital role in expressing hope and aspiration. Soweto Gospel Choir members are representative of South Africans everywhere, and these awards underline what can be achieved. The future is alive with possibility! All South Africans can be proud in such an achievement, as can all like minded people, and can take hope that the dream of a better world for all can be realised.

"Every day brings new challenges, and new and wonderful music, rhythm and cultural panoramas: I love what I do as it continually opens up new futures, and the adventure is ever changing."


Please feel free to use the Contact Form or to send Robin an E-mail.

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