Abel Selaocoe: Where Is Home (Hae Ke Kae)

Sun 25 Sep 2022, 7.30pm
Queen Elizabeth Hall
Classical music
From £10
past event
past event
Celloist Abel Selaocoe singing while holding his cello
Parlophone records ltd

Abel Selaocoe, cellist and musical innovator, explores the meaning of home, drawing on diverse influences from across Southern Africa and the Baroque era.

At its heart is a music that is about learning to understand the different ways we seek refuge, and how this is not always a place of comfort, but one of empowerment and the potential to live a fulfilled life.

It’s also a music which understands that our homes exist not just in geographical spaces, but also in spiritual ones, in our habits, in the people we choose to be around, and in communal ceremonies.

It draws on elements of South African culture personal to Selaocoe.

‘From spoken word and deep voices of Makoloane (boys of age from Lesotho and South Africa going through initiation school) to Tswana rhythmic dances with foot stomps, and taking inspiration from African string instruments such as the uhadi from Southern Africa, sekhankhula from Lesotho and zeze from Tanzania,’ he says, ‘going on to weave connecting threads between Baroque music and South African hymnal song that took this sound world through its colonial past.’

The result is something which celebrates an environment which, Selaocoe says, allowed ‘a deep religious and cultural practice while learning Bach cello suites and hearing the same melodies I practised through African voices of family who interpret the music in the way which they hear it’.

Both cultures have an improvisational nature which allows a freedom that leaves labels of genre behind, revealing a story about finding your place of empowerment: home with expressions of different dialects.

  • Abel Selaocoe cello, vocals
  • Alan Keary electric bass, vocals
  • Fred Thomas piano, percussion
  • Sidiki Dembélé African percussion, vocals
  • Bernhard Schimpelsberger percussion
  • Simran Singh violin
  • Rakhi Singh violin
  • Ruth Gibson viola
  • Kadialy Kouyate kora
  • Elizabeth Kenny theorbo
  • Alice Zawadzki vocals
  • Ellen Lewis vocals

Need to know

Age recommendation

For ages 7+

Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer at 6pm: Pre-concert talk with Abel Selaocoe and Toks Dada (Head of Classical Music, Southbank Centre). Admission free

Dates & times

Sun 25 Sep 2022, 7.30pm
Approximate run time: 1 hour 30 mins.
Run times may vary by up to 20 minutes as they can be affected by last-minute programme changes, intervals and encores.


  • Standard entryFrom £10*
  • Concessions25%**

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Multi-buy discount

Classical Music: Autumn/Winter 2022/23

As part of our classical music multi-buy offer, book multiple Autumn/Winter concerts in the same transaction to receive a discount:

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Discounts apply to selected events from September 2022 until January 2023 inclusive. Offer can't be combined with Spring/Summer multi-buy.

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