Brief Biographical Notes

An overview of projects, perspectives & scope of works

Tanka Fonta was born in the highland region of Cameroon in west-central Africa where he pursued his formal educational studies. He has pursued a wide variety of interests in the arts, music, cultures of the world & education. He has also conducted extensive independent research into contemporary, art music, folk & traditional African music.

A prolific author & composer, performer, multi-instrumentalist, poet, researcher & scholar of traditional African music, Tanka Fonta has also been actively engaged in other professions; as a visual artist, exhibiting at galleries in Cameroon, Canada, USA, & Germany.

Fluent in diverse musical idioms, genres & styles, Tanka Fonta also writes from a poetical, literal & philosophical background, often integrating themes & motifs from different musical cultures of the world. A strong & converging point in his works & compositional palette are his eloquent use & employment of diversified subject matters, themes, motifs & variegated musical idioms.

With over a 100 published works for orchestra, small & mixed ensembles, quartets, trios & for solo instrumentation, some of his recently published works include; Incantations of a Bantu Mask, Visions & Ideograms, Themes & Variations of an African Dance in G Major, Elation of the Gods I, Fulani Flute Dance, Drums & Faces of the Night, The Birth of Dawn & The Initiation Dances I.

He has featured in the documentary film, “ African Brush Strokes”. In addition he is a frequent performer in numerous festivals, concerts & has appeared in Vues D’Afrique, Coup de Coeur festivals in Montreal, du Maurier Jazz festival & many others.

Other professional concurrent activities include, lecture programs on African music, concerts, recitals, artist in residence projects, recordings & educational programs on African music in schools & colleges in Canada, USA & Germany.

Tanka Fonta plays: Piano, Acoustic Guitar, Bass, a variety of traditional African hand percussion & string instruments.

Projects & Exhibitions

Brief Synopsis on Exhibitions & Projects

The Witness and the Metallic Ant

  In The Night It had been an unusual night, with its own peculiarly cheeky and persistent chilliness, emphasised and accentuated even more with strong and gusty winds. Billowing

African Market I

The marketplace as a confluence point, as a converging pivot around which some elements & essences of a society come together in a concordant and harmonic flux of

The Quantum Project – Accessing, Decoding Reality via the modulation and arrangement of light photons via paint medium

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The Quantum Project: Using a biological scripting language (Painting) to access, to evoke or elicit new levels of thoughts, to awaken other emotional fields of being.

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Interfacing with philosophy, mythologies, the dream world & reality via the counterpoint of visual symbols.

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Perception, Context & Subjectivity

What is it to perceive beyond the realm of thought & thinking?

Consider the delicate stanza and symmetry of a petal, a fading sunset, the rising crest of an ocean wave against the backdrop of twilight…
Consider again the tender folds of the evening clouds against the soft song of an evening sunset… the gentle laughter of a baby in the arms of its mother, the smile of an old man taking a walk in the parks…the happiness of a girl discovering a new love.
Consider once more the innumerable beautiful moments, things, situations, events, et cetera that are the sum total and embodiment of daily life!
What is the connecting thread and context between all of these?

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“Consider the delicate stanza and symmetry of a petal, a fading sunset, the rising crest of an ocean wave against the backdrop of twilight…”
What is Perception?

“Can an observation be independent of the mechanism of thought & it’s inferences? & therefore not subjective.”

Who is the Observer that Observes?
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