Dave Knowles is a performing artist and composer currently from the Garden Route, South Africa. Knowles’ career spans over a decade beginning with the indie rock band, Shinobi, in 2001. After 3 years touring SA and a year in Manchester, U.K., Dave took on a solo career, developing a unique percussive-acoustic style that quickly established him within the folk singer-songwriter scene.
While performing and teaching music in Cape Town, Dave collaborated with Pressure Cooker Studios on multiple advertising submissions, and in 2016 worked with Philip Pells of Africa Sun Music to compose the international award winning score for The First Week, a 48 Hour Film Project winner by the Mason Brothers. He is currently providing music for Takalane Sesame.
2016 also brought a commission from the Chaeli Campaign to compose and perform the score for No Functional Language, directed by Jayne Batzofin, for which Dave developed a set-up with an RC-300 loop station, bass, guitar, flute and vocals. The show saw multiple successful runs, including performances at the National Arts Festival and at Aprilfest in Denmark, 2017.
This period saw a shift in Dave’s live performance from acoustic songwriting to loop-based improvisation, culminating in the launch of his “Aminal” set during the National Arts Fest 2017.
This period of intense touring left Dave’s vocal chords in tatters and during the final set of his NAF run, it came to a head, forcing him to seek treatment and adapt in the coming months. Still a full time musician, Dave built a set using the Ableton Push 2 and continued delivering electronic/acoustic improvised performances while waiting for his voice to heal.
Another year of touring and Dave’s voice forced an early return from a European tour with damage that would require a shift in career. In 2019, Dave expanded is creative aspirations and dived into the world of film fabrication, leaving his hopes and identity as a musician behind him. The months of rest, however, did their job, and the summer saw a return to music with a bit more mature perspective.
Dave now works as a freelance composer, burgeoning electronic artist, loop improvisor and singer-songwriter on guitar and piano. With the effective death of the South African live music scene, Dave is shifting his music and improv experience online and is in the process of developing ways to create for and interact with his new digital fanbase.