Monday, April 30, 2012

art, music the universal language, like mumbling!

I've listened to jazz since my teens, all the intellectual reviews about style, and texture, tone, artistry. Deep textural descriptions as if they are trying to give us the play by play from the artist's head. Then I watched brilliant ones like John Coltrane and Sun Ra and visual artist, in interviews, they are as bad as basketball players. Stumbling for words, trying to sound like normal communicating human beings. I guess if you spend so much time and energy in one form of communication you loose something in the others. I'm not knocking their brilliance or intelligence, I'm saying they struggle to put it all into words so you can comprehend what they see. Art and Jazz as universal expressions are still not like scribbling and humming. Now if you look a lot and listen a lot you can and do appreciate more than those who don't. If you play an instrument or draw, you know more. If you read music and play or learned to draw in school, you know even more. OK, I have to admit that visual artist are used to spieling to art on lookers.

My problem is and has always been getting away from the people who are expert in the daily activity language to get into the space where I can work in the art or the music. There are a lot of folk who don't see the worth in terms of time spent or the monetary rewards that are usually not immediately realized. This is a hard nut to crack, I understand why some artist use outrageous behavior to distance themselves from regular people, just to be isolated enough.

You need a space that is can-do-sive. That's where you "can do" what ever your "sive" is. I have a space at home only I can't play my disturbing music. Yeah, African music and jazz are an acquired taste but headphones have me listening for calls outside the phones or up from down stairs. TV is another neural-lier. I look at YouTube to find appropriate content without commercials and fewer Euro faces. No offense but I need the rest of a sea of positive Afri faces once in a while. Seems the broadcast of genuine African flavored broadcast media is non-existent. And African-American entertainment is very Euro flavored in the US, go figure. Not a problem if I weren't looking for my historic origins.

Anyway art and music are universal in the sense that everybody does them. It is rude to be overly particular in this world of diversity but to insist on universal embrace is criminal. Eventually all this nodding to other cultures and becoming expert in playing each other's music makes the original cultures go away. The new thing that takes its place might be a flattering imitation but the reason, motives and supporting lives that generated the original culture that produced the original music in the first place is disconnected. This is troublesome, as the wicked witch in the OZ would say, "I'm blending, I'm blending, what a world!" It might seem good, it's probably bad and it's definitely ugly. This is why artist and musicians strike out to do something crazy, cutting edge, socially uncomfortable, aesthetically disturbing. I guess I leave it at that and let you deal with it as you choose. Shock becomes fad becomes trend becomes fashion becomes the norm. Me, my culture is on the  endangered list.

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