|Aram Yardumian | Category: Music|
The geography of African diaspora music is most often thought of in trans-Atlantic terms: blues and jazz, soca and reggae, rumba and lundu. With a nod to North African styles on the Eurasian shores of the Mediterranean and Red Sea, the limits of cultural influence are sealed. But we often forget that the traffic in humans also went east, with slave communities on Mauritius, Réunion, Rodrigues, Agaléga, and beyond. These Indian Ocean islands are distant from the current of world events, and even far from seafaring routes. Nevertheless, historical African, European, Chinese, Arab, and Hindu communities have formed and, over the centuries, culturally synthesized.
Séga music is the traditional music of these islands, originating among transported slaves from Africa and Madagascar between the 17th and 19th centuries, to labor in French, and later British, sugar cane plantaitons. It began as an improvised night-music of exile and dépaysé, but also functioned ritually during funerals and exorcisms. Although the exact origins of the practice and the term séga—are uncertain, the instrumentation and structure of this early, largely percussive and vocal incarnation appear to have been purely African.[Read more]
The Back Door, Park Avenue Armory, June 8th-August 7th, 2016— You’re The One For Me (2012) It may be 2016 but it is still surprising to be confronted by the medium-less methodology of truly ... [Read more]
The plane captain tells us before takeoff, look right, then left, at the beautiful city of New York. Total flying time to Madrid: 6 hours and 25 minutes. It could be bumpy. It's spring. In ... [Read more]
And the Excluded Middle Way — I've been writing lately about this experience you can have in a sitting practice of non-separation, and how fundamentally it clashes with our commonsense view of ... [Read more]