dimanche 22 novembre 2009

La musique dépasse la mémoire

When we listen to an old piece of music, we’re inevitably saddened by our inability to fully inhabit the era from which it came; the poetry of its historicity seems to slip through our fingers. The most we can do is seek out the people who lived through it, the surviving relics of times past who, for one reason or another, seem to have remained frozen in a smoky Harlem nightclub or a backwoods Appalachian village, as if they themselves were documents in an archive. These baroque personalities give the illusion of having an entire epoch condensed into their being, and even the lives they led have become sterling works of art. And as problematic as it sounds, we are lucky to have them. Our modern griots sacrificed their own progress for the sake of transmitting to us what were most likely the best years of their lives.
What does that have to do with the music?
Everything – because it makes manifest the fact that all music is a kind of storytelling, and that things as inert as brass can be made to sing the song of history. Music is a direct and vibrant sort of cultural expression, and it requires a hybrid form like the memoir-album to communicate its power with any degree of truthfulness. What we’re dealing with is not even an oral history, but a sonic one...
[tiré des notes de pochettes du disque de Warren “Baby” Dodds - Talking & Drum Solos]

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