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Sunday, June 12, 2011

My World Top Ten

I have often been thinking about a Top Ten of artists world wide people should have listened to according to me. I even  started with one some months ago but simply couldn’t make it up. But now I talked with students in a lesson and actually my top ten kind of flipped out naturally. So something like this:
Fela Kuti
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
Khaled
Bob Marley

Marta Sebestyen
Miriam Makeba
Oum Kalthoum
Ravi Shankar

Seaman Dan
Buena Vista Social Club
Oh, it’s hard. Hardly anything from Latin America – and Buena Vista basically because it is so well known, not because it is extraordinary  excellent. Loads of people missing (Ivo Papasov, Dave Swarbrick, a host of Gambianese and Senegalese, Franco, Lieve Hugo). And a huge part of the world missing: South-East Asia and the Far East (Oceania only covered by Seaman Dan, but he can do that by himself I believe).
I would like to do the same trick with musical terms: hocket/interlocking, (ornamental) heterophony, syncretism, maqam, raga, tala… And with ensembles and instruments: conjunto (many different ones), djembe,   gamelan, q’in, didgeridoo… And with styles: son, salsa, zouk, rumba (3x), soukous, taarab, hindipop, kroncong, aak…
Give me your people, musical terms, ensembles, instruments, genres not to be missed. Eventually I’ll write a book on it. And you’ll appear in the credits.
And yes: once the book is there, we’ll do the same with pop and rock musicians; with western classical composers; with jazz musicians. With novels (my number 1: The Ten Thousand Things by Maria Dermout; followed by Boelgakov’s The Master and Margarita). With dishes. With alcoholic drinks (Vodka!).
And to make things clear: I am not talking about “the” Top Ten of anything. I am not interested in general prescriptions on matters of good taste – basically because there is no such thing as ‘good taste’, only taste. I am talking about Personal Top Tens. They are the only ones that count.

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