My respect for the performing arts is deep. I’m fascinated by musicians, composers, writers and producers who are able to conceptualize an idea that speaks directly to the soul. It happens sometimes that when I listen to an album I turn to repeat a particular song because it has a special meaning to me. It might be reminding me of a particular place or an event that took place or might be evoking something in my spirit that revives or brings home a particular subject. The fascinating part is that some of the songs I listen to are from artists singing in languages I don’t even understand, yet I could feel the state they were in when composing the song or what the song is expressing. At any given time I find myself religiously listening to the tunes of Cesaria Evora, Toumane Diabate , Salif Keita , Ali farka Toure and Yossou Ndou to name a few. All these artists sing in languages I don’t understand. However every time they hit that note I could tell exactly if it’s a happy song or a sad song.
In my culture every feeling is expressed in song, from suddenness, happiness, anger, love, we have a song for it. This shows the importance of music in our lives as a people. Over the years music has also been used to transfare history from one generation to the other. I’m reminded of stories of how the first textual history of the “Illiad” was penned down through song by a blind musician “Homer”.
One day Maya Angelou writes “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”.I guess these words were understood very well by Harry Belafonte, Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie when they composed the song “We Are The World” that captured the hearts of many and ended a famine in Ethiopia.