I´ve always believed our leaders should listen to Bob Marley or Serge Gainsbourg. You never know, a few bars of Shu Ba Du Ba could swing the UN atmosphere from ‘Apocalypse now’ to ‘In the Mood for Love’. People might talk about making time to smell the roses, but the old adage could just as easily translate to finding time to hear new music – or old – as it does burying your face in petals. Choose your own day dream – finding space for reflection is just as important for Obama as it is for the postman, after all.
Think of music as a magical flying carpet. I do. It can take us anywhere, any time – with daydreams of far away lands, or places so close they feel like they’re under our skin. Sometimes songs can convey experiences utterly removed from our own. At other times, they can crystalise a moment in time more perfectly than a sketch or photo, drawing intimate and visceral portraits with the most delicate of instrumental brushstrokes. Music is a ride of encounters; through it we find other people, other ways of thinking and seeing, other ways of seeing ourselves.
This month our ‘speciale’ envoy Svetlana Stakhanov talks to Seun kuti about his afrobeat movement. Kuti’s story is a great example illustrating the might of music, a platform for speech that engages with minds and rhythms (Lets change the world on the boogie floor).
Seun continues the afrobeat tradition of its legendary father Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Next month he will play at Womadelaide with its 16 piece funk ensemble Egypt’80.