Sunday, January 27, 2008

The world listens to us. Do we hear them?

My parents told me a story that they were sight seeing in Ljubjana, Slovenia. A young man was performing some James Taylor on guitar, with an accent that made them feel like they were back in the USA. Adding some coins to his guitar case, they complimented him on his singing, and found that he spoke no English. He had mastered his repertoire of songs perfectly but did not understand what he himself was singing.
When I moved to Italy in 1973, "You're so Vain" was at the top of the charts in Italy and the USA. I was very fond of the song and enjoyed the transcontinental continuity. On further thought, I wondered why I never heard Italian Hits (sucessi) in Boston. When I went to bars( which were family friendly) I fed and watched the jukebox and wrote down the names of Italian songs and groups I liked. To this day, I still listen to Lucio Battisti, Mia Martini, and Le Orme (which reminds me a bit of Pink Floyd). I extended my discovery of international music around the globe, with particular attention to the former East Germany and the former Soviet Union
A lot of these groups can be seen on you tube. The internet makes the purchase of their music far easier than when I was young. Like the young man my parents met in Ljubjana , I am concerned not only with the meaning of words but the quality of the human voice as a musical instrument.
When I was a child and my parents brought me to the beach, I always wondered if someone on the other side was looking back at me. When I put DDT (Russia) or the Puhdys ( East Germany) on my headphones, I can now say truthfully that someone is looking back. Sphere: Related Content

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