Thursday, July 06, 2006

a lifetime of creative stumbling

I was needing a hero this morning. Then this guy showed up.

David Lewiston has been recording indigenous music (releasing most of it with Nonesuch) since he quit his job in the mid-1960s to travel and listen to what was out there. There's a piece about him in today's New York Times that describes him "not as an ethnomusicologist or any other kind of academic. His guideline, he said, is simply 'the pleasure principle'."

His albums are documented with his photos and liner notes that he struggles to write but are filled with both historical fact and delight in the music. But his appreciation, he insists, is not intellectual but sensual.

"The ethnoids", Mr. Lewistons said, using his joshing term for ethnomusicologists, "can't stand me. They'll review one of my records, picking every nit they possibly can. And then the final line will be 'The sounds on this album are superb.' They can't get away from that."

From David Lewiston, a 'Musical Tourist' of the World in today's NYT

I suppose if I was feeling introspective I'd sit back and try to figure out why that strikes me as an incredibly cool thing to do.

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