Saturday, June 06, 2009

You Have Just Heard Pffllmgqt
The biggest hazard facing a world music DJ, like I, is the unrelenting ruination of names and tracks. I don't speak anything but English, and barely that. I helpfully studied Latin and ancient Greek in college; so I can play all the Ave Marias I want with a clear conscience. And I can quote John Wilkes Booth (sic semper tyrannis!, but I can't tell you the name of my favorite song on a particular CD.

Could you remember Muziki Ni Kazi Yetu by Culture Musical Club? Or Valse de Ximena by Vayo? How about Lountang by Ablaye Cissoko or Ah! Que de Peine et d'Amour by Matapat? I can tell you what they sound like, but if someone said "what is that song by Matapat?" I couldn't tell you. Nor, in fact, could I tell you any lyric from any of these songs. Except that I know the Matapat song Ah! Que de Peine et d'Amour begins with, oddly enough, "ah! Que de peine et d'amour."

Then there are the artists. Did you know "Moh Alileche" is prounounced "Moe Ali-leesh?" Can you say "Alan Shavarsh Bardezbanian" quickly and correctly? How about "Hariprasad Chaurasia", "Halau Hula Ka No'eau", "Branko Krsmanovic", or the "She'koyokh Klezmer Ensemble"? Yeah, I can't either.

1 comment:

FinnyKnits said...

I can't even remember the names of songs of artists that I've been listening to for decades. I never know the names of songs. And most of the time, I don't know the names of any artists - pronounceable or not.

The fact that you navigate those names on a regular basis, in front of a live audience, is particularly impressive.