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African arts in Europe

African arts in Europe

There was a time when the energy of the music and performing arts created by folks of African descent seemed to be coming from mainland Europe. I remember going to Brussels in the festive season to perform with a pop group. There was something exotic, elusive and even...

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Styles and profiles

Styles and profiles

In athletics, short distance runners might seem to have more glamorous public profiles than those who specialise in middle and long distances. Perhaps this is due to the spectacle of seeing people running at top speed. It is probably more exhilarating to watch, from...

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The call of destiny

The call of destiny

A clairvoyant once spoke to me about destiny. She said there were events that are definitely preordained to happen. I understood what she was saying on a surface level, but nothing beats the experience of knowing something as it happens in real time. When I started...

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Opportunities to learn about the real deal

Opportunities to learn about the real deal

There was a time when the popular music press weeklies used to run classified sections for young musicians to search for opportunities to join bands. I haven’t read the surviving publications in a couple of decades, so I’m uncertain about the drill nowadays. One catch...

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All the heritages have things to tell us

All the heritages have things to tell us

I can think of two major composers who have made a global impact with their music that needed to be told by someone, it was okay to draw inspiration from the cultural heritages they originated from, in their work as creators of formal art music. One of those composers...

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Who picks the classics?

Who picks the classics?

Artists can aim to create works that will be regarded as timeless classics, or they can decide that the perception of their works in the fullness of time is outside the boundaries of their control. Is there any point in trying to second guess the way that our work...

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