[image courtesy of blk jks]
“Everything is everything
What is meant to be, will be
After winter, must come spring
Change, it comes eventually”
- Lauryn Hill
In music, the simplest components can be the most profound, or problematic. In language, too.
Short words like god and love tend to have a long list of meanings, whether they stand alone or are used with other words (like -less and tough-). They generally have even more interpretations, much like patterns in music.
“Pan” has at least 18 different uses, which seems a bit tautologous when most people just think of it as an empty container for cooking or washing. But wait – maybe there’s something singing through the semantics?
In the arts, pan is an unfavourable review or critique;
and - uh oh - when you get personal about it, pan is also a biological term for a genus of apes composed of the common Chimpanzee and the Bonobo. (I’m not going to follow lingual threads here and tell you that Bonobo is also a British musician, DJ and producer whose NinjaTunes album Days To Come made waves in the west with the help of spoken word from my India-born, African-schooled, Europe-renowned, Deep South-sounding high school best friend Bajka because it’s (ostensibly) got nothing to do with my point. Which is?)
Which is that these different uses of a simple sound have something common. They underline and override many of the assumptions around the Pan African Space Station, better known by in age of ADD as PASS. In addition, they illustrate how the same root can have many shoots, depending on where you plant it. Let’s start with native soil.
This year’s gifts include Malian Kora maestro Toumani Diabaté; 9-piece, Chicago-based Hypnotic Brass Ensemble; Ras G and the Afrikan Space Program on location in the Western Sahara ; Cameroonian Franck Biyong and his Massak Afrolectric Orchestra; Ghanaian 'afro-pidgin-punk' Wanlov the Kubulor.
And getting back to fifty ways to leave your lover, whatever your definition of ‘good music’ is, the Pan African Space Station could broaden it, by design, and by definition, which means you only have more to enjoy. So balls to the Bauhaus; less is more no more.
Scour the site for more on this “30-day music intervention”
September 12 - October 12
on air, online and on stages around the Cape Town
Pan African Space Station? See if you can pan it.
“Everything must change
nothing stays the same
everyone will change
no one, no one stays the same”
- Nina Simone