Saturday, March 17, 2012

Brass Unbound

When I was searching for books in the library, I came across the book Brass Unbound: Secret Children of the Colonial Brass Band by Rob Boonzajer Flaes.  I haven't had a chance to read the whole book just yet but it seems really interesting. In the prologue, there is a paragraph that gives an overview of what the book is about:

"Beyond Europe too, legions of young men without a penny to their names used the music of army and church as a springboard to a career in the entertainment business. I have gone in search of these people and their bands and, to my joy, they really did exist. I travelled the world, mapping everything I came across; it has proved to be a rich, immensely varied spectrum of popular brass bands, locally famous but totally unknown anywhere else."

Perhaps the coolest part of the book is the accompanying CD. I had an opportunity to sample each track and it was beyond what I expected. The CD includes tracks from Nepal, India, Moluccas, Sumatra, Minahasa, Philippines, Thailand, Ghana, Germany, Malawi, Madagascar, Surinam, Tonga, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Macedonia, and Serbia. In each of these places, as well as many others around the world, the same brass instruments we play have been assimilated into the native musical style and culture.

If you want to learn more, check this book out! I highly recommend it.

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