Last update: 24-Apr-2014 11:29 pm
Thursday, April 24, 2014
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
You are here
There’s hope in the music
Violence and a horrific crime that hit home and was shamelessly ignored by the police defined last year’s Carnival season for me. Needless to say bad memories make me a brutal judge of Carnival so imagine my shock when I switched on the radio and actually liked and enjoyed this year’s music. I find myself revelling in nostalgia for the days when I walked up George Street to visit Growling Tiger, the first official calypso monarch of T&T.
Much of this year’s music reminds me of conversations with Tiger, who subscribed unknowingly to the Guyanese magical realist writer Wilson Harris’s theory of fossil memories. Old, unrecorded melodies and rhythms, he once told me, would crop up in the music of new generations of calypsonians who could have never heard that music.
Music, Tiger believed, is a memory in our blood. I wouldn’t go so far as to say any singer of this year’s hits has broken through some magical realist barrier to the past, but the essence of Tiger’s theory is alive and well in a generation of singers who are reaching back to calypso’s roots. Witness Farmer Nappy’s haunting horn lines in Big People Party or the marriage of humorous lyrics and rhythmic melody in Cassie’s Man in de House, evoking some semblance of Spoiler.
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff. Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Please help us keep out site clean from inappropriate comments by using the flag option.
Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments. Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.