Wednesday, October 09, 2013
Best Chamber Progressive: LBC Trio - Baobab (FRA, 1984) [Plus REUPS Suburbano 2, Coalition Mindsweepers]
All the usual comments apply, the things I've said dozens of times before:
-the compositional quality is so high this rivals anything written by Stravinsky, Prokofieff, etc.
-why is this not played in symphony halls instead of the same tired old classical compositions we should all be so sick of hearing?
-the amount of work these composers put into this record is utterly incredible
-the cover art is so beautiful in these old masterpieces -- what is the chance some of our favourite album covers will be displayed in art galleries someday?
-there is no more advanced or perfect music than such a combination that uses everything humanity has created: pop, rock, classical, folk, and jazz, and combines all streams into a seamless whole
-what is it about music that makes it so beautiful? of all arts, it seems to be the most abstract kind of intellectual exercise, although rooted in the auditory sense, it has a level of abstraction not achievable with any other sense and functional MRI shows, as I said before, multiple levels of brain from the bottom emotional areas to the topmost cortex are involved in its enjoyment
For comparison purposes, this album is similar to the amazing Kolibri - Winterserenade which isabelbc posted here some 2 years back or so. (Btw, when I looked at that post recently I read some comments requesting their first album Tsamadou. I listened to that one and was very disappointed, it's purely ordinary folk and even has cover versions of pop songs like some Jim Croce (if I remember correctly). Not one to request.)
Some information on the artists for those interested:
Oddly enough they didn't produce a whole lot more music. Perhaps this is their communal magnum opus?
On the back of the record this comment:
"Three composers, interpreters and improvisers reveal to us their universe: an original new chamber music which molds and transforms many resonances of classic, jazz, and folklore..."
Regarding the title, I read with great sadness a recent article discussing the last stands of the baobab tree in Madagascar, as usual, the suggestion that they will be all gone in a few years if the environment continues to deteriorate. For those like me who grew up on the baobab thanks to Le Petit Prince such information is especially depressing. I've spoken often about how cooperation evolved in humans and made them the masters of the planet, but this altruistic impulse is forever at war with the more basic selfish impulses which have existed in life forever. Simply, cooperation evolved at a time when humans were in small groups and competed with other small groups for scarce resources (like prog albums?). Obviously a cooperative group did much better than a group of selfish cheaters. However, we are now all one tribe, one huge tribe, and in our society it's the selfish cheaters who are favoured, for various reasons. It's interesting that now nature has set us up for a huge challenge since we must all cooperate to preserve the earth as our living home, the question arises, will the new instincts of altruism win out and thus will we preserve ourselves as a species? or the old selfish instincts win and we fall into fighting and murderous competition for a dwindling supply of food? This huge moral combat will play out in the lifetimes of my children who are now 4 and 6, which is why the subject is so intensely interesting to me.
Like the little prince, will we feel so sad about our lost home that we will go back to our friend the snake and let him bite us?
at 3:05 PM Posted by Tristan Stefan