JuJu Sounds are field recordings and stories about music from various corners of the globe. Peripheral musical genres, rhythms and melodies accompanying everyday life and musical practices related to transcendental experience or a ritual. Musical cultures enhancing a sense of dignity and belonging. Social contexts in which music is an integral part of human experience, expresses the complex routine of everyday life or allows to go beyond it, and is often a tool of transformation. Music as an experience, not only as an intellectual-aesthetic entertainment based on expression of an artist’s personality. Joyful dance or deep trance, in which a transfer of knowledge takes place not through mental images but through body.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
Some valuable aspects of musical culture are in decline in many places around the world. They are ignored by a market machine which controls show business and media, or – paradoxically – they end up in university archives as dead artifacts ethnomusicology. In the globalized world, the prestige of musicians of many marginalized communities is weakening, and as a result young people of these communities choose other professional paths. Like many traditional practices, the diversity of musical phenomena is often deliberately destroyed by certain interest groups, namely political coteries revivifying the construct of a uniform and homogenous nation, missionaries and religious groups expanding their influence, or businessmen juggling copyright laws.
These phenomena are important not only because of the aesthetic value of music but above all because they create social contexts in which a person can grow. The strength and potential of the described communities shines very clearly in the poor regions. The development of these cultures is a motion against the stream in the world of destructive capitalism and social disintegration.
WHAT CAN BE DONE?
Conservation or the mission to save musical heritage in some closed, finite form usually takes place apart from the community in which this music is played. This paternalistic approach is inadequate and it should nothing but collect dust just like other leftovers of colonialism. Music has always evolved dynamically and crossed borders as a part of complex, organic social systems. Instead of organizing ‘a rescue mission’, you can join these ecosystems and support the flourishing of musical cultures in all contexts: old and new, local and global. Instead of saving a closed form, you can co-create an open field of possibilities.
HOW IS IT DONE BY THE JUJU SOUNDS?
One of the aims of the JuJu Sounds is to enable musicians to find niche recipients from around the world. The Internet is still an unexploited potential for peripheral music genres. For younger members of the visited communities – the potential musicians who already operate in both worlds: local and global – it is important to be aware that their culture is also appreciated in the wider forum. Globalization enables communication instead of one-way colonization of minds through mass media and marketing.