Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Andrew’s Enduro Africa iMix – Tracks 1 – 3 Annotated

As promised, here's an annotated list of the first few tracks from my iTunes Enduro Africa iMix, selections of which are in heavy rotation among the things I've been listening to while training, planning, or blogging about the trip.

Ondiek – Ayub Ogada (En Mana Kuoyo, 1993). In looking for an opening track, I originally planned to use another one by Kenyan-born Ogada used on the Constant Gardener soundtrack (Kothbiro). But Ondiek offers such welcoming tones, as if inviting listeners to participate in a quiet, thoughtful conversation. For me, the topic is Africa and the impact our trip might have on lives there.

Bullet the blue sky – U2 (The Joshua Tree, 1987). While living in the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington DC in the mid-1980s, I was among the tens of thousands at RFK stadium for the 1987 Joshua Tree tour. At one point, Bono grabbed a spotlight and shined it through the crowd, as if to touch everyone present. The band’s unapologetic, post-punk fusion of music and politics erupted in an era of synthetic, vacuous pop and inspired many to think more carefully about our places in the world, including me. I selected this track, which is a critique of Reagan-era foreign policy in Central America, as a touchstone and reminder of the tremendous potential for good and ill that governments can have on humanity and the planet, depending on their priorities and political will.

Marudzi Nemarudzi – Thomas Mapfumo (Rise up, 2006). Ok. So this is one of two that I lifted wholesale from the Long Way Down soundtrack. But wait - let me explain. I don’t know at what point the song comes up in the movie, which was what first inspired me to seek out Enduro Africa. All I know is that it grabbed me and forced me to rewind the film several times just so that I could absorb as much of it as I could. I only later learned that it was by Mapfumo, the “Lion of Zimbabwe”, whose politically charged music helped define a generation’s response to minority rule in the former Rhodesia. 

No comments: