musicology #437


Fragments #3

(Akon, Feat T-Pain – U Got Me)

“The dialectic of the emotions is like that of the sign and the ascendant. The two may be in conjunction or opposed. The sign alone is not enough: you have to have the ascendant too. It is not enough just to be happy: this has to give you pleasure too. It is not enough just to be unhappy: this has to hurt. Without the aura of pleasure, happiness is sad indeed; without the idea of pleasure, there is mere mammalian enjoyment. But without the aura of suffering, unhappiness is also sad indeed.

There is always a transcendence of pleasure or unpleasure beyond the fact of being happy or unhappy.

The hypocritical accounts which set happiness and unhappiness in opposition miss this subtlety which unites them in a common division – in that reversibility of each which, in the end, constitutes our true happiness. We still have the freedom to use this and abuse it extravagently, and only what takes this freedom from us makes us truly unhappy beings”.

The cut today is from a contemporary artist who for me is proof that music continues to transcend and inspire even in this age of banality where e-con-omics has reduced everything, (especially culture), to profit and loss..Of course this artist makes money, (and plenty of it), but the cat still delivers quality. I would imagine that part of this musical ability is his heritage..Akon’s pops is famed Senegalese percussionist and cultural historian Mor Thiam whose surname means “historian” in his native tongue and comes from a family whose members use drums to tell the story of Senegal’s Wolof people..

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