Celestial Weasel (celestialweasel) wrote,
Celestial Weasel

Backpacking on the graves of our ancestors

Rob Cowan, the presenter of the Radio 3 breakfast show this morning said something on the lines of 'I was sad to hear that David Fanshawe has died, he is most famous for African Sanctus, but I don't have any of that so here's Purcell', which reminded me slightly of my erstwhile American colleague's phrase 'I couldn't find Africa in the list of countries so I put Canada'.
I have emailed the Radio 3 breakfast posse suggesting that, although I realise that it's not really their normal breakfast show fodder, they should start the show on Monday morning with the first track / movement / thing of African Sanctus. (here is the original on YouTube (because copying music is OK as long as you add a still picture) but actually I quite like this video of a live performance in Lithuania. I think it would be a fine thing to play on Radio 3 first thing on Monday morning.
There is also a ballet version to the original recording on YouTube which I am definitely not going to link to in a million years, due to my moratorium on mocking people in public posts with URLs. I am reminded of the clip of dancing in some TV God slot show in Victor Lewis Smith's 'Nice selling God song' at about 38 seconds.

It is rather a thing of its time I think, definitely pre-World-Music-As-We-Know-It-Today. In fact I rather expected 'criticisms of' sections on Fanshawe's Wikipedia page or African Sanctus's. The Breamwidth (*) style point of view would presumably be 'how would you feel if someone produced a work with recordings of folk music from assorted European countries and lumped it together as 'European Sanctus'? Well, obviously, personally I think that would be interesting - much on the lines of my project to replace the Hopi prophesies in Koyaanisqatsi with English dialect expressions. 'Eee by gum, lad. Eee, by gum, lad. It's turned out reet nice, it's turned out reet nice'. (etc), but others' opinions may vary.

I was introduced to it by our school head of music (**), I think it is the sort of thing you want to hear first in the lower sixth. I can imagine Adrian Mole writing about it in his diary or E. J. Thribb writing a poem about it. The head of music was director of the county choir and the choir was going to do a performance so he talked about it in an assembly. I dimly recall buying a ticket but not being able to go due to having a bad upset stomach.

Fun fact: I had a copy stolen many years ago when the CD was in a portable stereo which was stolen. I wonder what the burglars made of that?

(*) where Harry Potter sleeps with the fishes.

(**) the head of music was one of the good guys. He did my a great service by telling me that I could do A Level music if I wanted to but I would probably be better off not as you probably had to be more into classical music than I was.

The title of this entry of course is a Transglobal Underground album. I have never listened to the album as it is one of those titles where no book, album, film, whatever could possibly remotely live up to the sheer perfection of the title.

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