Thursday, September 12, 2013

This post-digital spring feels very right

Modern Occidentalism is threatening to flatten out the whole world and mold it to a single rather dull pattern, throwing away all that diversity whereby man has expressed himself through the centuries. Not only are all the Oriental civilizations in acute danger as a result of the Western encroachment, but also the West itself seems prepared to let go whatever was great or worthwhile in its own heritage.
That is Marco Pallis, who featured in a previous path, writing in his seminal contribution to the perennial wisdom school Peaks and Lamas. He made that prognosis half a century before the digital revolution, but his words are eerily prophetic of how the early promise of digitally-empowered wisdom of crowds mutated into social media-empowered conformity of crowds. However change is a constant and Marco Pallis and his fellow perennialists can justifiably be criticized for opposing progress. But now there are signs that perennial wisdom is mutating into a post-digital Spring which embraces the cultural diversity that Marco Pallis celebrates while leveraging the possibilities offered by inevitable progress. One example is a new CD on the French independent NeoNovo label from the ensemble HeeJaz seen above led by young Egyptian oud player Mohamed Abozekry, who studied under oud master Naseer Shamma in Cairo. Parenthetically titled [Chaos], the new album fuses cultural diversity and contemporary values in an eclectic set delivered by Mohamed Abozekry’s oud and HeeJaz musicians Guillaume Hogan (acoustic guitar), Anne-Laure Bourget (tablas, dehola, cajon, daf) and Hugo Reydet (acoustic bass) - video sample here. [Chaos] is the antithesis of the dull patterns that Marco Pallis laments and everything about this post-digital spring feels very right/rite, with a bonus track dedicated to the ongoing Egyptian revolution available for free download from the band’s website adding topically rich meta content.

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