Rock Sunday on Matindi


There are numerous misapprehensions when we hear or listen to a particular music genre. Even right here in our country there are mythical stories that go with the kind of music our musicians churn out.
There are illusionary views for reggae music which, for other strange forces, still receive an understanding from local and international gospel musicians, leading to its adoption by most of whom have their albums packed with reggae.
But there is isolation, or is it unwritten rule where rock music and its ‘satanic’ association have not enjoyed great reception; especially when it comes to hard rock.
What makes it worse is the fact that rock stars are, utmost, dressed in tattered jean clothes, not to mention the tattoos all over their bodies; bodies which are also pierced all over, even in unimaginable areas that only afford to send uncomfortable corporeal feeling down your spine, if you are religious.
Now, when I was switching around numerous radio stations last Sunday night, I think it was exactly at around 21:45 hours that I bumped into an inaugural musical programme on Matindi FM that, according to the presenter Alicia Siyasiya, will not only dish out rock music, hard and soft etcetera, but also dispel the illusions that has cast a bad spell on the way people accommodate the genre in Malawi.
I should believe, judging by her voice, the presenter is a young lady and what impressed me was the translucent passion in the genre that she demonstrated and the depth of knowledge that made the programme an element that sent me spell bound.
In between the programme she promised to present religious, or call it gospel tracks done in rock in the ensuing programmes just to show that the rock genre is not as bad as it sounds or the players behind it comport themselves.
This reminds me of pictorial story by Reuters found on this link http://www.reuters.com/news/pictures/slideshow?articleId=USRTR3F104#a=1
There is a Mexican priest Adolfo Huerta, known as “Gofo”, who was ordained five years ago, but is described as an unconventional priest because he likes rock music, dyes the ends of his hair red, dresses in black, and enjoys riding his motorcycle.
Father Huerta who says it is important to demystify faith and accept people’s differences without judgment, found God and priesthood while studying philosophy at the Pontifical University in Mexico City as well as working with HIV-positive patients and sex workers as a social activist.
In his sermons, Father Huerta references rock songs, quotes books and tells jokes. If you check his image you won’t differentiate it with that of Chad Robert Kroeger, a Canadian songwriter, singer, and guitarist best known as the lead vocalist and guitarist for the Canadian rock band Nickelback.
It is important to say it right here that rock music is a genre of popular music that originated as “rock and roll” in 1950s America before it developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United Kingdom and the United States.
If your age is like mine, you will agree with me that our fathers and mothers will tell us how they used to grove to “rock and roll” beat around that time right here in Malawi, which would also take centre stage during the nationwide beauty contest.
Wikipedia states that Rock has also its roots in 1940s’ and 1950s’ rock and roll, and it is heavily influenced by rhythm and blues and country music besides drawing strongly on a number of other genres such as blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical sources.
Musically, it says, rock has centred on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with bass guitar and drums and it is a typically song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature utilizing a verse-chorus form.
It observes that the genre has become extremely diverse and common musical characteristics are difficult to define.
And this is the story Matindi Radio, through Rock Sunday is ready to tell us in order to demystify the unfounded illusion. I, for one applaud Alicia Siyasiya, her Executive Producer Vuto Zamadunga and the radio station for the effort.
When MAM President Calls
It is not always common that in this job, someone whom you discuss in critical shade should give you a call and pat you on the back.
Early last Monday I got a phone call from Reverend Chimwemwe Mhango, Musicians Association of Malawi (MAM) President.
He humbled me when he said he buys the Malawi News to see what I have drummed out right here week in, week out.
Going by his explanation, which I intend to discuss here last week in long breath, if all the plan and vision that the good Reverend and his team have come up with will fall into place, I can say here without fear of contradiction that the life of a Malawi musician, who at the moment is liken to a street beggar, will never be the same. Please watch this space.
Feedback: drummingpen@columnist.com
Mobile: 0882233220

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