Music Crossroads yet again has established a unique concept of promoting the growth of Malawi’s music industry through the art of critique.
For some months now, every Wednesday a music video is picked, watched, enjoyed, loathed, loved, and then an inconclusive verdict is passed by members of Music Inspire Club whose core business is to dwell on completed artwork of music and just do the above.
In the words of Vincent Maluwa, who is the Music Crossroads Academy Administrator, Music Inspire Club is a brainchild of Music Crossroads Malawi and is situated across the long leg of art to provide a critical and analytical discourse of particular musical production.
“In its quest to offering aspiring young musicians the chance to equip themselves with the knowledge and know-how to become professional musicians, and to take part in the competitive music industry, Music Crossroads Malawi has established Music Inspire Club. This initiative is done to compliment the pedagogical approach of the Music Crossroads Academy that has been offering professional training and lessons in Music. The club basically, aims to critically analyse music of different artists through intellectual debates based on lyrics, instrumentation, quality of production, performance among others.”
By the way, the club members meet every Wednesday at Music Crossroads Center in Area 23, Lilongwe from 5:30pm-6:30pm.
Vincent communicated to me a few months ago as follows: “On the fore of this background, it is in the spirit of this letter to kindly ask you to be the patron for the club. The role is based on your incredible contributions to the local music industry through your professional and critical writing on the discourse of music in your column Drumming Pen.”
Well, I guess I need not tell you what my response was, but I can assure you that the following Wednesday I decided to partake in this unique activity where I found the members discussing a live music video of Karonga based Lusubilo Band when they toured South Korea – by the way, I am now none the wiser; one time this band will be Lusubiro the other time Lusubilo – but this is the grouping the Wednesday meeting was discussing anyway.
How impressive it was to find out that this was not only a male dominated venture, ladies too were not just available but contributed immensely.
The grouping looked at the how Lusubilo members presented themselves in terms of their costume; how as a band they strolled on to a half lightened stage and the meaning of the cheers they got.
When they started performing they also considered the musical contributions of each band member in the total creation of distinct melodies, harmonies, rhythms, sections, and so on; the issue of interaction between these elements and emotional expressivitythrough their demeanour and how a totality of all this received applause or not became the main subject as well…Then the talk also looked at the cultural aspect associated with music and how it is performed. The question was did Lusubilo represent a Malawian/African culture in the way they dressed and performed their music?
Music being the kind of art that it is, I think Music Inspire Club is the right mirror that musicians in the country can make use of. It would be interesting to see accomplished artists like Lucius Banda taking their final piece of production down Area 23 one Wednesday just to hear what the musical students will say about it.
In the study of music philosophy there are a number of discourses that have established that music is perhaps the art that presents the most philosophical puzzles.
‘Unlike painting, its works often have multiple instances, none of which can be identified with the work itself. Thus, the question of what exactly the work is is initially more puzzling than the samequestion about works of painting, which appears (at least initially) to be simple physical objects.’
In the process, I know even the critiquing by Music Inspire Club can equally be found wanting but at least this is work in progress. We have so big an interest in music that has been put on display by many youthful Malawians. There are also many rote musicians that are making it big and once some professional reality check is sprinkled over their work they can improve even more.
Sometimes musicians have just jumped unto the band wagon without knowing what the journey brings. They have performed before a danceable crowd but they are yet to perform before a seated crowd. The two are different; one loves the noise the other the musicality.
The question now is if you were a musician, before which of the two set of audience would you love to perform for. Now this is where among others Music Inspire Club comes in. It is just there to direct you through the basic dos and don’ts.