HELP US KEEP REPORTING. DONATE TO ORLANDO WEEKLY PRESS CLUB.

GLOBAL GRILLING 


NOISE OF THE WORLD: NON-WESTERN ARTISTS IN THEIR OWN WORDS
By Hank Bordowitz
(Soft Skull Press, 384 pages)
Hank Bordowitz is an excellent writer and a man of exquisitely ephemeral musical tastes. His championing of non-mainstream and non-Western artists has played a large role in bringing much-deserving music to the attention of people who otherwise wouldn't know better. However, in Noise of the World, Bordowitz steps aside, writing maybe a dozen of the nearly 400 pages and letting the rest be filled with the "A" parts of his many interviews with those artists who are thoughtlessly stuffed into "world music" bins across the country.

With a cast of interviewees ranging from heavyweights like Ravi Shankar, Fela Kuti and Jimmy Cliff to less-sung legends like Hassan Hakmoun, Osamu Kitajima and Vijay Anand, Bordowitz allows the musicians to run through their opinions and insights. What's most surprising is how many of the artists tend to focus in on the marketing of their music, rather than the creative processes that go into making it. To be sure, there's plenty of insight into the musicians' inspirations, but (and this may be due to Bordowitz's lines of questions) it's shocking to hear so many of the subjects carp on their unfair treatment outside of their homelands. "But we're stars in Exotic-land," so many of them seem to be saying, "so why can't we break through in America?"

That minor quibble aside, reading Ernest Ranglin give a beautiful and eloquent reggae history lesson or just knowing that Fela's chest was puffed to its egocentric extremes during his interview give Noise of the World plenty of between-the-lines context and make it a fascinating read.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 21, 2020

View more issues

Calendar

© 2020 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation