On February 17th, 1662, in the stifling, humid chill of Formosa's cold season, they marched. Despite being deathly sick, injured, partially starved and otherwise exhausted, the 400 to 500 men of the Dutch East India Company remaining in the garrison of Fort Zeelandia marched to the beat of military drummers, armed to the teeth with loaded muskets, under the watch of unfurled Dutch flags. They marched under palm trees and over the rolling hills and sand-dykes of a sand spit in Formosa's (modern day Taiwan's) Bay of Tayouan, the lynchpin in the Dutch East India Company's ability to trade with the Ming empire and, now, the Qing empire since 1624. They marched past the camps of the troops of Zheng Chengong, the victorious enemy; vast rows of tents, shacks, and fires that were no doubt surrounded by the sounds of soldierly celebration.
They marched in sight of the smoldering ruins of Redoubt Utrecht, the Netherlanders' last hope of holding off the invaders, which had fallen 22 days earlier after being pelted by over 2500 shots of cannon (and, for good measure, summarily demolished by its retreating defenders with an explosive booby-trap). They marched to the blue bay encased in a crescent beach, clogged with dozens of Chinese junks and four captured (and now returned) Dutch ships trying to find suitable spots to anchor amongst the driftwood of ships destroyed months earlier .
[...] In addition, he tosses away his old habits of shifting tempo and meter that were prevalent on the Lomax recordings. Instead he lets a steady bass- and drum-line ground the song firmly in the realm of urban, slow-dance R&B that was popular in the Black Belt clubs of the time. With the techniques of “I Feel Like Going Home”, Waters is at once harkening back to and respecting his roots as a Mississippi Delta “country boy” but also adapting them to his new setting, a new market, the solidified meter and electrified guitar lines representing his efforts to carve an identity for himself in the tough streets of Chicago. [...]
[...] The three contexts examined here– when a song is part of political ceremony, seen in retrospect with its historical context laid out and analyzed, or having its heritage subverted for the aims of its appropriator or performer– are but three of the more basic situations in which people can attempt to bridge the communicative gap between human experience and the increasingly abstract structures that struggle to contain it. ----------------------- [i] Hersch, Charles. Subversive Sounds, pg 11-12. [ii] Sakakeeny, Matt. “'Under the Bridge': An Orientation to Soundscapes in New Orleans”, pg 1. [iii] New Birth Jazz Band, “Jesus On The Mainline”. [iv] Palmer, Robert. “Deep Blues”, pg 137. [v] Both from lecture notes. [vi] From lecture notes. [vii] From lecture notes. [viii] Hersch, Charles. Subversive Sounds, pg 178. [...]
[...] Political theorist Robin Kelley, on the other hand, takes a wider approach to the term. He asserts that “[p]olitics is not separate from lived experience or the imaginary world of what is possible; to the contrary, politics is about these things”, and that, in essence, politics is the communication of a message between an individual and a society. Among the “things” that can be the intermediaries between these two are “issues of economic well-being, safety, pleasure, cultural expression...” and, by Charles Hersch's extension, music. [...]
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