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Posts tagged ‘music’

From You To All Of Us

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Culture means a lot to us – but not just “us” as in OurPangea, but to everyone. It means a lot to you, it means a lot to everyone who’s ever lived. Whether it is in sports or music or travel, education or food or fun, everyone has their own personal expression to contribute to their culture. It’s the expression of our innermost thoughts, feelings, desires, and emotions. The most beautiful thing about art is that each work of art, each song ever sung, every game ever played has a deep emotional core that resonates with anyone willing to open their heart to listen. Sometimes that’s the best way to speak – it is the universal language, after all.

That’s why culture is so important to us at OurPangea. Every expression you make is a little window into your life, and what you bring to your community. We want to help you make your culture, and share it with your community and your world. But it doesn’t stop there – you will also be able to experience art and culture from the world over, bringing people from nations afar into your backyard, and bringing your backyard across the world.

Your art, songs, and games can connect in whole new ways with others – maybe even collaborating using OurPangea to create totally new types of sports or music, or finding new places to travel. You can educate yourself about others, discover new restaurants, and find new ways to have fun you’d never have thought of before. With OurPangea, we want to find a way for your personal expression to create a world that you can work and play in, surrounded by those who share in your innermost thoughts, feelings, desires, and emotions. We want to set a path for you to connect your culture with community, and connect the community’s culture inside of your own. It’s our own way to express ourselves. Our big dream is helping you to create yours, and to share it with the world. We want to be the springboard for your ideas and the inspiration for your creativity, so that you can share your culture with us and the world to follow.

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Traveling Music

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Just as music speaks to every corner of the human soul, it compels us to seek new forms of expression and connection to share to the world. We dance and sing, clap and play, laugh and cry to music. We seek companionship or solitude, we seek the merriment of food and drink, we seek inspiration from the mysterious methods of music that keep us alive. Music combines with all our arts and thoughts to create the very fabric of creativity.

Throughout history, there has been a worldwide trend of those who seek to share their music with the world. In feudal Japan, monks known as komuso traveled throughout the country, playing long bamboo flutes called shakuhachi to help bring enlightenment and protection to themselves and the villages they visited. They wore baskets on their heads that covered their entire faces, to represent their lack of ego and identity: the focus would not be on the person himself, but on what he did and how he did it. By hiding their faces and sitting in street corners they gave a focus to their music that separated it from the identity of a single person, instead reflecting the universality of the music. In West African countries such as Ghana, a caste of people called the djeli have performed similar tasks for centuries: they travel for miles, reciting poetry, commenting on social structures of their day, singing and playing instruments, telling stories of both history and myth. They possessed great wisdom and knowledge, tempered by experience and the promise of open road ahead of them.

These traits – these people, who encompass so many facets of human existence, are similar to the bards of England, the skalds of Scandinavia, and the ashik of Eastern Europe.  They were also rhapsodes and philosophers of Ancient Greece, the azmari of Ethiopia, the medicine men of many Native American tribes. People have always looked to them as teachers, scholars, friends, advisers, family. By traveling and sharing their music, art, and thought, they revealed to communities the world over news from far-off lands, guidance to the soul, and the connection of past to future, place to place, with music acting as the universal bridge for all connection and culture to flourish. Our very own Austin, Texas could easily be seen as a modern equivalent of the sheer depth of cultural connection that music can bring from people to place.

Through our music and stories and history and art and culture, humanity has defined itself in ways that seem opposite but could not fit better together. We express ourselves individually, yet those expressions form our culture – and our culture informs our expression. We function as ourselves within our collective root, and our collective communities tell us who we are. Though our society has long passed the need for individuals to travel the world telling stories and singing songs, the spirit of these traveling musicians lives on in our capacity to share culture with one another through platforms such as OurPangea. We can share our lives, passions, hopes, and dreams from one community to the next, “traveling” through frontiers of cyberspace for one another – as teachers, scholars, friends, advisers, and family. We have combined the possibilities of the future with the unbound spirit of discovery from the past, and the wisdom of yesterday into the culture of tomorrow, all for a better today.

So here at OurPangea, we’re packing our bags and headed for the airport (not literally, of course!) of our next great frontier. We have taken inspiration from Austin’s modern bard scene and from the cultural connections it has brought and we know we can spread it through the world, with everyone starting to dance and sing, clap and play, laugh and cry to the music that we travel with.

Musical Connections Across the Globe

It is often said that humanity’s greatest trait is its endless capacity for creativity and expression – from towering works of architecture to majestic symphonies to revolutionary literature to incredible works in art, sculpture, science, and philosophy. Each of these has had profound influences on how we view ourselves and each other, and provide windows into the soul of creativity and hope that fuels them. The ultimate expression of our humanity is of course, music. This is not to disparage any other form of artistic connection – but none is truly as intrinsic to the human experience as music is. Music can be made without any outside influence, without any tools, without any thought but pure emotion, springing from the very depths of what it means to be human. Music is the words spoken and the patter of footsteps to the ring of choirs and beat of drums, rhythm echoing heartbeats and breaths from every corner of human experience.

Music has traveled the globe more quickly and effortlessly than humans have, throughout history and enduring into the future. The banjo and guitar, two of the instruments we associate most with American tradition, had their birth in Egypt and North Africa centuries ago, then migrating to Spain by way of Greece. European settlers in Africa brought their concept of triadic harmony in their classical music to the native peoples, who in turn brought it back to America as their slave work songs, creating gospel and the blues, which developed of course to the quintessential American music form – rock and roll. The accordion, strange an instrument as it is, is credited with exploding European classical theory across the globe, as an easy, portable (and very loud) way for musicians to travel. Artists like Peter Gabriel and Simon Garfunkel kick started a musical revolution enduring in pop music to this day by collaborating with artists from all over the world to create a more unified, “world”-based music. Even today, much of rap music, associated with American urban culture, sees many of its roots from Scottish shouting matches from time immemorial. And of course, when one thinks of music that can unite the cultures of the world, who can forget the massive efforts of musicians from all over the world to come together for causes – Live Aid, Live 8, the historic (and perhaps a bit too 80’s-cheesy) “We Are the World” that expressed humanity’s universal language.

And what a language it is – the tools of major or minor chords to indicate emotions, dissonance and harmony, have been scientifically shown to endure across cultures even to those with no prior musical knowledge. When a happy song is played, anybody on earth can recognize it’s a happy song, without even recognizing a single lyric. The same is true for sad songs, or angry songs, dark songs, romantic songs, or anything. The raw power of music is immediately transcendent to all peoples, no matter who or where they are.

We here at OurPangea love music of all genres, because it proves to us that there is a way for people to connect with each other without even knowing each other. People can share and connect through music in ways that defy all logic, yet it is one of the most important and powerful ways to define our humanity. This is why music is important to us, to our history, and to our culture; this is why we hope to create a worldwide platform in which discussion and creativity can spread through humanity similar to the way music has woven our cultural fabric.

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