Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Kudos for Toto

No, not this Toto.

This Toto. (Remember them?)

Nelson Mandela has passed away. He was in his 90s. South Africa is celebrating his life and the contributions he made to eradicating apartheid and freeing the South African people.
One of the national TV news programs was covering some of the memorial services going on. The background music for the report was the band Toto's song "Africa."
Remember this song?

A co-writer and co-founder of Toto, David Paich, has reported he did not think the TV network should have used the song.  After all, it is a song written by American.  He questioned the network's rational for not using a traditional South African song.
Paich said, in part: "As the co-writer of the song, if I had been asked for sync approval, the answer would have been a decline with a recommendation they honor the musicians of South Africa setting their sights on indigenous repertoire. This is an important day, and both I and Toto, have always held a commitment towards supporting initiatives that benefit the populace of South Africa, the continent of Africa, and the entire Southern Hemisphere."
I love the statement: "honor the musicians of South Africa setting their sights on indigenous repertoire."
"Indigenous repertoire"
Perhaps like this.

What this means is that when choosing music for an event it is advisable to choose music FROM that country (“Indigenous) or, at the very least, music that SOUNDS like it is from the country.
This practice is frequently used in period films or those set in other countries.
The intent is for the music to enhance the storyline. To help set the scene.
For example: It would make very little sense to have a movie set in Asia and have German music making up the soundtrack.
So the idea of having an American pop tune represent a man who stood up for so much more than merely being from South Africa is a bit of (as my students would put it) an EPIC FAIL.
So kudos to the band Toto for realizing the place their music has in American culture and for not capitalizing on the errant use of one of their songs.

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