Awakening Spaces: French Caribbean Popular Songs, Music, and Culture

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University of Chicago Press, Jun 15, 2000 - Music - 287 pages
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The fast-paced zouk of Kassav', the romantic biguine of Malavoi, the jazz of Fal Frett, the ballads of Mona, and reggae of Kali and P˘glo are all part of the burgeoning popular music scene in the French Caribbean. In this lively book, Brenda F. Berrian chronicles the rise of this music, which has captivated the minds and bodies of the Francophone world and elsewhere.

Based on personal interviews and discussions of song texts, Berrian shows how these musicians express their feelings about current and past events, about themselves, their islands, and the French. Through their lyrical themes, these songs create metaphorical "spaces" that evoke narratives of desire, exile, subversion, and Creole identity and experiences. Berrian opens up these spaces to reveal how the artists not only engage their listeners and effect social change, but also empower and identify themselves. She also explores the music as it relates to the art of drumming, and to genres such as African American and Latin jazz and reggae. With Awakening Spaces, Berrian adds fresh insight into the historical struggles and arts of the French Caribbean.
 

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Contents

Malavois Nostalgic Songs of Childhood
7
2 Creole Zouk and Identity in Kassavs Optimistic Songs
37
Womens Subversive Songs
69
Cultural Politics and Black Resistance as Sites of Struggle
106
f Public Performance Marketing Devices and Audience
146
The Recontextualization of Urban Music
173
The Ambivalence
206
Discography
269
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About the author (2000)

Brenda F. Berrian is professor of Africana Studies, English, and Women's Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. She has been a visiting professor in both Europe and Africa and is the author of Africa, Harlem, Haiti: The Great Black Cultural Revolution and coeditor of Bibliography of Women Writers from the Caribbean: 1831-1968.

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