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World Music

new internationalist
issue 212 - October 1990

World Music

There is an evocative range of international music available that takes listeners far beyond the constrictive repertoire of instrumental mood or dinner music.

World music has made its way onto the airwaves in recent years, a result of both a shift in attitudes of more enlightened radio stations, and the commercial success of one or two international acts. The Gypsy Kings on one hand, and the dance music of Kaoma's Lambada on the other, have introduced Latin American melodies to hearers all too easily dominated by crass commercial trans-Atlantic pop.

But world music goes far beyond these bounds. It also encourages a shift in perception away from the First World to that of the Third, from the routinised melody-makers to the soul and earthiness of our international neighbours. For this reason alone, it is worth seeking out a number of titles.

It is pure pleasure to hear El Condor Pasa played in its original, non-Simon and Garfunkel form. Or the meditative Chinese harps, bamboo flutes and dulcimers of the Guo Brothers (on their album Yuan), who are perhaps known for their contribution to the soundtrack of The Last Emperor, or for their title tune of the Chinese TV series, Dream of Red Mansions. Their music incorporates influences ranging from the plains of Mongolia to remote mountain villages. A similarly delightful album is From Luxor to Isna: the musicians of the Nile (CDR W8).

For adherents of 'harder' rock, nothing should be spared to listen to Ali Farka Toure's The River, or Dembo Konte and Kausa Kuyateh's Jali Roll, both of which are excellent examples of contemporary African rock fused with Western folk influences. Soro, an ealier album by West African Salif Keita, should also be pursued.

Changes in technology which have brought CDs to suburban loungerooms have also meant that high-quality recordings have now been made of a wide range of otherwise unknown national music. The bonus is that it is generally very well produced, and available worldwide. For those who thought that the pan flute was invented by James Galway, take some time to immerse yourself in the beauty of the South American high country, through Magic of the Indian Flute (EUCD 1090).

One helpful place to start would be a sampler pack, and three good compilations are World Wider (CDORB 050), Music World Tour (ARN 64080) and the '20 Best' series (EUCD 1071). Many of the outlets in Australia and Aotearoa (NZ) supply titles either in cassette or CD form. Some of the key agencies include Sandstock, Avan-Guard, Larrikin and Another. Ask your retailer to order in titles, or ask for a catalogue.


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House of Representatives
Standing Committee on Industry,
Science and Technology

Inquiry into Genetically
Modified Organisms

The Committee will inquire into and report on issues surrounding the development, use and release of genetically modified organisms.

The terms of reference are as follows:
Taking into account the existing and potential benefits to Australia of work involving the development, use and release of plants, animals and micro-organisms which have been modified by the new genetic manipulation techniques, and the existing guidelines and framework of regulations, and recognising the public concerns, including environmental, human and animal health and welfare that exist in relation to the release of such organisms and the need to raise the level of public understanding of the issues involved, and taking into consideration the evidence presented to, and recommendations of the Victorian Law Reform Commission in its inquiry into genetic manipulation that the Committee

. identify and report on any national issues unique to the contained development and use of genetically manipulated organisms and their release into the environment; and

. inquire into and report upon the adequacy of the current arrangements, and advise on future desirable legislative frameworks for the regulation of the contained development and use of genetically manipulated organisms, and their release into the environment, including imported material.

The Committee chaired by Mr Michael Lee, MP, invites written submissions and expressions of interest from interested individuals and organisations before the end of October, 1990.

Submissions and inquiries should be directed to:
Paul McMahon
House of Representatives
Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology
R1 Suite 116
Parliament House
Phone: (06) 277 4594
Fax: (06) 277 2221

Assistance and advice on making submissions to this important inquiry are available from Australian Conservation Foundation Genetic Engineering Campaign Officer, Bob Phelps, 340 Gore St., Fitzroy 3065. Tel: (03) 416 1455 Fax: (03) 416 0767.

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