Galang(ss): Gateway dr*g to World 2.0 Music Edu?

For a while now I have been trying to wrap my mind around on the education implications of Wayne Marshall’s “world 2.0.”   As I understand it,  Wayne’s definition (of his own coined term) focuses on the digital landscape:   in part, the rapid exchange/inspiration/cross pollination of musical ideas across the globe via the interwebs and the like.   As a result the music is mostly in the electronic music format (as opposed to creative acoustic music – for example).   This peer to peer model of musical inspiration and composition holds great potential and value for the high school music classroom.  The problem of course, is that most music classrooms/band rooms are still stuck in 1987.  1995 if they a little bit more hip.

I was initially drawn to the world 2.0 descriptor in my search for a meaningful term to describe my own musical and teaching  interests.  As many have recognized there are some problems with the terms  “world music” and “global music.”    In the music education realm,  “world music” is packed with even more trouble. In a recent paper for my grad studies I was working out what my thoughts were on this very issue and sort of arrived at the idea of translocal music education and the need for  bi-musicality in the school music classroom (if not poly-musicality).   Somehow though, I felt like I was grasping a bit at the straws.

In August of 2010 Wayne posted a compelling mashup of M.I.A.’s “Galang” (mia original + a cover arrangement of  Galang by Vijay Iyer’s Trio Riot).    Pretty soon after hearing it I thought that  it would be cool to hear this as a live band arrangement.    Flash forward 6 months and I found myself putting an arrangement together for a high school district jazz ensemble that I was guest conducting.

Although there is still some straw-grasping at play, what I hear in this performance is a bit closer to . . . .  the idea of bringing music edu into a contemporary relevance – a musical opportunity that is not wholly defined by genre, spinning off the global and coming from the glocal, while offering up something new to the world:

high school jazz students in vermont playing a big band arrangement of a cambridge-born mashup of a tune that was originally written by a sri lankan-english artist/musician that was covered by an indian-american creative music pianist/composer.    Either way it was a bunch of fun to play.   [ disclaimer:  be kind.  these are high school students playing the tune and the balance on the sound board wasn’t so great, meaning that we missed out on some of the critical melody lines played by guitar, piano and vibes ]


Another tune from the same performance.  An original of mine called “green grey”


About saturnpeoplesounds

As a trumpeter, composer, arranger and band leader, multi-instrumentalist Brian Boyes has worked in Vermont for the past 16 years. As a member of a variety of award wining ensembles including the national touring jazz-funk act, viperHouse, he has been recognized for his soulful and intense approach to his trumpet. Under his leadership the group TALA was recognized internationally for its hybrid blend of world music and jazz. Tala was a featured act of both the Flynn Space Vermont Artist Series and the Discover Jazz Festival. He also works with The 35th Parallel Mediterrasian Jazz Ensemble. As an educator Brian Boyes has twice received special recognition from the Vermont Arts Alliance for his unique and creative approach to music education at Cabot School. He has shared the stage with artists such as Lester Bowie, Trey Anastasio, John Sinclair, Jody Diamond, Josh Roseman, Michael Ray, and Marshall Allen. He currently co-leads and plays trumpet with Movement Of The People: The Fela Kuti Project.
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5 Responses to Galang(ss): Gateway dr*g to World 2.0 Music Edu?

  1. vijay iyer says:

    i’m amazed and honored! thank you.
    vijay iyer (with an “i”)

  2. Gerard says:

    Wow, this is simply great! I’ve got more than a passing interest in jazz, and now education and school bands too – my 6 year old boy just started learning alto this year. I’d love to think that by the time he hits high school he’ll be exposed to music this exciting & relevant. (BTW, I found this via a tweet from NPRs @blogsupreme). Cheers.

  3. I dig translocal! Check out articles on how MIA (grittiness), Vampire Weekend (personal authenticity), and Shakira and Bob Marley (working with other genres to cross over) push the limits of “world music” on my blog: . Also there are articles on Breaking Out of the World Music Ghetto, advantages of “world music,” etc. Thanks for the new term and for carrying this conversation into education!

  4. Pingback: Introducing: The Saturn People Sound Collective (by way of a brief history of me). | the musical work of brian boyes

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