Cross-cultural Music

The title Symbiotica refers to the close association of two or more different kinds of things. Biological symbiosis is a long-term partnership between two or more different species, such as flowers and flying insects, or trees and fungi, for example. Cultural symbiosis is a persistent relationship between different cultural objects, such as a cellphone that incorporates phone, camera, email, and internet; or computers,corporate mergers, consumer malls, opera, etc. In music, instruments or voices representing diverse content, forms, or styles heard simultaneously can be said to be ‘symbiotic’.

The term ‘cross-cultural music’ refers to recorded pieces that combine two or more unlikely, or apparently unrelated, musical elements, styles, or genres.

Creating a mixup of radically different musical ideas and forms invites the listener to identify with global processes of integration and connection.

For the past several decades, the world has embraced the ideal of cultural diversity, but today we are learning at ground level exactly how to live and work with others supportively, even though we may not share similar values or ideals. We are already witnessing new hybrids that reflect this uncommonality. On the global scale, new world organizations,coalitions, and partnerships are emerging. In cities, there are recurring examples of cross-cultural activity such as fusion restaurants, fashion composites, musical mash-ups, and more. These are clear attempts to synthesize and transcend cultural difference.

 

J.H.