Thursday, July 06, 2006

Universal Truths

Last month I ordered some music CDs from a web-site. Nothing unusual or high-tech about that - these days one can do those things as a part of regular life, without being astonished at where we've reached in the pursuit of development and happiness as the 'civilised world' understands it. But there was something quite amazing about this particular instance, when I reflected a bit about it this morning.

The web-site I ordered from ( is an e-commerce extension of a music shop based in Prague in the Czech republic, and boasts a fine collection of Czech and Moravian folk music, among other genres. One of the CDs I got, is called "Ensemble Ambrosius - The Zappa Album", recorded by a Finnish band in Helsinki as a tribute to Frank Zappa. The instruments used are from the Baroque period (e.g., harpsichord, archlute, dulcimer, etc., some of which might be nearing extinction, in this techno age) and the content is all original Zappa compositions.

And this is what I was struck by while listening to it in my car this morning...

Here's a music aficionado from Mumbai, India who ordered from a Czech web-site, a recording of music originally composed by an irreverent, rebellious, genre-defying Californian, arranged for and played on archaic instruments by a bunch of young Finnish fans of his from Helsinki. Frankly, I was zapped, when I thought about it that way.

For those of my friends who are not familiar with Frank Zappa ... he's the sort of chap who'd define a composer as "... a guy who goes around forcing his will on unsuspecting air molecules, often with the assistance of unsuspecting musicians." May his soul rest in peace.

Some truths are truly universal. Music is one of them.