Time captured in its flight

James Bland's postcards from the edge of a scene

Deep Ellum: The Formative Years, 1984 to Present will be on display at the Art Bar (Crowdus and Main) in Deep Ellum for approximately six weeks beginning October 17.

I'd like to teach the world
Congratulations to Dr. Malena Kuss of the University of North Texas' College of Music: After a decade of working with International Music Council of UNESCO (United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organization) on its Universe of Music, the Latin American music expert has been named the executive editor of the 12-volume work. The Universe is not an encyclopedia or a history, but the presentation of a "universe of music" that would trace the entire flow of music and its influence throughout history; think of it as a 3-D model of the DNA of world music, an analogy that makes Dr. Kuss laugh.

The study, which will be published by the Smithsonian Institution Press in 1997, breaks with most analytical works on world music by actively seeking native intelligence on regional forms. "We wanted to avoid the situation that has existed before, where the Germans or Americans write the history, because when the West uses its jargon, it immediately changes things," she explains. "So we proposed that native scholars contribute, because we want to project the native sense of things--the way they talk about it.

"We're most concerned with covering things in depth," she continues. "There's a proliferation of [musical] dictionaries these days, but while they're very good, there's a tendency to get canned definitions because of space considerations...Places like Cuba, Bolivia, or Aruba get little attention." The scope of the work is unprecedented; each volume covers a distinct region and boasts contributions from more than 120 local experts.

Street Beat welcomes your e-mail tips, tales, kudos, catcalls, spews, and news at Matt_Weitz@dallasobserver.com.

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