Around 4:10 this morning I added a few more sentences to the second update to my Sunday post about a song sung by a Colombian band, Bomba Estéreo, the song being "El Alma Y El Cuerpo" -- The Soul and The Body (the above photo is a still from the 'official' video of the song). The second update was to answer a reader's criticism about statements I made in the post.
I had a peevish reaction to being called on to defend myself. ("It's just a song, folks. Let's not make a federal case out of it.") But on second thought it wasn't just a song in my view; if it had been, I wouldn't have written about it for this blog. I'd started the original post by asking whether the song was a revolutionary one -- whether it portended a radical new trend in thinking in Colombia/ Latin America. So I suppose I should have expected to have my statements about it put under a microscope.
But the squabble tended to underscore the point of the song, at least as the band's vocalist explained it to the BBC: there's a lot of criticism, a lot of debates and worries, a lot of outward looking.
Somehow, over a period of a decade, my life became consumed by the war, and to the point where now everything else is folded into the war -- even a song about the soul. That, too, is a point the vocalist made to the Beeb: Colombia had been at war for many years. A certain mindset takes hold under those conditions that makes it hard to look inward.
Well. I've been talking so much about the band that I should mention a little background about it:
Bomba Estereo began as a musical project put together by musician and visual artist Simon Mejia. Consisting of members of Bogota’s electronic music scene, Bomba Estereo blends Colombia’s traditional sounds of Cumbia and Champeta with rock, electronic music and hip hop. Originally, Bomba just made instrumental tracks, that is until the band recruited its feisty frontwoman Liliana Saumet.
The group has released three records, Vol. 1 in 2006, Estalla in 2008 and 2009’s Blow Up. [the fourth will be released this month].