Friday, 21 November 2008
PHIL COLINS PREMIERS IN CALI, COLOMBIA 'THE WORLD WON'T LISTEN' THE SMITHS KARAOKE FILMED IN BOGOTA AT ESPACIO LA REBECA IN 2004
The World Won’t Listen is a karaoke project produced for Smiths fans in Colombia. Whilst karaoke has a fundamentally democratic function, its musical content is conventionally the deplorable, lack-lustre chirp of the mainstream. For ‘The World Won’t Listen’ we have re-recorded the eponymous compilation in its entirety, note for note, in an insane attempt to construct a platform to give voice to the otherwise largely ignored.
As the song says “Now Is Your Chance To Shine.”
(from the original November 2004 La Rebeca press release)
Collins’ practice often elicits a convocation of individuals, and is process-, or better still, event-oriented. el mundo no escuchará is a karaoke project produced in 2004 for fans of The Smiths in Bogotá, Colombia. While karaoke is perceived to have a fundamentally democratic function—offering an opportunity to briefly take the place of your idol—its musical content is conventionally the deplorable, lack-luster chirp of the mainstream. Collins chose to work with The Smiths partly because of the artist’s own generational and geographical proximity to the band—but more importantly because, despite all of the localisms that tie The Smiths to a particular place and a specific historical moment, they have managed to gain a widely international fan base that defies so many of the ways we have come to think about identity politics and cannot be simply dismissed as another incidence of the homogenizing effects of a bland, global pop culture.
Over the course of two and a half months Collins worked with local musicians in Bogotá to re-record, note for note, the 1986 compilation “The World Won’t Listen” in its entirety, while at the same time launching a citywide campaign carried out in bars, universities, music venues and on the radio, soliciting “the shy, the dissatisfied, narcissists, and anyone who’s ever wished they could be someone else for a night” to be filmed singing their favorite Smiths songs and to be treated like a star. Over 60 fans turned out and the three-day filming was concluded with a live music and karaoke event that drew hundreds of people only to be abruptly interrupted (but not halted altogether) by the explosion of one of Bogotá’s main electrical towers that left the city in darkness for over twelve hours.
Two later versions were produced in Istanbul and Indonesia.