Fusion music: the disappearance of local music

Musicians in Exile (1992), directed by Jacques Holender, follows the lives of several musicians who had fled their country. This film illustrates the musical styles the displaced musicians brought with them and how through their music they find their identity in a home away from home. The music is not particularly joyful or exciting, but melancholic and powerful. These musicians are reconnected to their homeland and the people they have left behind through their music. As they incorporate their feelings and reflection of the exile experience into their songs, they continue to share these sentiments with others who seek to belong.
Diaspora art, in Hans Belting book (Art History after Modernism, 2003, 63-73), meant a genre of art that people in exile would produce in order to reclaim a part of their identity. It however no longer considers as world art, as they have left the old identity behind and created a new style in the new world. Similarly, the musicians here are not producing world music but a fusion of world beats styles to grasp as part of their identity. Fusion music better represents today’s globalized world and diasporic peoples, as local music no longer exists. From an anthropological perspective, I believe that local music or art cease to exist due to influences from explorers, neighboring villages and even the radio and television.
Athena Wong