Tripping the World Fantastic: A Journey Through the Music of our Planet

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Tripping the World Fantastic: A Journey Through the Music of our Planet

Posted on June 25 by Glenn Dixon
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Caitlyn: What excites you most about your recent book?

Glenn: Writing about music is like dancing about architecture. I forget who said that. It might have been Frank Zappa or maybe Elvis Costello. Anyway, I don’t think it’s true. That is to say, I have definitely written about music. I danced at the Parthenon too – just for the record - or at least until security escorted me off the Acropolis but that’s another story. The thing is, I loved writing about music. For Tripping the World Fantastic, my second book, I went to five continents and some fifty or so countries, listening to the music of different peoples and places.  What’s best is that I recorded most of it.  You can hear things like the oldest instrument in the world (a bone flute dated to an almost unbelievable 42,000 B.C.E. which was actually then played by the archeological team who found it). 

What excites me most about this book then is that is has all this footage on an accompanying webpage.  And, if you read the book on an e-reader – especially a tablet like the Kobo Arc or an ipad or smartphone, all these links are embedded directly into the text.  You just touch them and they open up.  There are whirling dervishes along the Silk Road and sitar lessons on the banks of the Ganges River in India.  There’s flamenco guitar in a barrio in old Seville and an odd little pilgrimage up to Bob Marley’s grave in the hills of Jamaica.  Publishers Weekly said my book was “clearly a labor of love,” and I think that’s my favorite line from a review so far.  The book, they said, “succeeds by connecting readers intimately with the souls of music-makers all over the world.” So, take that Frank Zappa or who ever you are.  I think that deserves a little dance.

Glenn Dixon

Posted by Dundurn Guest on December 6, 2014
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Glenn Dixon

Glenn Dixon has published travel articles in major publications such as National Geographic, the New York Post, The Walrus, the Globe and Mail, and Psychology Today. An expert on language with an M.A. in socio-linguistics, he is currently a language consultant with the Calgary Board of Education. He lives in Calgary.