Your first essay represents an opportunity to tie together in writing some of the many musical, historical, and cultural threads moving through our month-long focus on the musical traditions of Jamaica. As such, I ask that in your essay you imagine yourself moving into the role of a guest selector on a Jamaican sound system, faced with the task picking a handful of tunes to play before a listening and dancing massive. Choose 2-4 pieces and make a case for why and how they might sit engagingly alongside one another. What type of conversation might they create or sustain? Imagine as well yourself serving as a DJ (in the Jamaican sense) and think about what, if anything, you might want announced from the mic. How can you connect multiple recordings in your mix.
As you think about selecting tunes, you may wish to draw from the recordings included in our course playlists, or other examples drawn from your own listening and research into Jamaican popular music and its many global travels. Among things things you might want to consider as you make selections are the connections between versions of a tune, riddims, artists and groups, lyrics, and or instrumentation. As such, your essay will be an account of the thinking that went into the musical choices you make.
I’ve attached one more playlist that includes some tracks that you may consider las you work on assembling the group of tunes you will be including in your “essay 1” mix.
They are pulled from a range of decades and contexts but should you be looking for more possilbities for including, this could give you a start.