Johan van der Keuken, The Netherlands, 1993, color, 35mm, 105'
Inspired by the thesis Bevroren koper (Frozen Copper) by cultural anthropologist Rob Boonzajer Flaes, Johan van der Keuken traces the influence of European brass bands in former Dutch colonies. The conclusion seems to be that little has changed. From Nepal to Suriname, these marching bands still play at weddings and parties, as well as religious festivals. In Indonesia, they play tubas made from sheet-metal tubes soldered together. The extent to which this type of music has changed through contact with the colonies can really be seen in Ghana, where they only play a version known as "high life," a swinging mix of brass and Ghanaian rhythms. "I like their music too. But I thought they would like ours more," says an elderly white priest who has lived there since 1940, and tried in vain to teach the Ghanaians traditional marches. The music is clear, and each instrument can either be subsumed in the whole or come to the fore - sometimes with humorous results.