The book probes into the nature and quality of the beauty and meaning of music. According to the authors, these have to be found within the musical phenomena themselves and serve as the basis for the aesthetical criteria of all music. They maintain that similar to every linguistic phenomena, music is a message in sound that moves, within a certain time limit, from musician to listener. The musician on the one hand, and the listener on the other, are the two focal points between which the musical process takes place. Music is thus a covenant between the musician and the listener. One sends the musical message, the other takes it up and internalizes it; one is the initiator, the other proves the successful outcome of the artistic process.
The book is intended for music connoisseurs and for all who are intersted in artistic thought, in general, and in musical thoughts in particular. Every professional concept that had to be included in the book is duly explained, so that any interested reader is able to broaden the scope of his/her outlook.
Paredez argues that Selena’s death galvanized Latina/o efforts to publicly mourn collective tragedies (such as the murders of young women along the U.S.-Mexico border) and to envision a brighter future. At the same time, reactions to the star’s death catalyzed political jockeying for the Latino vote and corporate attempts to corner the Latino market. Foregrounding the role of performance in the politics of remembering, Paredez unravels the cultural, political, and economic dynamics at work in specific commemorations of Selena. She analyzes Selena’s final concert, the controversy surrounding the memorial erected in the star’s hometown of Corpus Christi, and the political climate that served as the backdrop to the touring musicals Selena Forever and Selena: A Musical Celebration of Life. Paredez considers what “becoming” Selena meant to the young Latinas who auditioned for the biopic Selena, released in 1997, and she surveys a range of Latina/o queer engagements with Selena, including Latina lesbian readings of the star’s death scene and queer Selena drag. Selenidad is a provocative exploration of how commemorations of Selena reflected and changed Latinidad.
Clandestino has been five years in the writing, as Peter Culshaw followed Manu around the world, invited at a moment's notice to head to the Sahara, or Brazil, or to Buenos Aires, where Manu was making a record with mental asylum inmates. The result is one of the most fascinating music biographies we're ever likely to read.