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Raw

Raw foods such as sashimi and oysters are loved and consumed by millions of people worldwide. Raw veggies and fruits are very popular amongst the healthy eaters and there is a growing trend these days for more organic produce. I’ve read articles that say the farmers of the future will be severely pushed to meet the demand for organically grown foods. Some folks like their steak very rare or even tartare which is totally uncooked.

According to the dictionary, the number two definition of raw is something that has not undergone processing, preparing, or refining. Comedian Eddie Murphy has a stand up in concert video titled Raw. He pulls no punches in this performance, not only making fun of comics like Bill Cosby but using the foulest language imaginable. In this sense, certain music can also be viewed as raw. Artists that fall into this category would be the likes of James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, or saxophonist Pharaoh Saunders. Many stage performers need to have an edgy feel in order to sustain their energy or make a statement.

Although there is a vast audience out there that want soft, refined and even bland food, music, or jokes, it can get boring producing these forms of consumables on a daily basis. There is a cartoon by Gary Larson wherein a suit clad musician is sitting in a fancy house with a spiral staircase, a glass chandelier, and a beautiful grand piano. The woman seated nearby in a fancy dress says “Why don’t you play some Blues?” The pianist who appears to have an easy and wealthy life has a perplexed look on his face. He is apparently at a loss for some down raw Blues. I have personally become quite versatile in my execution of musical arrangements and playing styles; however, sometimes the most satisfying jokes, seafoods, or songs are beyond rare to the point of being totally raw. Like most humans, we need to have fun.
Deems Tsutakawa is a local Sansei musician. He can be reached at deemst@deemsmusic.com.