Trudy commented that it sounds like a bad recording, or someone playing off key.  She’s right, that’s what it sounds like to us because we naturally hear how it differs from what it’s “supposed” to sound like, which is a band of competent trained musicians playing in a western tradition of marches.  The trick is to imagine that these guys are playing something that sounds like something to them, and try to listen with open ears to what that something might be.   I am not a sophisticated enough listener to be able to tell, for example, if the music is influenced by an indigenous musical tradition.  I can only try to listen with open ears.  I am also not patient enough to really study this music and try to get inside what they are doing.

Here’s what I noticed on second listening, though.  On the first listening, it sounded to me like it did to Trudy, out of tune and with questionable rhythm.  What I heard was the difference between it and my expectation of what it should sound like if it was good.  Already on second listening, it sounded much more coherent, the themes much more clear.  Was this because my brain started to filter out the noise and seek the march in its original form?  Or was it because I started to hear more of what these guys were doing, besides being out of tune?  Or both?

That’s the extent of my commentary.  I don’t have the knowledge or the patience to study this music and say anything intelligent about it.  I may try listening a third time and see what it sounds like then.

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