WORTHY_Impossible Music Sessions

NPR’s “All Songs Considered” today/30th June, 2010:

Launching a new concert series called “The Impossible Music Sessions” is music of banned bands from Tehran-PLASTIC WAVE  and Guinea Bissau-BALOBEROS CREW who “we’re not supposed to hear.”  Staged performances of banned music is performed by sympathetic bands at the Littlefield Performance Space in Park Slope, Brooklyn/USA and streamed over the internet.

The first session featured an underground electronic rock band from Tehran called The Plastic Wave. The band features a female vocalist, a huge taboo in Iran, and performs “Western” secular music — music the Islamic Republic considers an abomination. Founders Saeid Nadjafi (Natch) and Maral have been arrested twice for performing their work, under suspicion of “Satanism.” The Brooklyn band called Cruel Black Dove played the show for The Plastic Wave.  The Plastic Wave’s appearance in Impossible Music Sessions allowed them to momentarily defeat the Iranian censors.

These concerts are unusual in that the artists are not physically there — they join the show via an internet video call, and a band or musician they have collaborated with beforehand gives their music a proper performance.

“It’s people like Saeid and Maral doing electronic rock music in Tehran who are really living the spirit of rock and roll — the spirit of resistance to unjust moral authority,” says organizer Austin Dacey.

The underground rapper Hasan Salaam learned the music of Baloberos Crew, a hip hop group that quite literally has been driven underground in their native West African nation of Guinea Bissau. Salaam put several weeks of hard work into translating the music of Baloberos Crew into English, but retained some of the choruses in Portuguese.

Tonight/Wednesday, June 30th, the West African group and Salaam performed their collaboration in front of a live audience at the Littlefield space — with a help from the internet, a webcam and a video projector.

Though the freedom of music is often taken for granted, creative expression is limited by censorship, intimidation, and cultural pressures in many places, from Iran to Zimbabwe to China, as well as western democracies. – Impossible Music Sessions

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One response to “WORTHY_Impossible Music Sessions

  1. Ta Bom! A SESSÃO 2 é HASAN SALAAM / USA e BALOBEROS CREW / Guinea-Bissau –
    HASAN SALAAM has been distinguishing himself from prevailing hip hop culture since the release of his debut album, Paradise Lost, which earned the New Jersey emcee Song of the Year at the 2005 Underground Music Awards for “Blaxploitation.” Hasan has performed all over the East Coast and on NBC’s “Showtime at the Apollo”, FUSE TV’s “Digital Downloads”, C-SPAN, and elsewhere, and has opened for Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaata, Curtis Blow, Wyclef, Naughty by Nature, Busta Rhymes, Black Moon, Floetry, Common, and dead prez. Other releases include Tales of the Lost Tribe (2006) and Children of God (2008).

    Through teaching and community activism at P.S. 41 in Jersey City, Essex County Youth House, and Eastern New Correctional Facility, Hasan has engaged youth and adults in creative writing, music composition, and music production.

    The Impossible Music Sessions are sponsored by Freemuse: The World Forum on Music and Censorship, Center for Inquiry-New York City, New York Foundation for the Arts, and Littlefield.

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