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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