|MUSIC FREEDOM DAY 2010
Over four years, the annual Music Freedom Day — observed on 3 March — has grown into a truly global event which inspires increasing numbers of musicians and concert organisers to join, and informs millions of radio listeners about issues of freedom of expression for musicians.
“This Music Freedom Day event will go down in the annals of rock history,” wrote the American author Mark LeVine in Huffington Post about one of the Music Freedom Day concerts which took place in New York.
In Paris, France, Freemuse vice-chair Daniel Brown and Francois Mauger of Mondomix visited the Embassy of Cameroon to hand over the more than three thousand protests from all corners of the world demanding the release of the imprisoned singer Lapiro de Mbanga. The ambassador of Cameroon had decided to leave the embassy, and after several discussions with embassy staff, the Freemuse delegation was requested to come back later in March to hand over the petition to the ambassador.
Concerts and seminars
Brainpower’s Music Freedom performance in The Hague
In New York in the US, Music Freedom Day was observed in three different places:
• In a new project called ‘The Impossible Music Sessions´ which connects censored artists from around the world with artists in New York, the Brooklyn-based Cruel Black Dove played a tribute to the music of the illegal Iranian band The Plastic Wave, who appeared via Skype and e-mail from Tehran.
• Pakistani rockstar Salman Ahmad, who now lives in the US, also joined Music Freedom Day. As a Freemuse Ambassador, Salman Ahmad performed in New York at Queens College’s LeFrak Concert Hall with the New York a six-piece ensemble Pharoah’s Daughter and the Argentinian composer Emilio Solla. The event was entitled ‘Common Chords Diversity Fiesta’. Read more…
• In East Harlem at the FB Lounge, the multi-Grammy nominated, 19 piece Bobby Sanabria Big Band marked the Music Freedom Day on 3 March. Read more…
The ‘Impossible Music Session 1´ witnessed by Mark LeVine started with a short film introducing the audience to The Plastic Wave and their situation. Everyone was hooked to the screen, reported Mark LeVine: “When members of the Cruel Black Dove, joined by Impossible Music Sessions creator Austin Dacey and Raam, lead singer of the celebrated Iranian rock band Hypernova — the first Iranian rock group to get a visa to perform in the US — sat down in a living room-like set in front of the stage to talk live with band members Maral and Natch, the whole room became part of an intimate conversation about The Plastic Wave’s origins, creative process, the impossibility of giving up making music despite the challenges of doing so in Iran, and hopes for the future. And it was clear that the artists and audience understood the significance of the evening.”
Music Freedom Day: Freedom of expression for musicians
Music Freedom Day in The Haag, Holland
Impossible Music Session 1
A few hours later the concerts continued in Cairo, Amman and later again, in The Hague and New York.
In Amman, the capital of Jordan, Music Freedom Day was celebrated with a seminar and a concert at AlBalad Theatre. The seminar focussed on the situation for alternative music in Jordan and even discussed Censorship on Music in Jordan. In the evening a concert included performances of Yazan Rousan and Autostrad band, Aziz Maraqa and RAZ band and local rappers.
In Cairo, Egypt, the Sudanese singer Abazar Hamid performed at Rawabet Theatre. The evening concert was organised by Democratizing Music — a network of musician and activists. The event even celebrated the release of the Freemuse CD ‘Listen to the banned’, which includes a track of Abazar Hamid. Read more…
In Gdansk in Poland, the freedom of expression organisation Indeks 73 hosted a public debate on “music freedom and freedom in music” followed by a concert already on 2 March. Read more…
In Brussels, Belgium, a new organisation, Somali Arts and Culture Foundation (SAAC), was observing the Music Freedom Day. The organisation is dedicated to support Somali artists in general in Europe, Africa and the US.
Radio and tv programmes
Music Freedom Day was highlighted from the morning by NRK, the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, which focused on Music Freedom Day in the morning prime time news programme, and later in the evening in the world music programme Jungeltelegrafen which featured interviews with Lapiro de Mbanga speaking from his prison cell in Cameroon, and the exiled reggae singer Tiken Jah Fakoly from Côte d’Ivoire.
Swedish Televion’s Cultural News Programme featured videoclips of heavy metal bands from the Middle East, and an interview with Freemuse Executive Director Marie Korpe who also spoke to YLE, the national public radio in Finland.
In Germany several broadcasters focused on the Freemuse CD ‘Listen to the banned’ and Music Freedom Day. Radio Radio CORAX in collaboration with Freemuse and Radio Multicult 2.0 presented a three hours programme focusing on and discussing various types of music censorship
From Kabul the citizens of Afghanistan were made aware of the day by Tolo TV and Lemar TV which focused on music censorship and freedom of expression for musicians in all their music programmes on 3 March, including the popular ‘Afghan Star Show’.
Why Music Freedom Day?
Death threats to musicians in north-west Pakistan, imprisonment of musicians in Burma, Cameroon, and Syria, radio airplay restrictions on music in Somalia, endless court cases in Turkey… You could very well get the impression that musicians are an endangered species. Which is why Freemuse invites musicians and broadcasters all over the world to take part in the event.
As such, the Music Freedom Day gives an opportunity to take a thorough look at the subject – in many languages, cultures, countries and points of view. This website features several radio interviews and radio reports which are offered to radio stations in broadcast quality, free of charge.
Music Freedom Day in Gdansk, Poland
|Message board: Messages from participants in 2010
Music Freedom Day groups and pages on Facebook
Music Freedom Day international group
Music Freedom Day Jordan
Music Freedom Day New York 1: Impossible Music Session
Music Freedom Day New York 2: LeFrak Concert Hall
Music Freedom Day Poland
Music Freedom Day Egypt
Freemuse on Facebook
|On 3 March 2011 musicians and broadcasters
world-wide will again focus on music censorship
|You can also join!
Freemuse invites musicians and broadcasters to participate in this global event on the subject of music and censorship. The Music Freedom Day gives an opportunity to take a thorough look at the subject
Musicians and journalists are invited to consider directing their activities or programming on 3 March, or the days leading up to it, on the subject of banned music.
A particular web page on freemuse.org will be continously updated and functions as a virtual ‘meeting point’ for the participating musicians and media people. It will include a list of all of the various partners who participate in the worldwide Music Freedom Day, as well as a list of the media coverage.
Freemuse will also provide inspiration and ideas for themes or interviews in your programmes, or what to say to your audience at your concerts near the event on 3 March.
And don’t forget that this website, freemuse.org, is an excellent resource on the subject for research purposes.
On the occasion of the Music Freedom Day, Freemse extends its services to the media and uploads free high resolution video and audio clips for use in radio and tv programmes.
|The previous years: 2007 – 2008 – 2009|
On 3 March 2009, the main events took place in Stockholm, capital of Sweden. Artists from Turkey, Zimbabwe and Iran facing censorship joined forces with a Swedish award winning pianist in a unique concert when Re:Orient in collaboration with Freemuse organised a unique concert and a seminar at Stockholm’s Concert Hall Konserthuset in Stockholm, dedicated to freedom of expression for musicians and composers.