Freemuse invites musicians and broadcasters to participate in a global event on the subject of music and censorship.
Musicians for freedom of expression
From Afghanistan to Congo and Norway, the annual Music Freedom Day is marked on Monday 3 March
Death threats in Yemen, murder cases in Mexico, new satelite tv restrictions in the Middle East, court cases in Turkey…. If you browse through the news headlines of the last week on freemuse.org, you could very well get the impression that musicians are an endangered species.
This is why, once a year, musicians and media get together to advocate freedom of expression for musicians world-wide.
This year, Oslo’s Nobel Peace Center will highlight the Music Freedom Day with a seminar and a concert featuring Kris Kristofferson, Ferhat Tunç (Turkey), Chiwoniso Maraiere (Zimbabwe) and Norway’s own world famous Sámi singer, Marie Boine.13 countries will broadcast the concert which will also be transmitted globally by the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation via the internet. Read more about this below on this page.
In Afghanistan, 1,000 balloons will fly over Mazar-i-Sharif City to convey the message to the world that Afghans also love music. The Afghanistan Culture House Organisation in Balkh Province organises the event on Music Freedom Day, commemorating that Balkh is the birth place of the famous sufi poet and thinker Rumi, who introduced music as the ‘sound of the creation of universe’. There will be a press conference, a concert and a general gathering to support music and freedom of expression in Afghanistan as well as in the world.
In Congo Brazzaville, the cultural organisation Erwill Promo Entertainment marks the Music Freedom Day with a seminar on Saturday 1 March, and a round table on Monday 3 March. The events – “Les mots de la libert
Radio event in Norway on 3 March The Nobel Peace Center in Oslo hosts a concert and a seminar marking the annual Music Freedom Day on Monday 3 March 2008.
The concert will feature Kris Kristofferson, Mari Boine, Ferhat Tunç and Chiwoniso Maraire – and it will be broadcasted by NRK, the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation. The recording of the concert is offered via satelite to all European public service radios which collaborate within the European Broadcasting Union. So far the listeners in 13 European countries – Austria, Belgium (in both French and Flemish speaking radio channels), Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Holland, Iceland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia, and Sweden will be able to hear the concerts. The concert will also be streamed on the internet.
On the same day, Monday 3 March 2008, the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo plans to organise a seminar in which the invited performers will participate, as well as other invited censored musicians, music journalists, cultural event makers, and politicians. The seminar will be a mix of lectures, artist testimonials, and debate, held in connection with the center’s exhibition about freedom of expression which runs until 25 May 2008.
Listen to trailer on NRK P2, advertising the event (in Norwegian language)
The Nobel Peace Center hosts the Music Freedom Day Concert in Oslo
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 – in many languages, cultures, countries and points of view
3 March has been declared the annual Music Freedom Day where musicians and journalists are invited to consider directing their activities or programming on this day, or the days leading up to it, on the subject of banned music.
On 3 March 2007, which was the first Music Freedom Day, media houses from Canada and USA in the west to Zimbabwe in the south and Pakistan in the east joined the initiative. Journalists based in countries such as India, Lebanon and Zimbabwe went out on their own and interviewed censored musicians as well as censoring radio executives, and it didn’t take long before their interviews were quoted in other medias around the world. A Google search showed that the event was mentioned more than 10,000 times on the internet. Artists from all over the world were interviewed by journalists, and several important magazines made special articles.
Co-ordination and networking This particular web page on freemuse.org will be continously updated and will become a virtual ‘meeting point’ for the participating musicians and media people. On this page, we include and continously update a list of all of the various partners who participate in the world-wide Music Freedom Day, as well as a list of the media coverage.
You will also find 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 – below on this page.
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 we extend our services to the media and upload free high resolution video and audio clips for use in radio and tv programmes. See examples below.
Music Freedom Day is an “advocacy and awareness event”. Freemuse does not expect any financial contributions, but we invite bands, musicians, choirs, orchestra and individuals to join us.
By simply including a dedication from the stage, or in a live radio interview, a presentation, or on your concert poster, you are automatically part of the global event. Whether you are a school choir or a world famous band you can make a difference and show your solidarity with colleagues around the world who suffer from censorship, blacklisting, bans, repression, death threats, imprisonment or harassments.
Should you wish to join, you are most welcome to make use of the “dedication samples” below, or create your own. If you send us a note we will also publish your name and place of the event here on our website.
You may use all our material for free, as long as you state the source: Freemuse. (On websites preferably with a clickable link, pointing at www.freemuse.org)
What to say? Here are six different suggestions to what you could tell your audience during performances on 3 March, or in the week up til 3 March 2008. You could also place a dedication text on your poster, or on your website. Feel free to make other dedications or to change our suggestions so they that feel right when you say them:
Dedication – example #1 “This performance is part of Music Freedom Day – an annual global event advocating freedom of musical expression. We join colleagues round the world and Freemuse – The World Forum on Music and Censorship – in their advocacy of human rights.”
Dedication – example #2 “All around the world thousands of our musical colleagues are censored by regimes who do not subscribe to musicians’ and composers’ right to freedom of musical expression. Tonight we join thousands of music lovers in celebrating Music Freedom Day – organised by Freemuse, the World Forum on Music & Censorship. We thank you for supporting musicians’ and composers’ right to freedom of expression.”
Dedication – example #3 “Can you imagine a country without music? Well, the Taliban in Afghanistan can. They are trying hard to stop everyone there from playing music, blowing up CD-shops with bombs, and giving fines to people who play music in their cars. Today we join colleagues round the world and celebrate Music Freedom Day and the right to freedom of musical expression Freemuse is an organisation advocating our rights to musical freedom. Their motto is “Music will not be silenced” – let’s join them.”
Dedication – example #4 “Imagine the world without music. Or imagine a world where we are told what to play, what to sing and even what we may listen to in the privacy of our own homes. That world already exists. In more countries that you might imagine, musicians and composers are under threat. And that threat is growing. Today we therefore join Freemuse – the World Forum on Music & Censorship – and colleagues all over the world in the celebration of Music Freedom Day. This concert is dedicated to the freedom of musical expression, and the motto is Music will not be silenced “
Dedication – example #5 “Music and musicians have always generated enemies. Stalin censored modern composers. Hitler banned all jazz music and music by Jewish composers. US media censored the country band Dixie Chicks, and the Taliban in Afghanistan still tries to stop all music whatsoever. Today we celebrate Music Freedom Day – an annual global event advocating freedom of musical expression. We join colleagues round the world and Freemuse – The World Forum on Music & Censorship – in their advocacy of human rights, and we say “Music will not be silenced” “
Dedication – example #6 “Today ( / this week) we celebrate “Music Freedom Day” together with colleagues round the world. We dedicate this concert (/ song) to our fellow musicians* who have been banned, and to the work of Freemuse – the World Forum on Music & Censorship.” (* see list of artists )
Spread the word!
• You can place a music freedom day banner on your home page, (clickable, referring people to http://www.freemuse.org/sw19297.asp when they click on the banner)
• You can place a little “ad” in the signature in the bottom of your emails, saying something like:
Music Freedom Day: 3 March 2007. www.freemuse.org/sw19297.asp
Music Freedom Day Musicians and broadcasters participate in a global event on the subject of music and censorship on 3 March 2008. Join us! Read more on http://www.freemuse.org/sw19297.asp
• You can tell your musician friends about the event, about this page on freemuse.org, and that they can also join.
• You can also spread the word by telling about this event in your private blog, in the online music forums which you are a member of, or by suggesting to your ‘friends’ on MySpace that they should add www.myspace.com/musiccensorship as a friend.
• Come up with more ideas, and send them to us.
Let us know what you plan to do, so that we can inform about it on this Music Freedom Day page. Send an e-mail to web editor at Freemuse, so we can include your name on this web page.
Examples of musicians who have placed a ‘Music Freedom Day’ banner on their home pages •Junoon •Viomak
Get a banner for your web page
Click to get the logo in high resolution (for printed material)
Are you a radio producer?
– and would you like to join?
Should you wish to join, you are most welcome to make use of the interviews that we’ve prepared for broadcasters for this purpose.
Below you will find a list of interviews on music censorship in different parts of the world.
For the previous Music Freedom Day, we also produced a list of interviews which are still relevant. From Afghanistan, Belarus (along with six Belarusian songs), China, Cuba, Ivory Coast, Jordan, South Africa, Turkey, and USA, plus a signature song by Iranian singer Marjan Vahdat and guitarist Jason Carter. See the link below.
You may use this material for free as long as you state the source: Freemuse. (On web sites preferably with a clickable link, pointing at www.freemuse.org)
Ideas for themes
If we should suggest some current angles on music censorship they could be:
• Political censorship (e.g. Belarus, Zimbabwe, China)
• Religious censorship and music prohibition (e.g. Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan)
• Corporate censorship ( e.g. USA: Dixie Chicks, and more)
• Women and censorship ( e.g. Iran, Afghanistan, and more)
If you would like to participate, please inform our web editor, , at Freemuse, so we can include your programme, URL and description on this web page.
Freemuse will continously update this page which is dedicated to the project and to its media partners.
Audio files available for download
High resolution audio for broadcast – please note The audio files listed below are accessible in low resolution (24 Kps) for instant listening online. If or when you find one which you would like to use for your radio programme, you will need it high resolution. Please contact to receive password for ftp server where you can download the high resolution (320 Kps, broadcast quality) version of the file.
Click on ikon for instant listening:
•Music censorship in Africa – 15 minutes radio report Hear what the African musicians have to say themselves about the topic. This fresh radio report is produced for African radio stations that wish to inform their listeners about the issues concerning music censorship in Africa. Click to listen to or download the 15 minutes radio report
•Waves of shock and fear in Pakistan – about the banning of music centres (in Pashto language) This fresh radio report tells about religious militants’ attacks on music centres, and the reactions from the owners of the music business in Swat Valley of North-West Pakistan. Among those: Fazli Wahab – owner of Capri Music Studio Syed Muhammad Javid – District Coordination Officer (DCO) in Swat region Iftikhar – president of Swat CD and Music Centres Association Maulana Fazlullah – hardliner cleric who instigates people not to listen to music Get five short voice clips in MP3-format
•Rabah Donquishoot – about Algeria (in French and Berber) Speaks about music censorship in Algeria and about the role of the Algerian musician Matoub Lounes who was assassinated in 1998. More information
•Fermin Muguruza – about Spain Speaks about his experiences with music censorship in Spain: Its mechanisms, its impact on the artist, and the fear of music. More information
•Maxwell Sibanda – about Zimbabwe Speaks about music censorship in Zimbabwe. About how the government has promoted itself through music while excluding musical voices of the opposition, and about the impact of radio blacklisting. More information
•Signature song: ‘152 mesures…’ – recorded for Freemuse The song is recorded especially for the Music Freedom Day 2008 by Algerian rapper Rabah Donquishoot, his band MBS, and guest stars. More information.
To get hold of one or more of these audio files in high resolution (320 kps MP3 files), or as a video file in high resolution (DVCAM PAL), see text above.