Press release: New Freemuse CD: Listen to the banned

24 February 2010

Music that makes dictators tremble

Listen to the banned is a unique collection of contemporary songs by artists who have been censored, persecuted, taken to court, imprisoned and even tortured for a very simple reason — their music.

Music brings joy and gives a voice to the “voiceless” – a power that earns the condemnation of intolerant religious leaders and dictators alike. The artists of this CD are united in one single, important issue – the protection of the freedom of musical expression.

The stories of the artists are told in the accompanying booklet. They include the story of Lapiro de Mbanga, who is currently imprisoned in Cameroon for a song critical of his country’s President, and the story of Mahsa Vahdat, prevented from performing solo shows in her native country Iran.

Freemuse is the only international organisation dedicated to protecting musicians and composers’ right to freedom of expression. The CD has been compiled by Deeyah, an artist who has stopped performing having endured constant intimidation and physicals threats throughout her career.

Listen to the banned will be released by Grappa Musikkforlag on Music Freedom Day 3 March – a day celebrated in several cities around the world promoting the freedom of musical expression.

Media contacts

Melanie Arends, Grappa, +47 23 35 80 05
– e-mail: melanie [AT] grappa [DOT] no

Ole Reitov, Freemuse, +45 23 23 27 65
– e-mail: ole.reitov [AT] freemuse [DOT] org

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