Impossible Music Sessions—Striking the Right Note

July 7, 2010

Censorship of the written or spoken word is all too familiar to us. Similarly, most of us can identify art that has been banned. However, some of us may not be aware of the brutal suppression of another form of expression, namely music. 

Dictators and religious authorities often insist that people dance to their tune -- literally.  Music that does not conform to the dominant view of what is “correct” is not permitted to be performed or heard. 

Impossible Music Sessions (IMS) is an effort to enable censored artists to have a measure of creative freedom.  IMS allows audiences in the United States to hear music that cannot be performed in other countries, either via remote audio or video or through a live performance by US artists of the banned music.  When feasible, remote connections also permit the audience to engage with the musicians whose work is being suppressed. 

IMS was founded by writer and musician (and CFI alum) Austin Dacey. Bravo to Dacey for calling attention to the legal and cultural suppression of music. 

All Things Considered recently did a story on IMS, featuring some of the artists whose work has been banned.  You should listen to the story, and be happy that you can listen and angry that others cannot exercise this freedom.