Frequently in interviews, I am asked what inspires me, and my answer is always the same: People inspire me. This has been the case for many years. Now while it is true that the view from a mountain or of the ocean can inspire, nothing can replace the inspiration from a human being. I write this blog to bring your attention to a new inspiration.
I, and most of the people who will read these lines have been born in a country that protects the basic and fundamental rights of the human being. These consist mainly of the right to freedom of expression and the right to move from city to city, from country to country at will. Since we grow up with these rights, we tend to take them for granted and object strongly when someone or something tries to interfere with the exercise of these fundamental rights.
There are however, many, many instances of people who are born in a country whereby these ‘fundamental’ rights are systematically suppressed simply because they have given expression to their views that do not coincide with the prevailing system of thought. The reaction of the authorities to these people is being ‘banned’ in some way. Either thrown into jail, disappearance or being blocked in one place without hope of ever escaping. Among the many people who are subject to this repression are musicians, singers and artists of all kinds.
There is a person whom I met recently named Deeyah. For the past several years, Deeyah has single handedly brought together the recordings of some of the singers and musicians who have been and are today, persecuted by the authorities, because of their convictions which are being expressed through music and song. They are fully aware of the danger they live with, and yet continue to write their songs and play their music in defiance of this repression. As a musician and fellow human, I am profoundly moved by the courage of these musicians and singers, and I urge you to buy or download this recording. You will find performances from many countries, but they all have one thing in common: Love.
Music and song can only speak about one subject: the human condition and the love that
flowers in the human heart.
The name of this recording is « Listen to the Banned ».
You’ll find it on the internet at www.listentothebanned.com
To find out more about Deeyah please go to www.deeyah.com
Check this out : http://www.freemuse.org
Thanks for reading. John