I’ve renewed an old research interest – protest music. Not terribly a shocking interest for an ethnomusicologist in the crazy times we’re seeing, but it’s been a recurring theme in my toolkit of research subjects.
John Mellencamp (whose work I don’t normally look at) just released a really interesting song that takes on inequality, protest movements, oppression (and, interestingly, it was released the day before the new POTUS was sworn in).
I hear him, vocally, channeling a Tom Waits-like raspiness in his delivery. I’m waiting to see how my own read on this song evolves, but Rolling Stone has an interesting piece on it here.
I do see a resurgence in protest musics (I’m not special here) and talk about dystopian futures. Uncertainty does breed this, yes?
One thought: a brief conversation I had this morning got me doing some research online – I spoke who a colleague who referenced an old quote with the words (I’m paraphrasing here) that “uncertainty breeds fear.” Doing a little research (as in, I googled it) I found consistent references to this idea. It’s not something new.
What struck me as I looked to make lemonades out of lemons was the additional idea I came across, that uncertainty also creates conditions for creativity.
Let’s all work to make that constructive creativity.
In the meantime, I’ll keep investigating what happens as music intersects with protest movements.