Object Of Sound

Protest and Possibility (feat. Vijay Iyer)

Episode Summary

When you think of protest music, you might think of the rock anthems of the 1960’s, or rap that turns frustration into elegantly poignant lyrics. For pianist Vijay Iyer, music without lyrics—has always been political music. This week, we talk with Vijay about the release of his new album 'Uneasy,' which in many ways is a protest album. We delve into the political history of jazz, the role of music in protest movements today. For the playlist of songs curated for this episode visit http://bit.ly/oos-vijay

Episode Notes

When you think of protest music, you might think of the rock anthems of the 1960’s, or rap that turns frustration into elegantly poignant lyrics. For pianist Vijay Iyer, music without lyrics—has always been political music. This week, we talk with Vijay about the release of his new album 'Uneasy,' which in many ways is a protest album. We delve into the political history of jazz, the role of music in protest movements today. For the playlist of songs curated for this episode visit http://bit.ly/oos-vijay

/ Show Notes /

Vijay Iyer’s new album is Uneasy, with collaborators Tyshawn Sorey and Linda May Han Oh. 

Vijay shared Billie Holiday’s Strange Fruit and John Coltrane’s 1968 performance at The Newport Jazz festival as examples of performances of protest.

Vijay cites Miles Davis’ performance of “Ah-Leu Cha” at the Newport Jazz Festival and Jimi Hendrix’s “Machine Gun” as examples of powerful political music. 

Vijay references Cruel Optimism by Lauren Berlant. 

In his final thought, Hanif discusses Nina Simone’s songs “Pirate Jenny” and “Black Is The Color Of My True Love’s Hair.” 

/ Music In This Week's Playlist /

Children of Flint, Vijay Iyer, Linda May Han Oh, Tyshawn Sorey

Song of the United Front, Charlie Haden

Volunteered Slavery, Rahsaan Roland Kirk

Pirate Jenny, Nina Simone

Transcendence, Alice Coltrane and Pharoh Sanders

Ah-Leu-Cha, Miles at Newport