Monday, 28 September 2009

The Power of Music

An article in today's Guardian states that during the 'Gulf War' (it doesn't say which one) 40% of Slayer's fan mail came from soldiers stationed in the middle east. I would have loved the article to have continued in this vein, with other stats such as 62% of Take That T-shirts are bought by people who choose, on average, a size too small, or perhaps 39% of all Genesis fans drive Volvos and half of those list Jeremy Clarkson as their favourite 'author'.
But no, the article actually focused on the research work of the gloriously named Professor Pieslak (as if a real-life professor would let his pie get slack, I ask you) of the City College of New York, or CUNY to its mates. He has been interviewing soldiers about the music they listen to while in a war zone, why they listen to it, and how it affects them. He has put some of the recordings online here although I couldn't get them to play. Some of the clip names give serious food for thought; Music in PSYOPS and Shattering the Confidence of the Enemy, Listening to Tupac and Constructing a Sound System in His Tank, Songs He Wrote After He Was Wounded (all from a soldier called Joshua Revak). There's also an interview with a member of the Israeli Defence Force, a chap called Ziv Shalev, and some of his clips are Playing Metallica at Members of Hezbollah, Listening to Heavy Metal Before Going on and Ambush and then, seemingly somewhat out of place A Peaceful Coexistence Between Israel and Its Surrounding Countries.
Listen to Sergeant First Class CJ Grisham here describing the 'use' of Eminem's Go To Sleep, and here talking about how Metallica helped him on patrol.
Listen to The Power of Music in War podcast, and then sit back and watch these two vids and see how you feel.

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