Today we kick off a new weekly feature, our Monday Music Pick, in which we’ll bring you our favourite albums and tracks from artists whose politics influence their craft. Our first pick is an exclusive MP3 download by Stefan Christoff, a Montreal-based journalist, activist, musician and regular Art Threat contributor, who will tell you about his music in his own words. Enjoy.
These piano sounds inspired by the open sky were performed at Casa del Popolo in Montreal during the monthly Wired on Words & Music concert this past September. In composing music for piano two types of images drive my fingers on the keys: sunny open skies, as seen over the beautiful indigenous lands of occupied British Colombia, and views of the endless blue of the sea, as seen while sitting on the waterfront in Beirut, Lebanon.
As a musician my piano playing is driven heavily by emotion and memory, however it is also fuelled by an attempt to express the feelings in my heart that drive my ongoing involvement in grassroots social justice movements. Perhaps the piano keys can express that sense of emotional urgency in the heart to address the staggering injustices in the world in ways that street protests do not, although both actions in my mind can be beautiful.
Certainly cultural expression in my mind can express the heart of any struggle for social justice or against oppression as we are seeing increasingly via the global Artists Against Apartheid movement for Palestine. Although pianos do not speak words they can communicate the intent of the soul in ways that go beyond words.
Please download and share this live track offered exclusively on Art Threat. The recording was produced by Ian Ferrier at Wired on Words and was previously broadcast on CKUT radio in Montreal; however, this is the first time it is being made available for download, so please share the link with friends that you think would be interested in having a listen.
Stefan Christoff is a journalist, activist and musician based in Montreal who regularly contributes to Art Threat. While Stefan is currently in Amman, Jordan, you can find him at twitter.com/spirodon.