ppp: the personal, the political and the piano

The news that today is being celebrated as National Album Day has inspired me to post the following text on Nina Simone’s 1969 masterpiece Nina Simone and Piano! It’s a text that’s being lying dormant for a few years and now seems a good time to do something with it. The concept shouldn’t have been… Continue reading ppp: the personal, the political and the piano

Nina Simone’s tribute to Martin Luther King – fifty years ago today

Fifty years ago today, Nina Simone and her band performed at Westbury Music Fair in New York. Three days had passed since the murder of Martin Luther King and Simone used her concert to stage an act of collective mourning and outrage. Below is a re-post of a 2013 entry from my blog So Transported:… Continue reading Nina Simone’s tribute to Martin Luther King – fifty years ago today

New essay on Robert Wyatt published

My essay ‘“Words Take the Place of Meaning”: Sound, Sense and Politics in the Music of Robert Wyatt’ has been published in The Singer-Songwriter in Europe: Paradigms, Politics and Place, edited by Isabelle Marc and Stuart Green (Routledge). ABSTRACT: When we speak of singer-songwriters we tend to consider voice as both literary tool and musical… Continue reading New essay on Robert Wyatt published

Upcoming talk: A Dream Deferred

'A Dream Deferred: Nina Simone and the Work of Mourning' Tuesday, 19 November 2013, 16:15, Arts A155, University of Sussex I'll be giving a talk hosted by the Centre for American Studies, University of Sussex. This talk presents work from my recent book about the late singer, songwriter, pianist and civil rights activist Nina Simone.… Continue reading Upcoming talk: A Dream Deferred

Víctor Jara: 40 years

It's forty years since the events that led to the murder of the Chilean singer, songwriter, theatre director and activist Víctor Jara (1932-1073). Here is a PDF of an article I wrote about Jara (and the Cuban singer-songwriter Silvio Rodríguez) while researching my doctoral thesis. I was, and remain, as interested in Jara's posthumous career… Continue reading Víctor Jara: 40 years