Unsongs. The ten untold stories about censorship and music
A scheduled gig in Tel Aviv in the Spring of 2014 changed Pål Moddi Knutsen’s life forever. After experiencing a cross fire of criticism and realizing that playing in Israel was not a matter for the faint hearted or seemingly a simple gesture in the name of music, he decided to cancel the concert.
The cancellation lead him to discover how politically powerful a simple song can be and that the world was full of artists who had been imprisoned and silenced for their songs, even killed. And so, a journey began over five continents where he met artists who had written songs that mattered.
As a result of his exploration into the world of censored music, Moddi launched the internationally critically acclaimed album Unsongs (2016), a collection of 12 banned songs from around the world, from Pussy Riots “Punk Prayer”, “Army Dreamers” by Kate Bush to Mexican narcocorridos and songs from the Middle East.
In the book Unsongs. Ten untold stories about censorship and music, we meet 10 destinies behind the songs, who all have faced censorship, persecution and violent suppression. This book is a tribute to the power of music in a time when most people shun the idea of music as a political tool. Moddi, however, shows us that political music can be as dangerous as a shotgun.