Author: Luis Velasco-Pufleau

Love, music and coronavirus

All responses to an epidemic crisis are political. At the beginning of February 2020, at the heart of the coronavirus epidemic in Wuhan, the authoritarian Chinese regime massively broadcast the humanitarian song “Believe Love Will Win”. The stated aim...

Listening to No One Is Innocent after 13 November 2015

A few months after the Paris terrorist attacks of 13 November 2015, I met several Bataclan survivors.1 I felt that music would be more central than ever in their lives, that sound had acquired a new importance. I was astonished to find out how true that was. During the discussions…

Sound commitments: ethics and politics

“If ethics without politics is empty, then politics without ethics is blind,”1 wrote the philosopher Simon Critchley. For him, at the heart of radical politics there has to be an ethical moment – which he calls meta-political – that provides to the subject “the motivational force or propulsion into political…

Music, hegemony and revolutionary violence

In a recent article published in Music & Politics, I examined the relationship between music, hegemony and violence in the political thought of the Italian composer Luigi Nono (1924-1990).1 I analysed in particular his interpretation of Antonio Gramsci’s ideas and how he addressed his political and ethical commitment in Für…

‘This Is America’: strengths and paradoxes of a critique of violence

After it was released on 5 May 2018, the music video by Donald Glover (alias Childish Gambino) ‘This Is America,’ quickly went viral. It unleashed passionate debates across both social networks and traditional media. The video generated hundreds of discussions in newspaper articles, videos and blog posts, echoing thousands of…

“We are the world”: Music and propaganda in democracy

A few years ago I wrote two research articles on the role of humanitarian songs in the depoliticisation of armed conflicts and the moralisation of international relations at the end of the Cold War.1 On the occasion of the German translation of my article “Reflections on Music and Propaganda” in…