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Issue: May, 2016

Protest Music on Modern Issues

Protest music has a long and chequered history. It can raise questions, it can spark discussions, it can break down barriers of silence, or it can be a term used to justify quite obnoxious ideologies.

So, yes, not all songs promote humans to be the best they can be. But here are a couple that highlight ongoing issues in world-wide cultures, not just in Australia.

"Not Now, Not Ever!" (Gillard Misogyny Speech)

Australian Voices

From the composer, Rob Davidson:
"When I heard Julia Gillard (then Australian prime minister)'s parliamentary speech addressing misogyny, it struck me that behind the politics there was a lot of personal feeling being communicated. I wanted to put a frame around this slice of time, to heighten my perception of what was being said behind the words, in the intonation of the voice, and in the dynamics of what was being said in interjections and reactions. The resulting choral piece, in which the singers echo and support the Prime Minister's speech melodies, is initially quite humorous, as we are confronted with the melody that perhaps was not evident to us before. As the music goes on, it passes into something more serious, and (it is hoped) we hear the Prime Minister as a woman experiencing very real emotions.
The Australian Voices are the ideal performers for such a work - ready for anything and enthusiastic to tackle any challenge, these brilliant young artists threw themselves into the highly unfamiliar approach to choral singing, with results that I find exhilarating as a composer."

Come Home (Cardinal Pell)

Tim Minchin

According to wikipedia: "George Pell AC is an Australian cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church and the inaugural and current Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, since 2014."

Pell refused to leave Rome to face the Royal CommRoyal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, claiming ill health. When the commission was taken to him by videolink, reported, "George Pell tells royal commission it was a 'disastrous coincidence' Ballarat had so many paedophile priests" (read the full article here)

Debi Marshall writes: "In 1973, a young Father George Pell, flushed with success from his recent studies in Rome and Oxford, returned to his home town of Ballarat and took up residence in the St Alipius presbytery; a place, it would be publicly revealed more than 20 years later, that was a paedophile's paradise and a child's nightmare. His housemate that year was the tall, rowdy and popular parish priest, Father Gerald Ridsdale."

Risdale, who "from early in his priesthood ... was subject to a psychiatric report...was a serial rapist" and would beat the children he was attacking badly if they cried for him to stop. (read the full story here)

Flushed with his success in the United States, Pope Francis has been openly supportive of Pell and his alleged continued coverup of reported abuse over years. Crux staffers write: "Pope Francis has confirmed the Australian prelate as the Vatican's top financial official until at least 2019." (read the article)

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