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Series 2 Ep 1 - We Are music + resistance, with Professor Kenneth Marcus

In this first episode of our second season of Thoughtlines we talk about how culture fights back with historian Professor Kenneth Marcus. As a visiting fellow at CRASSH he’s been exploring what happens when music ‘goes there’ and tackles the horror and heartbreak of war. The ongoing conflict in Ukraine and its musical resistance, rapidly going viral on social media, is effectively his project in real time. But his focus on the epic pacifist works of Arnold Schoenberg, Hanns Eisler, and Benjamin Britten reminds us that music was shaping the global human rights imagination well before now. Not only that, it’s also a very effective way to wake up the classroom. Learn more: Many thanks to Larry Schoenberg for permission to use an excerpt from Arnold Schoenberg’s A Survivor from Warsaw, Op. 42: The piano track featured after the introduction is "Waves", written and performed by Kenneth Marcus. Kenneth talks about his book, Schoenberg and Hollywood Modernism, in the Author Hub series at Cambridge University Press: He performs his rap on World War I, titled The War: One of the only live-performance videos of Hanns Eisler’s Germany Symphony (Deutsche Sinfonie, Op. 50) is with the Rundfunk-Sinfonie-Orchester Berlin and Rundfunkchor Berlin, conducted by Max Pommer (1987): Examples of using the arts as resistance in the war in Ukraine: Ukraine's music is an effective weapon of resistance - "I wanted to fight. The army told me to sing" - Ukrainian graduates dance in front of destroyed school in Kharkiv - Kyiv Chamber Orchestra, on using music for peace and resistance - Kenneth Marcus, Cambridge playlist: Handel, Trumpet Concerto in D Major, HWV 335a (Crispin Steele-Perkins, trumpet, Cambridge Music Festival, St. Catherine’s College, 1990) Dvorak, Cello Concerto in B Minor, Op. 104 (Steven Isserlis, cello, West Road Concert Hall, 1989) Gershwin, ’S Wonderful (performed at Forbes Mellon Library, Clare College, 1987) Gershwin, I Got Rhythm (performed at College Chapel, Clare College, 1987) Marcus, Long, Hungry World (composed at Thirkill Court, Clare College, 1987) Marcus, Talkin’ Love (composed at 30 Hardwick Street, Newnham, 1991) Marcus, Waves (composed at Cambridge, 1991) Quincy Jones with Ice-T, Kool Moe Dee, Big Daddy Kane, and Melle Mel, Back on the Block (played as DJ for Cambridge University Radio, 1990) Strauss, The Blue Danube (Clare May Ball, 1990) Tosh, I Am That I Am (Clare May Ball, 1990) Javanese Gamelan (percussionist in Cambridge Gamelan Society, West Road Concert Hall and Hyde Park, London, 1990) William Byrd, Short Evening Service (King’s College Evensong, 1989)

About Thoughtlines

Thoughtlines brings you the best academic thinking outside the box from CRASSH at the University of Cambridge. The podcast is presented by Catherine Galloway and produced by Carl Homer at Cambridge TV. The Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) is an interdisciplinary research centre at the University of Cambridge. Founded in 2001, CRASSH came into being as a way to create interdisciplinary dialogue across the University’s many faculties and departments in the arts, social sciences and humanities, as well as to build bridges with scientific subjects. It has now grown into one of the largest humanities institutes in the world and is a major presence in academic life in the UK. It serves at once to draw together disciplinary perspectives in Cambridge and to disseminate new ideas to audiences across Europe and beyond. Access more episodes, subscribe, and learn more.