For the month of March the theme for Realizing Resonance is the Philosophy of Music! Besides dabbling in Philosophy I am also an experienced guitarist and song writer, so this is a special topic for me. The appreciation of music is a universal human condition found in every culture on Earth. Music can’t help but stir our passions, whether agreeable, aggressive, or annoying. Music often moves us physically and can spur us to dance, or even just tap a foot. Musical creation has infinite potential, even though it derives from a finite set of tones and rules for mixing those tones.
Music is a metaphor for life.
Given this theme my Resolution to Read for March is….
Mark LeVine’s book Heavy Metal Islam is a survey of the underground metal and rap music scenes in several Muslim countries across the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA). LeVine describes his experiences jamming with friends and discussing music, culture, religion, politics, and the passion for freedom while travelling to Morocco, Egypt, Israel, The Palestinian Territories, Lebanon, Iran, and Pakistan. I am about half way through this book already because I wanted to get another perspective on the situation when I saw the democracy demonstrations in Cairo on the news. Since I am a heavy metal fan myself I feel a connection to the stories in this book and I have found that this gives me a take on the events in Egypt that I may not have had otherwise.
To get a sense of the scope of topic in this book about heavy metal music, LeVine’s trip to Egypt included hanging out with Shady and Noor Nour, the metal musician sons of former Presidential Candidate and Political Prisoner Ayman Nour, as well as an interview with a representative from the Muslim Brotherhood. Now, with the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, Ayman Nour is on the short list for potential Presidential Candidates in what the World hopes will be Egypt’s first free and democratic elections. This makes Heavy Metal Islam as very interesting and prescient read. I highly recommend the book for anyone who would appreciate a nuanced view on the wave of protests and revolutions that are currently sweeping across the MENA.
Jared Roy Endicott
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