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From Unearthing the Music

Unearthing The Music is a project that addresses the issue of freedom of expression - particularly in music - in the countries under the 'iron curtain', namely following the developments in those societies after 'de-stalinization' and the Hungarian and Polish revolts of 1956, leading up to the ´Prague Spring' and the following 'stagnation years' up until the fall of totalitarian regimes in the eastern bloc.

In the European countries that were subjected to the decade-long socialist regimes, jazz, electronics and avant-garde music acquired the aureole of martyrdom, the symbolism of underground resistance and of a quest towards democracy. The establishment of a 'second culture', one of unofficial music and art had an important role in the everyday life of these societies, but it still did not fully escape control. As a result, a great deal of this unofficial music remains undocumented, unspread, and deprived of context and signification in the larger history of European vanguard music, its influence in present-day creative scenes unknown.

By gathering music, videos, articles, testimonies, opinions and investigative studies on an online resource center, as well as promoting awareness and discussion over this issue, we aim to contribute to understanding to what extent and how it was possible, over the diverse regime grips on the arts in the different countries of the eastern bloc, to live in a creative mindset, to develop self expression through innovative music-making, and to contribute to such an European Identity staple as is its creative, adventurous and genre-bending music happening right now.


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