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Looking At The Legacy Of Politics In Music

AP IMAGE: A conference at UNC-Chapel Hill looks at Austrian composer Hanns Eisler and how he broadcast political messages through contemporary compositions.
Herbert K. White
/
Associated Press
A conference at UNC-Chapel Hill looks at Austrian composer Hanns Eisler and how he broadcast political messages through contemporary compositions.

Musicians have used their songs to filter political messages for decades, from Bob Dylan's song "Blowin' in the Wind" to Kendrick Lamar's song "Alright."

But in the early 1900s, Austrian composer Hanns Eisler was a pioneer in the way contemporary artists use political themes in their music. A conference at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill explores Eisler's work and his ability to subversively broadcast political messages through contemporary compositions.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Stefan Litwin, professor of music at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, about Eisler's background and legacy. 

The conference, “Hans Eisler Today” takes place Friday March 4 and Saturday, March 5 at Person Recital Hall at UNC Chapel Hill. 

Charlie Shelton-Ormond is a podcast producer for WUNC. His fascination for audio storytelling and radio journalism began as a broadcast major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He began his career as a reporter for Carolina Connection, UNC’s student-led radio news show, where Charlie’s work won multiple Hearst Journalism Awards.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.