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Be the Mule Blog

Boy 44 with Medeski

Hello everyone.

I wanted to share some photos and a little bit of what John Medeski and I presented at a festival here in Mexico City called Ars Futura. In duo, we played a suite called "Boy 44" inspired by the life of a young man who was "disappeared" by state police in the state of Guerrero. I cannot process how something like that can happen. Its beyond tragic and into evil and other worlds of thought I know might exist but can't understand how anyone would make them action. 

I wanted to do something and music is the only way I know how. So I wrote this suite and sent a bit of the story and context to Medeski and he was happy, as far as I know, to be part of it. The idea was to not talk about the subject matter before the concert, so as to not create expectations, just to let the music do the speaking. It does that better than words. But John missed the memo and talked to a newspaper reporter the day prior to the show and the day of the concert a giant article with the headline "Medeski and Clouser. There is one newspaper that is seen as left-leannig, La Jornada, where the story was published. Federal police came to the festival to tell organizers "they can't play the song about Ayotzinapa." Of course they were misinformed about what we were doing and the whole act of anger on anyone's part is pathetic (we are paying homage to a boy whose life was tragically taken), but nonetheless they came to shake some fear out.

We played what we planned without pause. Nontheteless, they still won. Certain media outlets won't publish our piece now or the music we played. Organizers will think twice about having us. All of this over someone trying to play music to honor the life of a kid in rural Mexico studying to be a teacher, tragically kidnapped, and presumably murdered, by police. 

I stopped shutting up because it makes me sick to be quiet.

This is a song called You the Brave written about a year ago, the first for the Boy 44 suite, that is also on the Chant Record. Here it is played live at ArsFutura Festival.





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