Edward Snowden Helped Make Electronica Song | The Mary Sue
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Edward Snowden Collaborated with Jean-Michel Jarre On This Electronica Song

Edward Snowden, well-known cybersecurity advocate, has turned towards a new way of increasing awareness surrounding internet surveillance and government overreach: music! Snowden provides the vocals on a new electronica collaboration with French musician Jean-Michel Jarre for an upcoming album titled Electronica 2: The Heart of Noise.

When I say “vocals,” I actually mean “voiceover.” Unfortunately, Snowden doesn’t grace us all with his singing voice (can he sing? I don’t know, but I want that to happen). He delivers a chilling monologue here about technology and security, with statements like, “What may not have value to you today may have value to an entire population… If you don’t stand up for it, then who will?”

The Guardian spoke to Snowden and Jarre about the collaboration, and the process for matching the musical composition with the voiceover track. The frenetic, desperate, fast-paced beats make for an intense listening experience; it makes sense that a former NSA analyst who’s currently in exile might want his story to be set to music of this type. It sounds like the type of music to put on a running playlist … running from the government, that is.

Also, according to what Snowden told the Guardian, this genre of music is exactly to his taste:

I’ve always appreciated electronic music. The melodies that I remember with most fondness are actually from video games where they generate 8-bit music, and those kinds of chiptunes have really made a resurgence in modern musical culture today. And I think people like Jean-Michel are the ones who really popularized that and made that possible for us to appreciate it as more than just sounds, as more than just background, but as actual culture.

Although the full album won’t become available until May 6th, you can listen to the pulsing beats and Snowden’s vocals on “Exit” via the Spotify embed below. Pre-ordering the album will also net you an advanced download of “Exit.”

(via The Verge)

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Maddy Myers, journalist and arts critic, has written for the Boston Phoenix, Paste Magazine, MIT Technology Review, and tons more. She is a host on a videogame podcast called Isometric (relay.fm/isometric), and she plays the keytar in a band called the Robot Knights (robotknights.com).