The series uncovers the unique role music has played in driving social and political change around the world.
Hosted by The Guardian’s Chris Michael, the new podcast series Reverberate looks at how music has framed some of the world’s most significant and revolutionary moments, with each episode focusing on a specific turning point in a different city’s history.
The one-off six-part series features expert interviews and immersive sound design, with a single track becoming the listener’s guide to revealing the deeper social and political issues at the epicentre of each point in time.
The first episode, which launched today, tells the fascinating story of how an unknown musician in England became an overnight pop star in Hong Kong. Chris hears how singer-songwriter Kashy Keegan was flown out to perform in front of tens of thousands of fans after one of his songs suddenly became a huge hit — only to discover that it was also seen as the emotional anthem of Hong Kong’s nascent pro-democracy movement.
Commenting on the launch, Michael said: “A lot of stories have been told about music scenes in cities – but very few about the moments when music itself shaped history. I wanted to share some of the most jaw-dropping, sometimes unsettling but always fascinating stories I discovered in my time as editor of Guardian Cities about key turning points in a city’s history, by hearing firsthand from the people who were really there. In doing so, I hope we have revealed the real power of music: not just a soundtrack, but a driver of change in its own right.”
Christian Bennett, executive editor for multimedia journalism, Guardian News & Media, added: “The Guardian is committed to insightful, global storytelling and has always approached audio journalism in new and interesting ways. Reverberate exists at the intersection of history, culture and politics, revealing more about the world we live in today by looking back at a defining moment in society and the music that shaped it. We are excited to add Reverberate to our podcast slate and share these fascinating stories from across the world with The Guardian’s growing and dedicated podcast audience.”
New episodes of Reverberate will be released weekly every Wednesday and can be listened to on theguardian.com/audio, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Acast or the podcast app of your choice.