His lectures are a historical touchstone that reflect the many ways in which the world has evolved across his lifetime. From ethics to political philosophy, geo-political history, and—perhaps most famously—linguistics, Chomsky’s distinction lies in his measured, fair-minded, yet uniquely independent perspective and his ability to render it in a powerful, but accessible way.
The Noam Chomsky Music Project (TNCMP) was born with several ambitions. First, it aims to preserve and celebrate Chomsky’s outlook on the world. Second, the goal is to amplify his voice in an innovative way, delivering his words through one of the most universally powerful artforms: Music.
We have curated an archive of Chomsky’s most notable soundbites, selected from hundreds of lectures delivered by Chomsky throughout his life—from his searing criticisms of US foreign policy to his sober insights on the intimate relationship between capitalism and, what he calls, the ‘climate catastrophe’.
This is the first project of this scale—both in size and reach—to combine music with Chomsky’s work. We have partnered with a diverse group of more than 50 artists from all corners of the globe to bring this project to life. Drawing from the Chomsky archive, musicians who specialize in genres across the spectrum—including electronic dance music (EDM), jazz, and classical—will produce EPs inspired by and infused with Chomsky’s voice, and which reflect the rich culture and diversity of their audiences.
Collectively, the participating artists have a listenership of more than 10 million people. Our diverse artistry is from various countries including Germany, Turkey, France, and Afghanistan. This project celebrates both language and culture and uses music to transcend their barriers. Many young people are not familiar with Chomsky’s work, even though his thoughts are more vital than ever. No where is he more relevant than on issues of environment degradation, propaganda in modern media, imperialism, capitalism, war, and class politics.
Chomsky was the son of immigrant parents. Born in Philadelphia in 1928, he was influenced by his father’s strong belief that education freed people’s thinking and gave impetus to their desire to improve, enhance, and participate in the world. Growing up, he read voraciously and debated with adults from an early age while passing the hours at his uncle’s newsstand in New York City. Chomsky wrote his first short essay at the age of 10 for his fourth grade newspaper detailing his concerns of the rise of fascism in the final days of the Spanish Civil War.
No single descriptor sufficiently captures him. A Laureate Professor and an anarchist, he is widely hailed as “the father of modern linguistics,” an impressive defender of free speech, and a tireless human rights activist. He has authored more than 150 books and is one of the most cited scholars in modern history. His pursuit to change minds and make a difference in the world—or, as some might argue, build a different one—has not wavered.
By delivering a global sonic experience based on his insights, we endeavor to honor Chomsky’s internationalist viewpoint. If, as Chomsly has said, “Language is the instrument of thought,” then this music project hopes to bolster his ideas with passion and aesthetics.