A new initiative by White Ribbon, the Canadian charity that aims to end gender-based violence and toxic masculinity, centers on a piece of music specifically composed to help men express their emotions.
The project, created via agency Bensimon Byrne, features an original composition, "Uncomposed," which was developed by producer Jared Kuemper with support from Canadian Opera Company Music Director Johannes Debus, working with music cognitive scientists.
The music was performed live by a quintet, in partnership with the Canadian Opera Company at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. A video of the recording documents the experiences of four men of diverse backgrounds as they hear the composition for the first time and discussing how it made them feel.
White Ribbon also conducted a survey on how music can help men change their behavior, which found that 76% of men agreed that music helps release emotions. A previous PSA by the charity showed the corrosive effect that can result of boys being told at a young age that "boys don't cry."
"Our goal is to ignite societal change that promotes emotional literacy and healthy masculinities,” said Humberto Carolo, executive director, White Ribbon, in a statement. “For too long, society has taught men to be ‘strong’ by repressing their emotions. It has heroized this version of masculinity. Uncomposed will start a conversation and encourage men and boys to acknowledge and express a range of complex emotions. We can help end gender-based violence by normalizing and promoting emotional literacy and healthy masculinities among men and boys, and emphasizing that strength is the ability to show vulnerability.”
You can see more on the campaign website, and listen to the track on Spotify.