March 30, 2010 | CUNY Lecture Series

The power of music, whether to comfort or to stir emotions, has taken on a new dimension as soldiers plug into sounds like Metallica to psych themselves up for combat. For Colby Buzzell, a former Army specialist and Iraq War veteran, the “war soundtrack” on his iPod helped trigger a dark side. “I listened to heavy metal bands, like Slayer, to get the anger and adrenaline I needed for going into military missions,” said Buzzell, best-selling author of “My War: Killing Time in Iraq.” Buzzell was a panelist in a Graduate Center talk on “Music and the Iraq War,” moderated by City College music Prof. Jonathan Pieslak, author of “Sound Targets: American Soldiers and Music in Iraq.” Other panelists were New Yorker music critic Alex Ross and former Marine Sgt. Jason Sagabiel, whose compositions for the oud, a Middle Eastern string instrument, were inspired by Iraqi rhythms he heard during his deployment.