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Spiritual/Religious Experience in Progressive Rock

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Hercules View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hercules Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 04 2018 at 02:36
Originally posted by BillieJane BillieJane wrote:

Originally posted by Hercules Hercules wrote:

Hi Kimberley,

I wish you luck - I was a post-doctoral researcher in Astrophysics at St Andrews in the late 70s. Wonderful place.



Thanks so much! Small world... been here since undergrad. It is lovely. Did you see bands there? I know a few good ones were at the union at that time!

I was lucky enough to get a post-doctoral research place at St Andrews in 1975, which was (for me) perfection. I spent 7 years there before getting a lecturer's post elsewhere. But my days at St Andrews were the best, drinking Belhaven real ale in the Brownhills House Hotel (now long gone), walking on the West Sands, doing the May Revels and many other things. My biggest regret was missing out on the Raisin celebrations, since I wasn't an undergrad there. I really wish I'd gone there instead of Cambridge, which I didn't enjoy.

I saw Caravan, Gryphon (on their last tour before they split), Horslips (had to get a friend from Dundee U to get me into their SU ball for that one!), Five Hand Reel (not prog but folk rock, but amazing).

The University was always too small to attract the bigger bands, but I saw a lot of great bands in Edinburgh and Glasgow (Rush, Camel, Horslips, Yes/Gryphon).

I go on holiday to St Andrews occasionally and it always feels like I'm coming home. 

I will happily do your survey, but I'm peer reviewing a friend's research paper at the moment, so it may be a few days.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BaldFriede Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 04 2018 at 03:30
My wife BaldJean and I will gladly take your survey.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BillieJane Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 04 2018 at 09:39
Originally posted by BaldFriede BaldFriede wrote:

My wife BaldJean and I will gladly take your survey.


Thanks so much Friede! Lovely to meet you.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BillieJane Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 04 2018 at 09:40
Originally posted by Hercules Hercules wrote:

Originally posted by BillieJane BillieJane wrote:

Originally posted by Hercules Hercules wrote:

Hi Kimberley,

I wish you luck - I was a post-doctoral researcher in Astrophysics at St Andrews in the late 70s. Wonderful place.




Thanks so much! Small world... been here since undergrad. It is lovely. Did you see bands there? I know a few good ones were at the union at that time!

I was lucky enough to get a post-doctoral research place at St Andrews in 1975, which was (for me) perfection. I spent 7 years there before getting a lecturer's post elsewhere. But my days at St Andrews were the best, drinking Belhaven real ale in the Brownhills House Hotel (now long gone), walking on the West Sands, doing the May Revels and many other things. My biggest regret was missing out on the Raisin celebrations, since I wasn't an undergrad there. I really wish I'd gone there instead of Cambridge, which I didn't enjoy.

I saw Caravan, Gryphon (on their last tour before they split), Horslips (had to get a friend from Dundee U to get me into their SU ball for that one!), Five Hand Reel (not prog but folk rock, but amazing).

The University was always too small to attract the bigger bands, but I saw a lot of great bands in Edinburgh and Glasgow (Rush, Camel, Horslips, Yes/Gryphon).

I go on holiday to St Andrews occasionally and it always feels like I'm coming home. 

I will happily do your survey, but I'm peer reviewing a friend's research paper at the moment, so it may be a few days.


That music sounds awesome. And thank you very much for taking part! Really appreciated.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BillieJane Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 04 2018 at 09:42
Originally posted by Mascodagama Mascodagama wrote:

Originally posted by BillieJane BillieJane wrote:

<span style=": rgb248, 248, 252; font-family: Times; font-size: 11px;">Hello! My name is Kimberley Anderson and I’m a PhD student in Theology and the Arts at the University of St Andrews. My thesis explores how certain forms of progressive rock might be connected to spiritual or religious experience. To make my project as accurate as possible, I am gathering first-hand accounts of how listeners experience this music, and I would be delighted to hear from you if you have anything to say about this combination of ideas. This month I am running a survey that is open to people of all backgrounds, beliefs and persuasions, as long as they are over 18 years of age and interested in progressive rock. My definition of progressive rock is very flexible, so please do not be put off if you only have experience with a few bands which fit loosely into this category. It starts with some quick, general questions about how you perceive and experience prog rock, and moves on to ask participants to describe, where possible, specific kinds of experience related to progressive rock and spirituality. It can be completed online via the link below and, all in all, should only take 15-20 minutes of your time. Your answers will be treated confidentially, but there is also the option to leave your email address in case you are willing to keep in touch and perhaps answer any more questions (this would be extremely helpful!). </span><div =""="" style=": rgb248, 248, 252; text-size-adjust: auto; margin: 0px; font-stretch: normal; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-family: Times; min-height: 13px;"><span =""=""></span><br =""=""><div =""="" style=": rgb248, 248, 252; text-size-adjust: auto; margin: 0px; font-stretch: normal; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-family: Times;"><span =""="">PhD Researcher: Kimberley Jane Anderson, University of St Andrews, [email protected]</span><div =""="" style=": rgb248, 248, 252; text-size-adjust: auto; margin: 0px; font-stretch: normal; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-family: Times;"><span =""="">Supervisor: Dr Gavin Hopps, University of St Andrews, [email protected]</span><div =""="" style=": rgb248, 248, 252; text-size-adjust: auto; margin: 0px; font-stretch: normal; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-family: Times;"><span =""="">
</span><div =""="" style=": rgb248, 248, 252; text-size-adjust: auto; margin: 0px; font-stretch: normal; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-family: Times;"><span =""="">standrewseu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cCuaeyS5pbWv7aB</span>
Are you interested in responses from people who don't recognise spirituality, e.g. physicalists?


Definitely! Thank you!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BillieJane Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 04 2018 at 09:43
Originally posted by Mortte Mortte wrote:


As about spirituality & music, all the music (not just prog) has always been very spiritual thing to me (I use rather word spiritual than religious, because I have never felt any religion to be that kind that fits to me, shamanism is the closest). Even simple, dirty R´N´R moves me very deeply. It´s very rare I listen music as a background to some other thing. Also I have been in many gigs that has been very spiritual experiences to me, saw Magma last autumn, other spiritual gigs have been for example P J Harvey (the best gig I ever saw), Black Sabbath, the Stooges, Wigwam, Sielun Veljet, Fishbone, the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Lee Ranaldo Trio, John Fogerty, Jethro Tull, Pekka Pohjola Group, Procol Harum, Dr. John, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and also the latest Santana gig I just saw.
 
As soon as I have 20 minutes time to concentrate I am going to answer your questions in that link.


Thanks so much! Hugely appreciated.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Tapfret Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 04 2018 at 10:14
Originally posted by BillieJane BillieJane wrote:

Originally posted by Man With Hat Man With Hat wrote:

Seeing Magma live in concert is the closest thing I've had to a religious experience in my entire life. 


Interesting... I'm hearing so much about Magma today, giving them a first serious listen. What do you recommend as a starting point? Also heard that they are so different live from recorded.


Definitely live for the "religious experience". I appreciated them, but not a die hard fan until seeing them in San Francisco in '99. There is something very transcendent about their presence on stage. I never miss a chance to see them.

As far as albums, Ëmëhntëhtt-Ré has the studio representation that I feel is closest to that live experience. But really, if you can't get to one of their shows, get the Theusz Hamtaahk - Trilogie Au Trianon DVD.

Oh, and I will take your survey soon. There are very few places in life that have any sort of spiritual connectivity to me. Music, namely progressive music, is one.

Edited by Tapfret - July 04 2018 at 10:17
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Rednight Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 04 2018 at 13:10
Hearing U.K. perform Alaska at the San Diego Sports Arena and then a couple of nights later at the Santa Monica Civic back in '79 was just about the heaviest religious experiences I've ever had.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote dr wu23 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 04 2018 at 16:23
^Are you sure that wasn't due to the black Lebanese hash...?  ;)

To be honest one can find transcendent experiences (the word religious and even spiritual  has a lot of  baggage) while experiencing many kinds of music as well as art in general. Some pieces of music by Mozart, Bach, and Vaughn Williams has certainly triggered those kind of moods in me and some prog also.
But....I suppose the most intense experiences in that area were triggered by various mind altering substances back in the old college days.
Two books I found fascinating ..many years ago....that could be related to experiences brought on by listening to music as well as other triggers :
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Varieties_of_Religious_Experience
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmic_Consciousness



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote BaldJean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 04 2018 at 16:42
I have taken your survey; Friede will do it later (she is currently with her nose deep in a book and can't be disturbed)


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Mormegil Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 05 2018 at 06:04
Just finished the survey.
Best of luck, Kimberley!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Guldbamsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 05 2018 at 07:09
I'll be sure to pop by your survey even if I don't consider myself either religious or spiritual. Music though has a way of hitting you hard whenever one is up for it. I've always thought the experience had more to do with the listener being open at the time rather than having to do with a specific style of music. I get goosebumps and inner voyages to rock, pop, jazz, electronic, prog, blues, funk and classical. It's all about the time and place - plus all kinds of music can be progressive.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Progosopher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 05 2018 at 11:27
Great idea,Kimberly! I have an M.A. in Religious Studies, so this is right up my alley. Super busy at the moment though: I will take the survey when I get a chance. Good luck, and I hope you get lots of responses.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote hieronymous Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 05 2018 at 12:47
I took the survey - very interesting, allowed me to dig into my memories of some important events in my life. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Logan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 05 2018 at 12:49
Originally posted by Guldbamsen Guldbamsen wrote:

I'll be sure to pop by your survey even if I don't consider myself either religious or spiritual. Music though has a way of hitting you hard whenever one is up for it. I've always thought the experience had more to do with the listener being open at the time rather than having to do with a specific style of music. I get goosebumps and inner voyages to rock, pop, jazz, electronic, prog, blues, funk and classical. It's all about the time and place - plus all kinds of music can be progressive.


That's much the same that I feel.

----------------------------------------------------

In the kinds of music we have in ProgArchives, I am more likely to experience something that can feel transcendental when listening to Progressive Electronic, Krautrock and Indo-Prog Raga Rock (plus some Zeuhl) than in most other categories (it's those "inner voyages").

I used to think of myself as spiritual while having a form of negative, or soft, atheism (or agnostic depending upon one's parameters). I do consider myself to be a cultural Christian (or cultural Anglican), and am attracted to various aspects of Buddhism.

The most transcendent music for me has not been Prog, but classical/ art music.   Tallis moves me much more than anything Neal Morse, and, say, Torman Maxt could not hold a candle to Bach or Beethoven when it comes to deep, sublime, and meaningful to me music. Yes can have a New-Agey feel, but it tends to strike me as rather shallow, but that doesn't mean that people don't experience the music in deeply personal and "mystical" ways. Profundity is so personal.

Magma has been mentioned, and for me that band can reach quite sublime heights. Popol Vuh and Yatha Sidhra are two that really speak to me. Different music speaks to different people, and different music speaks to me depending on my mood and current interests.

Perhaps one day you'll edit and add to your thesis and publish it so that we can all read it. Best of luck.
"The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don’t alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit the views" (Doctor Who - The Face of Evil, Jan 22, 1977).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Evolver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 05 2018 at 14:37
I took the survey.
 
I have no religious or spiritual feelings about what prog rock does for me, but I have frequently thought about what makes so many incredibly talented musicians (or artists in general) become religious.
 
In fact, I've written, but never performed or recorded, a song about just that.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Guldbamsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 05 2018 at 15:19
^^Hi Greg, nice talking to you again.
You mention a lot of the same music that I want to mention in particular A Meditation Mass which encapsulates a special reverence to these ears...then again I get the same kind of transcendental feel (great word btw and transcendental also better connects with me) from Bobby Beausoleil's Lucifer Rising.
This all actually concerns the absolute core of my love for music. David Gilmour was the first person ever to introduce me to this earthshattering experience...and he didn't even know hah! Nah but Comfortably Numb was still the first piece of music that catapulted me into that special place where time seizes to exist and you're one with everything...or something to that effect.
I remember one time I saw an interview with Carlos Santana talking about the power of music and those special times where he'd hit the right notes, at the right time, with sheer brute emotional force, and to some it was like touching god or maybe making love to the most beautiful woman in the world. I am paraphrasing here but I remember the gist of it perfectly and I happen to agree with him.
We are most likely experiencing a lot of the same things here, but I think culture and upbringing has a lot to do with how we process these things afterwards. Personally I'd like to keep as agnostic a view as my logic allows me to have.

On a little sidenote: as a man who has lived his whole life with a mild form of synestesia, it is remarkable how much music can transform in front of (or in my case behind) my eyes. Depending on the day, year, what I was going through etc etc the same music would change forms and colours, though still keeping its...erm natural presence. It is hard to describe but imagine a criss cross between sun dots and twirling cigarette smoke 'miming' the music and you're halfway there. The other more interesting thing about this little "wiring gone crazy" of mine is that it can heighten my awareness and effectively make me feel like I hear EVERYTHING and it almost gets to be too much - in fact it always reminds me of the same dream I always have when I have a fever: like being engulfed in a black hole. Sorta like this freakish implosion of the mind. Then again go back far enough and that's how we all started. We're made of the same star stuff. Who knows what strange proporties our minds have? That's also the beauty of it. We know next to nothing about how our own brains work. We have ideas sure, but generally speaking we're still at the very early stages of understanding the billions of connections that constitute our mental highway. That is also why the whole robot/AI scare is such bs. We haven't even figured out how and where emotions form - we even have trouble saying what they are from a scientic point of view, so how on earth are we going to 'learn' the robots?

On the other hand, and back to patterned sound again, who knows, maybe when we get these 'soul orgasms' in music we inadvertantly turn on a special feature in our brains that allow us to make long distance cosmic telephone calls. Dial up Orion's Belt on a tuesday for starters!

Hah! I rambled. Sorry if the sense is missing. It rang true in my head.

Oh and I wish you the best of luck on your thesis Kimberley. It sounds like a very interesting read.

Edited by Guldbamsen - July 05 2018 at 15:24
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Logan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 05 2018 at 16:00
Hi David,

If that's rambling, my longish posts are pure diarrhoea. Apparent digressions are often where the most interesting thoughts and insights lie, methinks. T all makes sense to me. I almost mentioned Lucifer Rising in my post, but then I was going to say something about the man's history and decided not to. It gives me that feeling too. I didn't know you have mild synaesthesia; I do too. I expect that various of the world's mystics and prophets' brains were also wired a little differently.

Incidentally, side-note, while I like to consider myself to be a rationalist, and a humanist, and I don't feel the need for supernatural belief systems, I understand that religion and spirituality can inspire music, and one can get this mystical/ spiritual/ transcendent type experience when listening to music. Of course people will interpret their reactions differently and call t different things. The brain does still work in mysterious ways, we still don't have a definitive grasp of consciousness, but we are learning more all the time. I've had this amazing sense of oneness on several occasions, but I put down to my neurology even there is a natural interconnectedness to the universe/s, but I digress. Dirk Gently (the holistic detective) gets it.

I'm pretty open-minded about many things, just not so open-minded that my brain falls out. To paraphrase Plato (as Socrates), the first step on the road to wisdom is the recognition of one's own ignorance.
"The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don’t alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit the views" (Doctor Who - The Face of Evil, Jan 22, 1977).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guldbamsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 05 2018 at 16:19

I'm with you all the way. It's just that I've always had an overriding urge to put everything on its head. Even when I was a little kid I had long mind breaks thinking about how weird it would be if 'life' wasn't what we understood it to be and that mountains all of this time had been talking behind our backs? I once thought long and hard about the sea perhaps inhabited the wisest of creatures and that we just hadn't figured out the lingo yet. Maybe aliens had been to earth and they'd just had a chat with some spermwhales.
Growing older and oddly enough much more enamoured with logic, science and Occam's razor...I still purposely fling out wild "theories" about life, the universe and everything like bon bons
I entirely blame Monty Python and Douglas Adams.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote hieronymous Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 05 2018 at 17:10
Been thinking about this stuff since taking the survey this morning!

I realized that so much of music for me has been "visual" in the sense that I often visualize things during the music. Early on it may have been encouraged by 1) seeing Fantasia at a young age with my father, 2) the Star Wars soundtrack which allowed me to relive the excitement of the movie at home (before home video!), 3) getting into rock music in 7th grade and imagining that I was the one playing the music (I started playing guitar and bass around the same time).

I don't imagine myself being the performer so much anymore, but still engage in reverie as I listen to music. I think that's maybe why I prefer instrumental music, and don't really pay attention to lyrics - they get in the way for me!
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