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Luca Pacchiarini View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Opinions Of An Apprentice- Streamsciosness
    Posted: July 08 2009 at 09:23
I decided to open this space for my musical prog-related ramblings.
 
Progressive Music and Politics: what attitude towards dictature?
 
I think all the artistic forms of the last centuries can be divided  rouglhy in two groups: the movements who exalted the contemporary society and the ones who were against it.
In the first case, the artists, with their work, had an active part in that kind of society, because they helped creating their contemporary culture, since a society can't work well with military and commercial power only (e.g. the Renaissance).
When this system degenerates, the role of the artists becomes passive. Their art becomes just a vehicle to spread the contemporary ideals. Politicians, who possess medias (they commissioned paintings in the Middle Age, now they have TV channels) want their ideas to be spread to the masses and the artists have to express them.
This is the case of, for example, some german artists during the Third Reich. Just the ones who wanted to express the Reich ideals in their works had the opportunity to create art in Germany. Many of them were corrupted. All the others had to flee.
 
When an artistic movement has a negative attitude towards contemporary society, there are two possible ways to manifest that.
Some artists have escapist attitudes (example: spanish Modernismo, german Romantic...).
They reject the social and political context of the time, but they do not react against it, they create something similar to a fictional, magical world in which the artists (and only the artists) live, to hide from the unfriendly world of the "common" men.
But there is a second possibilty: in other artistic movements, the spirit of rupture aginst the society of the time becomes evident, active: new ways of living, of behaving and of administrating the state are proposed.
 
When the political situation of a state becomes extremist, what happens to the music?
 
What was Progressive Rock attitude towards dictatures? 
 
I know just a bit of brazilian prog during the Dictadura Militar in the 70's and some argentinian groups of the same period.
And I have many spanish prog albums (during and after the Franco dictature)
For sure you can't find any political reference in their albums, since there was a strict censorship... so, looking at the theme of the lyrics, of course they are forced to have an escapist view of art.
 
I would like to hear something about prog from USSR and satellite states... can you indicate any cases in which the musicians show their view on the contemporary situation?
 
 
Just to speculate, what might have happened to prog if the genre existed during the Third Reich?
...or if Hitler's dream survived till the 70's?
 
I'm sure our beloved genre would have been considered "degenerated art", like the works of the german expressionism.
Let's face it, I don't think prog as it is, would have been great for expressing the ideals of the Reich... way too open-minded, too complicated to appeal to the big masses... 
Or if... (the keyword here is IF)... if Goebbels, the man who controlled the cultural life of the Reich, accepted this new musical trend, using it for his own purpose?
Classical prog in particular, would have been great for them. A highly energetic, patriotic reworking of a Wagner piece, for instance, would have made for a nazi-hymn. Shocked
Imagine what a shocking scenario Confused
Perhaps the musicians would have fled to other countries, producing their music there... I don't know.
I think they would have been persecuted, since prog is a "free" form of art.
 
What do you think?
Just out of curiosity, do you know any pro-nazi prog groups? I know one pro-fascist group:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Edited by Luca Pacchiarini - August 20 2009 at 15:36
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Atkingani View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 08 2009 at 20:54
Talking about Brazil and the dictatorship of the 60s and 70s I'd like to add that prog together with other musical styles suffered harshly in the hands and scissors of the censors.
 
However, some subtleties could be visaged through lyrics that in many cases were able to overcome censor's concerns and poor IQ although not perceived by the general audience that in some cases authors had to explain the lyrics' real intentions after the dictatorship collapsed in the 80s.
 
Prog bands like Mutantes, Som Imaginário, O Terço and others participated in a way or another of the resistance against the authoritarian regime. In general these old prog acts are considered here as being in the left side of the political spectrum.


Edited by Atkingani - July 08 2009 at 20:55
Guigo

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 09 2009 at 13:17
I'm not sure of German Oak's position.

Wow, picturing Yes coming on stage to Siegfried instead of FirebirdLOL.  Or there's a section early in Parsifal that I think would work nicely.  Anyhow, give me Mozart over that sickness any day.

Another great post from Luca, who seemingly came out of nowhere and has become a favorite of mine.

Why must my spell-checker continually underline the word "prog"?

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 10 2009 at 09:47
In Romania, a former communist country, all the artist who don't collaborate with the communist regime were banned and a lot of them were force to emigrate in western countrys. After the second world war, the new communist regime oppress all the artist and a lot of them were arrested and deported in Siberia. Jazz music was forbidden for a long period of time, also the modern classical music. Great romanian artist like composer George Enescu, sculptor Constantin Brâncuş, absurd dramatist Eugen Ionesco and many other were force to leave for good their country.
In the mid 60's was a period of freedom and this was the moment wen jazz begun to be appreciate and to be played at national radio station. Also some western movies and music penetrate the censorship, which help the development of romanian rock music.
The most important romanian rock bands from 70's (Phoenix, Sfinx, Progresiv TM, Experimental Q, Rosu si Negru, Pro Musica, Curtea Veche) were strongly prog influenced bands, but because of the censorship most of them couldn't record albums and even the music they record was severely tainted from communist censorship.
In the 80's, the prog rock was almost extinct (with the exception of bands like Celelalte Cuvinte, Pro Musica, Basorelief, Accent, Post Scriptum) and hard rock/ metal bands (Iris, Metropol, Holograf, Voltaj) were constantly baned. A great protestant hard rock song from that period is "Trenul fară naş" (the train without check man) from the band Iris, who manage to get through the communist censorship and was a huge underground hit.
Also Dan Andrei Aldea, the front man of the band Sfinx release a single in 1980, with just a few months before he will leave for ever  Romania "Zece  arici inamorati/ Noi nu ne temem" (ten gnomes armed/ we are not afraid), single who was baned son after the release because of the very ironic lyrics and burlesque music.
The avant-garde musician and poet Mircea Florian release with his band Florian din Transilvania in 1986 the LP "Tainicul vartej", who was the only avant-rock/kraut LP ever released in Romania before 1989, and just a few month later, Mircea Florian emigrate in Western Germany and the album was banned.

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Luca Pacchiarini View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 10 2009 at 16:12
Originally posted by chaos8619 chaos8619 wrote:

In Romania, a former communist country, all the artist who don't collaborate with the communist regime were banned and a lot of them were force to emigrate in western countrys. After the second world war, the new communist regime oppress all the artist and a lot of them were arrested and deported in Siberia. Jazz music was forbidden for a long period of time, also the modern classical music. Great romanian artist like composer George Enescu, sculptor Constantin Brâncuş, absurd dramatist Eugen Ionesco and many other were force to leave for good their country.
In the mid 60's was a period of freedom and this was the moment wen jazz begun to be appreciate and to be played at national radio station. Also some western movies and music penetrate the censorship, which help the development of romanian rock music.
The most important romanian rock bands from 70's (Phoenix, Sfinx, Progresiv TM, Experimental Q, Rosu si Negru, Pro Musica, Curtea Veche) were strongly prog influenced bands, but because of the censorship most of them couldn't record albums and even the music they record was severely tainted from communist censorship.
In the 80's, the prog rock was almost extinct (with the exception of bands like Celelalte Cuvinte, Pro Musica, Basorelief, Accent, Post Scriptum) and hard rock/ metal bands (Iris, Metropol, Holograf, Voltaj) were constantly baned. A great protestant hard rock song from that period is "Trenul fară naş" (the train without check man) from the band Iris, who manage to get through the communist censorship and was a huge underground hit.
Also Dan Andrei Aldea, the front man of the band Sfinx release a single in 1980, with just a few months before he will leave for ever  Romania "Zece  arici inamorati/ Noi nu ne temem" (ten gnomes armed/ we are not afraid), single who was baned son after the release because of the very ironic lyrics and burlesque music.
The avant-garde musician and poet Mircea Florian release with his band Florian din Transilvania in 1986 the LP "Tainicul vartej", who was the only avant-rock/kraut LP ever released in Romania before 1989, and just a few month later, Mircea Florian emigrate in Western Germany and the album was banned.

Thank you for contributing, informative post  Clap
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 10 2009 at 16:37
I'm baffled.
I'm so baffled that I don't know how to start... I don't even know WHAT to say.
The first two questions are interesting, but the last one...
About dictatorship and progressive rock (or any kind of rock music), just a few words/names:
 - Plastic People of the Universe (+ DG 307)
 - Yugoslavian Rock.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 10 2009 at 18:24
Your thread reminded me of this album:

Residents - Third Reich & Roll LOL


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 11 2009 at 04:50
A quick opinion would be that the regimes that you have mentioned appealed to nationalism and promoted classical and folk music that expressed their national identity.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 11 2009 at 06:23
Okay, a few words about Yugoslavian rock and Yugoslavian political climate here.

Yugoslavia was communist, socialists, people's and whatnot country with its dictatorship and cenzorships etc...Having a private company or stating religious feelings in public was highly discouraged.

However. Yugoslavia was very open for both Western and Eastern European tourists, Yuogoslav citizens were more or less free to travel whenever they wanted, Zamyatin's and Orwell's book were never banned, Hollywood movies were every night on state TV. Pop rock hits were all time on radio.

The level of opression was gradually falling down every decade from 50's to 80's.

Yugoslavia never signed neither a North Atlantic nor Warszaw treaty - it was a member of Non-Aligned Movement - which means all the things Third World - South America, Africa, Indochina etc. - were highly popular - culture, literature, art, music etc. I still remeber my mother used to lull me using some Indonesian song "saronkankini, saronkankana" as a lullaby. Quite a bizarre thing from today's perspective.

Anyway. Rock songs were filtered through cenzorship - if they were about religion or politics. Paradoxically, the most opressive attited towards rock began in the 80's - with the advent of punk and new wave, who were very bitter and critical aboout the politics. Still, it remains the most prolific scene of the former country, with hundreds of great artists - if by a chance this isn't ProgArchives but Punk&NewWaveArchives, Yugoslavia would be a giant next to USA, UK and Germany, I'm sure.

As far as Prog Rock goes - everything folk was, of course, widely popular; and anything even remotly related to jazz, which is quite obvious when you're discovering the Yu prog scene. Symphonic prog as a domestic phenomenon was literally non-existent; hard-rock ,avangarde and psychedelia were all popular to some degree. There was an explosion of artists and ideas, but unfortunatelly very few very able to enter a studio and release an album in the 70's, otherwise situation would be quite different.

Yugoslavian classic rock and prog scene is widely regarded as a good and very prolific around these circles, but I discovered here Polish ,Czechoslovakian, Hungarian and Romanian scenes (Which are great!!) and started thinking that perhaps Yu-rock is nothing special from a broader perspective, except for ourselves... I mean, it's great, but we could have been achieving  so much more. But the thing is, we're not only lazy Balkan b*****ds, we're actually proud of it.Emoticons

The war ended the story and brought some different mindsets, but art and culture of former countries is still influential to each other - which will yield some interesting results when bitter spirits settle down...but that's another story.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 13 2009 at 17:35
Luca, IMHO prog could NEVER be a dictature's soundtrack. I can imagine some folk soundscape during lega's reunions, but it's a poor approach to a cultural movement, intended only as blind roots achievement without a real comprehension or cultural growth. progressive music it's the real opposite, with it's inner complexity, to all that mus belong to a dictature's culture, as this need monolithic and non critic expressions, based on slogans and simple ways of expression. i could explain this better using my motherlanguage, italian, but i hope i've been clear enough. greetings to beppino and morenos' sfogliatine and Viti's ice cream !
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 13 2009 at 17:53
Originally posted by totem63 totem63 wrote:

Luca, IMHO prog could NEVER be a dictature's soundtrack. I can imagine some folk soundscape during lega's reunions, but it's a poor approach to a cultural movement, intended only as blind roots achievement without a real comprehension or cultural growth. progressive music it's the real opposite, with it's inner complexity, to all that mus belong to a dictature's culture, as this need monolithic and non critic expressions, based on slogans and simple ways of expression.
That's exactly what I think, in my first post I wrote "too complex" or something like that, I can't remember exactly.... what I wanted to write here, was: what would have happened to our genre if it took place in that period?
and... in what ways did dictature influence prog in other countries?
 
Originally posted by totem63 totem63 wrote:

greetings to beppino and morenos' sfogliatine and Viti's ice cream !
 
ConfusedConfusedConfused I can't believe it.... deunasega! where are you from?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 14 2009 at 13:35

Quote Plastic People of the Universe

Do you want to tell you something about them ? They're from our country and they are some kind of legend among people who loves other styles than mainstream. Of course, it's history now, so not so many remembers them.

There's a point where "avant-garde" and "experimental" becomes "terrible" and "pointless,"
   -Andyman1125 on Lulu



Even my cat believes that :-)
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 14 2009 at 17:25
i've walked a lot around victory square, lyon's square.... pappagallo's jewelry... gaggioli & vezzosi... gran bazaar.... looong time ago.... Wink
life's too short to listen all
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 27 2009 at 20:09
The Canadian "socialist utopia" gave you Rush, FM, Saga, Maneige, Voivod, Pollen, Max Webster and many eithers.  It was our "capitalist" side that gave you Alanis Morissette and Celine Dion. LOL
 
Sorry.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 15 2009 at 19:50

My guess?

Originally posted by Slartibartfast Slartibartfast wrote:


Residents - Third Reich & Roll LOL


All music would sound like this. There would be German Chubby Checker. 

"There seem to be quite a large percentage of young American boys out there tonight. A long way from home, eh? Well so are we... Gotta stick together." -I. Anderson
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