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Which prog artists and philosophers match?

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Toaster Mantis View Drop Down
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    Posted: September 22 2013 at 04:43
Earlier this week I had a discussion about some of my friends from university about how much Martin Heidegger's writing and Tangerine Dream's Zeit album correspond to each other right down to the record's title.



The ponderous, melancholic yet enraptured way and sheer ambition of scope with which both explore the incomprehensible vastness of the universe to any one person I find very quintessentially German capital-R Romantic. Both also take a tremendous amount of concentration and willpower to get into and really understand.

Speaking of the correspondence between German philosophy and progressive electronica, I also know that Klaus Schulze's discography is full of reference to Friedrich Nietzsche's life and work. It's a long time that I last read Nietzsche, though, and the feel I get from Schulze's music isn't really that similar to how I remember Nietzsche's thought and writing. It's just a bit too... Apollinian, to use the moustache's own terminology.

The most overtly Nietzschean electronic music I've heard is actually the US industrial/noise project NON, who are avantgarde but not really progressive... if that distinction makes sense.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote octopus-4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 22 2013 at 06:57
right down to the record's title. Confused


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Post Options Post Options   Quote Toaster Mantis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 22 2013 at 07:00
Yeah, all that's missing is that they called the first LP Sein and the other Zeit. They kind of really passed up an opportunity to make a philosophical inside joke there, now that they had made it a double album in the first place.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 22 2013 at 11:59
Hi,
 
Might be a stretch ... Novalis. Not sure the lyrics were direct or not as I do not know the language well enough.
 
I think there are others that are more subtle, and more on the literature side than "philosophy" ...
 
Patti Smith and Rimbaud (she is not the only one with that thought by the way)
Lori Anderson and Burroughs
Kitaro and Zen, or a version of Buddhism
Hawkwind and Michael Moorcock's vision in the early days helped fashion "In Search of Space" and many albums after that.


Edited by moshkito - September 22 2013 at 12:03
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 22 2013 at 12:59
Every Prog lyricist and Eeyore.
 
Oh... plus Bowie and Nietzsche (from the CliffNotes to Philosophy for Dummies)
 


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Post Options Post Options   Quote Toaster Mantis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 22 2013 at 15:06
Originally posted by moshkito

Kitaro and Zen, or a version of Buddhism


Not to mention Flower Travellin' Band, the title and cover art to Satori makes that pretty clear. There used to be a review for that LP on Metal-Archives analyzing it from precisely that angle, before FTB were taken off the site for not being metal enough.

I also think Jon Anderson from Yes at least dabbled in Buddhism at some point, the lyrical concept behind Close to the Edge being heavily informed by it.

Hawkwind and Michael Moorcock's vision in the early days helped fashion "In Search of Space" and many albums after that.


Reminds me: I find that in the non-prog side of things, Ministry (who are big HW fans) happen to match up very well with what William Gibson was writing at the time. (hey, Ministry are big HW fans)

Concerning those industrial groups that are on the archives, I need to find out about Throbbing Gristle's philosophical inspirations. Current 93's frontman David Tibet is apparently something of a walking encyclopedia of esoteric occultism, and in his youth he also flirted with obscure right-wing extremist ideologies - but dissecting C93's lyrics from this standpoint would probably take an entire academic career. Hell, even I don't understand what they're on about much of the time.

One thing's for certain, David Tibet is probably a huge fan of Mircea Eliade. That guy's one of the best known intersection points between those two pet topics of Tibet's, though nothing I've read by Eliade shows anywhere as much of a sense of humour as I've come to expect from C93.


Edited by Toaster Mantis - September 23 2013 at 02:02
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Post Options Post Options   Quote dr wu23 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 22 2013 at 20:44
Originally posted by Toaster Mantis




I also think Jon Anderson from Yes at least dabbled in Buddhism at some point, the lyrical concepts behind Close to the Edge and Tales from the Topographic Oceans being heavily informed by it.

[
 
No to be pedantic but he based it on The Autobiography Of A Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda which is Hinduism/Vedanta which is somewhat different to Buddhism.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Toaster Mantis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 23 2013 at 02:03
Duly noted, and corrected my post accordingly.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Ambient Hurricanes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 23 2013 at 12:27
Anderson's belief system is highly syncretistic; I don't know the specifics but it's likely that he's been influenced by both Hinduism and Buddhism, as well as Christianity and a great deal more religions and philosophies.  He would probably fit best into the broad and un-specific category of "new-age spirituality" which in itself is a syncretistic worldview.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote octopus-4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 23 2013 at 12:51
Originally posted by Ambient Hurricanes

Anderson's belief system is highly syncretistic; I don't know the specifics but it's likely that he's been influenced by both Hinduism and Buddhism, as well as Christianity and a great deal more religions and philosophies.  He would probably fit best into the broad and un-specific category of "new-age spirituality" which in itself is a syncretistic worldview.
On Jon and Vangelis "Page of Life" Journey to Ixtlan is a clear reference to Carlos Castaneda and the "second attention" on Brother of Mine (ABWH) is another.


Edited by octopus-4 - September 23 2013 at 12:52
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 23 2013 at 17:17
Originally posted by Toaster Mantis

Earlier this week I had a discussion about some of my friends from university about how much Martin Heidegger's writing and Tangerine Dream's Zeit album correspond to each other right down to the record's title.



The ponderous, melancholic yet enraptured way and sheer ambition of scope with which both explore the incomprehensible vastness of the universe to any one person I find very quintessentially German capital-R Romantic. Both also take a tremendous amount of concentration and willpower to get into and really understand.

Well, Zeit is definitely about time, though as an instrumental album how closely that relates to anyone's philosophy is open to debate. The cover notes to Zeit Paul Russell says "Zeit, which means 'time', was based on the strange if somewhat pretentious philosophy that time was infact motionless and only existed in our own minds". Not being a fan of philosophy (or of people quoting philosophers), I couldn't say whether that was Heidegger's or Kant's philosophy or Leary's or something Russell read somewhere once, but the track titles lend nothing to supporting any hypothesis of the album relating to "Sein und Zeit" and there are no lyrics to convey a philosophy with, so it is all in the act of creating the music, rather than the music itself.
 
And none of TD's other releases have any connection to philosophy in their titles so it's looking a bit tenuous.
 
Of course being predominately instrumental music, you can assign any meaning you like, that's often the goal of instrumental music.
 
 


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Post Options Post Options   Quote Progosopher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 23 2013 at 20:30
Originally posted by Ambient Hurricanes

Anderson's belief system is highly syncretistic; I don't know the specifics but it's likely that he's been influenced by both Hinduism and Buddhism, as well as Christianity and a great deal more religions and philosophies.  He would probably fit best into the broad and un-specific category of "new-age spirituality" which in itself is a syncretistic worldview.


I hear a connection between him and Krishnamurti's non-denominational spirituality. I think that fits better than any particular tradition.

Neil Peart has praised Ayn Rand and 2112 includes some of her ideas.

Ian Anderson has raised some philosophical issues on the nature of religion but I can't connect him to any particular philosophy.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote dr wu23 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 23 2013 at 23:20
Originally posted by Progosopher

Originally posted by Ambient Hurricanes

Anderson's belief system is highly syncretistic; I don't know the specifics but it's likely that he's been influenced by both Hinduism and Buddhism, as well as Christianity and a great deal more religions and philosophies.  He would probably fit best into the broad and un-specific category of "new-age spirituality" which in itself is a syncretistic worldview.


I hear a connection between him and Krishnamurti's non-denominational spirituality. I think that fits better than any particular tradition.

Neil Peart has praised Ayn Rand and 2112 includes some of her ideas.

Ian Anderson has raised some philosophical issues on the nature of religion but I can't connect him to any particular philosophy.
 
Anderson definitely has an eclectic taste in spirituality from what I can gather from his lyrics and Krishnamurti might be a good fit for him ....Krishnamurti is one of my favorite spiritual philosophers. I spent a year studying his ideas with a Hindu doctor that lived in my area.
I thought Peart had said he now rejects some of her ideas. But I may have misread that .
It seems to me Ian could easily be an atheist from what I can glean from his anti religious lyrics on several of his songs....but who knows?
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Toaster Mantis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 24 2013 at 02:12
Originally posted by Dean

Well, Zeit is definitely about time, though as an instrumental album how closely that relates to anyone's philosophy is open to debate. The cover notes to Zeit Paul Russell says "Zeit, which means 'time', was based on the strange if somewhat pretentious philosophy that time was infact motionless and only existed in our own minds". Not being a fan of philosophy (or of people quoting philosophers), I couldn't say whether that was Heidegger's or Kant's philosophy or Leary's or something Russell read somewhere once, but the track titles lend nothing to supporting any hypothesis of the album relating to "Sein und Zeit" and there are no lyrics to convey a philosophy with, so it is all in the act of creating the music, rather than the music itself.
 
And none of TD's other releases have any connection to philosophy in their titles so it's looking a bit tenuous.
 
Of course being predominately instrumental music, you can assign any meaning you like, that's often the goal of instrumental music.


That TD album just puts me into very much the same state of mind, or even gets me thinking of similar subject matter as Heidegger's writing. Not sure how well I can square that Paul Russell quote with Heidegger, though, but a major theme in that guy's thought is the focus on the less conscious structures behind human experience of the world. I might dig up some of the essays I've written about Heidegger at college to look for a connection. What I do know is that the post-modernist philosophy popular in Continental Europe in the 1960s and early 1970s was strongly informed by Heidegger and Nietzsche.

For the record I remember reading Edgar Froese gets the thematic inspirations for his music more from sculptors and painters than anything else, I think that's where he started out.


The element of religious syncretism in Jon Anderson's lyrics coming from Krishnamurti looks like an interesting angle, by the way. I'd until now have thought it was from Hermann Hesse or C. G. Jung or maybe Helena Blavatsky.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ghost_of_morphy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 25 2013 at 12:22
Originally posted by Progosopher

 
Neil Peart has praised Ayn Rand and 2112 includes some of her ideas.

It took twelve posts to get to the most glaring philosophy/lyrical connection?  And this goes way beyond 2112.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 25 2013 at 12:24
I thought he meant real philosophers. Stern Smile


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Post Options Post Options   Quote timothy leary Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 25 2013 at 12:29
^ should those two words be used in a sentence? real and philosophy?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 25 2013 at 12:33

Good point. Approve



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Post Options Post Options   Quote Toaster Mantis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 26 2013 at 02:14
The Rush/Rand connection is too obvious, yeah. Same thing with Isis' inspiration from Foucault. I think a lot of prog fans know either philosopher mostly for their lyrical inspiration on those two bands.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Progosopher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 28 2013 at 13:45
Originally posted by dr wu23

Originally posted by Progosopher

Originally posted by Ambient Hurricanes

Anderson's belief system is highly syncretistic; I don't know the specifics but it's likely that he's been influenced by both Hinduism and Buddhism, as well as Christianity and a great deal more religions and philosophies.  He would probably fit best into the broad and un-specific category of "new-age spirituality" which in itself is a syncretistic worldview.
I hear a connection between him and Krishnamurti's non-denominational spirituality. I think that fits better than any particular tradition. Neil Peart has praised Ayn Rand and 2112 includes some of her ideas. Ian Anderson has raised some philosophical issues on the nature of religion but I can't connect him to any particular philosophy.



 


Anderson definitely has an eclectic taste in spirituality from what I can gather from his lyrics and Krishnamurti might be a good fit for him ....Krishnamurti is one of my favorite spiritual philosophers. I spent a year studying his ideas with a Hindu doctor that lived in my area.

I thought Peart had said he now rejects some of her ideas. But I may have misread that .

It seems to me Ian could easily be an atheist from what I can glean from his anti religious lyrics on several of his songs....but who knows?

 


Just going by some of the more recent lyrics, I do think Neil has moved beyond much of Rand's thought. I myself have found some good insights from a collection of essays of hers, but for the most part I find her views simplistic, materialistic, and petty. I don' think Ian Anderson is an atheist per se but he certainly rejects organized religion.
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