This is the first extensive scholarly study of drone metal music and its religious associations, drawing on five years of ethnographic participant observation from more than 300 performances and 74 interviews, plus surveys, analyses of sound recordings, artwork, and extensive online discourse about music. Owen Coggins shows that while many drone metal listeners identify as non-religious, their ways of engaging with and talking about drone metal are richly informed by mysticism, ritual and religion. He explores why language relating to mysticism and spiritual experience is so prevalent in drone metal culture and in discussion of musical experiences and practices of the genre. The author develops the work of Michel de Certeau to provide an empirically grounded theory of mysticism in popular culture. He argues that the marginality of the genre culture, together with the extremely abstract sound produces a focus on the listeners' engagement with sound, and that this in turn creates a space for the open-ended exploration of religiosity in extreme states of bodily consciousness.
This book explores the ways in which music can engender religious experience, by virtue of its ability to evoke the ineffable and affect how the world is open to us. Arguing against approaches that limit the religious significance of music to an illustrative function, The Extravagance of Music sets out a more expansive and optimistic vision, which suggests that there is an ‘excess’ or ‘extravagance’ in both music and the divine that can open up revelatory and transformative possibilities. In Part I, David Brown argues that even in the absence of words, classical instrumental music can disclose something of the divine nature that allows us to speak of an experience analogous to contemplative prayer. In Part II, Gavin Hopps contends that, far from being a wasteland of mind-closing triviality, popular music frequently aspires to elicit the imaginative engagement of the listener and is capable of evoking intimations of transcendence. Filled with fresh and accessible discussions of diverse examples and forms of music, this ground-breaking book affirms the disclosive and affective capacities of music, and shows how it can help to awaken, vivify, and sustain a sense of the divine in everyday life.
Through in-depth case studies, Religion and Popular Music explores encounters between music, fans and religion. The book examines several popular music artists - including Bob Dylan, Prince and Katy Perry - and looks at the way religion comes into play in their work and personas. Genres explored by contributing authors include country, folk, rock, metal and Electronic Dance Music. Case studies in the book originate from a variety of geographic and cultural contexts, focusing on topics such as nationalism and hard rock in Russia, fan culture in Argentina, and punk and Islam in Indonesia. Chapters engage with the central issue of how global music meets local audiences and practices, and considers how fans as well as religious groups react to the uses of religion in popular music. It also looks at how they make these interactions between popular music and religion components in their own identity, community and practice. Tapping into a vital and lively topic of teaching, research and wider cultural interest, and employing diverse methodologies across musicians, fans and religious groups, this book is an important contribution to the growing field of religion and popular music studies.
U2 and the Religious Impulse examines indications in U2's music and performances that the band work at conscious and subconscious levels as artists who focus on matters of the spirit, religious traditions, and a life guided by both belief and doubt. U2 is known for a career of stirring songs, landmark performances and for its interest in connecting with fans to reach a higher power to accomplish greater purposes. Its success as a rock band is unparalleled in the history of rock 'n' roll's greatest acts. In addition to all the thrills one would expect from entertainers at this level, U2 surprises many listeners who examine its lyrics and concert themes by having a depth of interest in matters of human existence more typically found in literature, philosophy and theology. The multi-disciplinary perspectives presented here account for the durability of U2's art and offer informed explanations as to why many fans of popular music who seek a connection with a higher power find U2 to be a kindred spirit. This study will be of interest to scholars and students of religious studies and musicology, interested in religion and popular music, as well as religion and popular culture more broadly.
The Triple Crown Or the Power Course and Doom of the Papacy