2013 Abstracts Stage 3

Set Guitars to Kill: a Musical Examination of Post-Rock

Richard Anderson, 2013, Stage 3

The aim of my project was to examine Post-Rock music and to answer the question ‘is post-rock a philosophically sound musical genre?

To answer this question I looked at the Aesthetic Philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer using his work The World as Will and Idea primarily. I applied his thought to the music by a number of the bands from the Genre such as Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Mogwai, 65daysofstatic, Explosions in the Sky, And So I Watch You From Afar, Thee Silver Mt. Zion and Slint among others.

I also looked at the social and cultural philosophy of Theodor Adorno found in his works Dialectic of Enlightenment and The Culture Industry. I applied this philosophy to the general attitude of the genre, a genre that tends to be antilabel, anti- capitalist and anti-corporate. I used a number of interviews with bands and also with the founders of Record labels who sign a number of post-rock bands such as Constellation Records.

‘Cause this music can put a human being in a trance like state and deprive it for the sneaking feeling of existing. ‘Cause music is bigger than words and wider than pictures. If someone said that Mogwai are the stars I would not object. If the stars had a sound it would sound like this. – Mogwai – Yes I am a Long Way From Home (Opening Monologue)

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