Music as a Religious Experience?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by PastorJay, Jul 25, 2021.

  1. PastorJay

    PastorJay Friend of Leo's

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    I'm watching a show with SRV's appearances on Austin City Limits from 83 and 89.

    I've been in two bands that covered these tunes. And heard countless bands cover them.

    Those tunes will put people on the dance floor. But it's often far from the same compared to either SRV or the artists he was very creatively covering..

    Listening to Muddy Waters or Sonny Boy #2, or some of the Cream live recordings, not to mention SRV, just to name a few examples, can be a religious experience.

    To paraphrase MLK: Everybody searches for meaning. So everybody has the blues.

    I hear the search for meaning in some music of the artists I've mentioned above, and some others. That search for meaning is what I mean by religious experience.

    I hear it less often, but sometimes, in other bands, including the infamous "BLOOZE JAMS", that I hear or attend.

    What music is or approaches a "religious experience" for you?
     
  2. P-Nutz

    P-Nutz Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Without getting into religion, music is always an experience.
     
  3. Doomguy

    Doomguy Tele-Meister

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    I like a lot of trippy drone type stuff but bands like OM and Bong really... I don't even know what to say. Listening to these bands is some sort of transcendent experience for me.



     
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  4. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    Music is used in many cultures to put people in an ecstatic state of transcendence. Whirling dervishes, tribal dancing, gospel,…. so many examples of people touching the divine via music, often in large groups. Dead concerts and raves are just more modern versions….
     
  5. drmordo

    drmordo Tele-Afflicted

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    I've given this cd to two friends, one a pro drummer and the other a girl I was dating. Later, both of them told me about the amazing moment where Coltrane comes in following Tyner's blistering solo. Of course, I already knew about it, but I was pleased they heard it. I'm not going to tell you the time it happens because you have to listen to the lead-up to "get it". I just listened to it again and still get goose bumps.

    Elvin Jones!

     
  6. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    I don't have religious experiences, although I willingly went to church starting at age 10. Whenever I improvised in a Beethoven kind of style, the older members thought I had a gift from god. I was happy to know that they experience my music that way.

    Going from memory here, some may remember Brian Jones' interest in Moroccan Sufi music. He released an LP of the Pipes of Pan at Joujouka, an early example of what came to be called World Music. In order to write a review of it, the critic Robert Palmer travelled to Morocco. He fell in with a Sufi band and fell in love with their music. He had a good rapport with them, and they offered him a place in group, after going through a crazy night of improvisation. I'm not sure what substances were involved, but Palmer woke up laying on the side of a hill with no recollection of how he got there. The musicians found him, and welcomed him into group. One of my roommates was Palmer's daughter, now a professor film in New York. She made a documentary of that experience, called The Hand of Fatima.

    His daughter, Augusta, came to Iowa for a job interview a few years ago. She played some footage the group, called a 4,000 year old rock ban by William Burroughs. During the performance, Augusta and a traveling companion, sat enthralled with the music. When the music started to grow in intensity, the two women started doing some kind of motion with their heads. It was like when listeners nod their heads on the beat. In their case, they kind of rolled their head around their neck and shoulders. I wonder if that was a New York World Music thing. Interesting how we express our solidarity with the music. [I think the head rolling was actually a combination of the moderate side to side motion that I've seen in Indian music, with a nod or bob on the beat.]
     
  7. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    The Grateful Dead, when in their groove, could move the Earth. The trick was being at the show when that occurred because it didn't happen every night.
     
  8. naveed211

    naveed211 Friend of Leo's

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    Not everyone’s cup of tea and that’s okay. But in any case, I saw Dredg live in about 2003, and this was their last song. I recall being enveloped in sound, and can report feeling what I can only describe as “blissful” particularly from the last chorus on. It didn’t feel as if I was part of my body anymore. I don’t think I’ve felt that in a live experience or while listening to music since. Skip to around 4:30 to get to that.
     
  9. dlew919

    dlew919 Doctor of Teleocity

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    The first time was the boomtown rats I don’t like mondays. The second time was queen radio Gaga. Then Thousands more.

    playing in a band where you get what czikzensmahai called 'flow' where you are not consciously aware of what you’re doing. Amazing.
     
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  10. Addnine

    Addnine Tele-Holic

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    You can't talk about whether something is a "religious experience" without defining "religious"or "religion," which is notoriously difficult, even if one limits one's definition to the major religions. Major forms of Buddhism, for example, can reasonably described as atheistic, which does real violence to the usual niave understanding of what religion is. The elaborate and colorful mythologies in Catholicism and much of Hinduism are very different from the cool, minimal reflective practices of other religions. A definition of religion is possible, but the results tend either to be uselessly vague, in an effort at covering so varied of topic, or contentiously, often polemically narrow: more ideology than analysis.

    Discussion generally on religion these days is very debased, limited generally to ideological whining over religion described in so childishly caricatured a manner that no actual discourse is possible, or intended. A serious discussion of religion is a fascinating thing. Whining based on a deliberate or lazy misunderstanding and misrepresentation of religion is not.

    I'll only say that for me music can conduce to moments which I would describe as religious, as I have come to understand the term, but that such experiences have little to do with the dogma and paraphernalia often associated with "religion."
     
  11. dougstrum

    dougstrum Friend of Leo's

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    I think it is, music feels like something that originates outside myself; something that is bigger than I am.
    That feeling of being in the zone when playing is akin to a religious experience for me~
     
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  12. nickmsmith

    nickmsmith Tele-Holic

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  13. P Thought

    P Thought Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Maybe transcendence is a better word.

    The Traffic song "Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys" used to have that effect on a group of people I remember....
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2021
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  14. rand z

    rand z Friend of Leo's

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    The Beach Boys recordings from the Brother Records years, provided me with feelings that I can't describe to this day.

    But, I believe it had something to do with thought, nature... and Transcendentalism.

    I've talked with a few others who went through similar experiences listening to those recordings.

    Brian Wilson is an exceptional individual; and it's quite possible, imo, that he was "tapping" into something quite beautiful and inexplicable.

    Strange, but I can still feel it when I listen to those records:

    Wild Honey
    Pet Sounds
    Holland
    Surf's Up
    20/20
    Smiley Smile
    Sunflower
     
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  15. Willie Johnson

    Willie Johnson Tele-Afflicted

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    A Love Supreme for sure checks all of these boxes. Axis Bold as Love too. I liked the comment above about how this experience is universal across cultures--Joseph Campbell is smiling somewhere.
     
  16. hnryclay

    hnryclay Tele-Meister

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    Dont you see this often in modern christianity? Not at all a criticisim, but the few times I have attended a newer non denominational church, they played emotionally provoking trance like songs for 30 minutes or so, the audience would sway and the worship leader would repeat certain segments around chord changes to build excitement. Very similar to a dervish dance.
     
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  17. Lawdawg

    Lawdawg Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm not one for mysticism or hocus pocus, but music can certainly take you to a transcendent place. The way music can help me get outside of my immediate thoughts is one of the reasons I remain so passionate about it. I can give lots of examples, but the first time I heard Halleluwah by Can was like that. Notwithstanding the name, the track itself has no real spiritual connotation as far as I can tell but the repetitive groove and beat combined with the ethereal vocals put me into that headspace.
     
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  18. Chandlerman

    Chandlerman Tele-Meister

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  19. sax4blues

    sax4blues Poster Extraordinaire

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    Stairway?
     
  20. tanplastic

    tanplastic Tele-Afflicted

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    Transcendence for me:
     
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