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Composing and Amercan Cultural Trauma: John Adams and September 11
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Cultural Sciences. Stockholm university. (Centrum för kultursociologi)
Skåne Regional Council.
2016 (English)In: Nordisk kulturpolitisk tidskrift, ISSN 1403-3216, E-ISSN 2000-8325, Vol. 19, no 2, 222-249 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The paper explores the possibility of understanding music as a contribution to an emerging cultural trauma. The case being explored is the Pulitzer Prize and Grammy winning piece of music On the Transmigration of Souls written by the American composer John Adams – the most frequently performed living American composer in the sphere of classical music. The piece concerns Adams’ response to September 11. It can, briefly so, be described as a sense of a spiritual journey integrating prerecorded street sounds with two choruses, large orchestra and the reading of, among other things, the names of victims. For Adams the artist is someone who uses his gift, as an autonomous art creator, and, at the same time, as a servant and craftsman, tries to lift the spirit of the listeners. While doing that he redefines his expressions in a rich dialogue with the past and challenges current times. In dialogue with the cultural trauma theory, as it is laid out within the strong program in cultural sociology, and with Michael Waltzer’s understanding of social criticism, the paper tries to tease out a cultural sociological understanding of how music as a historically embedded cognitive, moral and aesthetic expression could be part of an emerging cultural trauma, and hence how music, as art with relevance to life as it is lived and experienced, generates capacities for feelings for suffering others, social criticism, and democratic integration.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 19, no 2, 222-249 p.
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Social Sciences, Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-15231OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-15231DiVA: diva2:452428
Available from: 2011-10-29 Created: 2011-10-29 Last updated: 2016-12-16Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
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  • asciidoc
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