Evading do-re-mi: Destruction and utopia: A study of Einstürzende Neubauten
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AbstractThis thesis represents the first comprehensive examination in English of the work of the Berlin-based music collective, Einstürzende Neubauten. It intends to offer evidence that the sonic forays of this group have not only defined a particular cultural moment but have also created new musical possibilities (to appropriate words from Brandon LaBelle). It does this by investigating why the work of these musicians is important within contemporary music, what cultural concerns their music reflects and how the music is created, performed and disseminated. These questions are explored through a range of contexts, including post-war Berlin, Germany’s problematic relationship with music, the development of Musique Concrète, Noise/Music and strategies for creative independence. There is a detailed analysis of Neubauten’s performance and textual techniques. This thesis argues that Einstürzende Neubauten are one of the few examples of ‘rock-based’ artists who have been able to sustain a breadth and depth of work over a number of years while remaining experimental and open to development; that their work offers evidence that they are one of the most complete examples of Artaudian practice in contemporary performance and that their Supporter Initiative (2002-2007) provided a unique working strategy for independence of the consumerist model of music. Finally, it argues that their work helps to present the case for the re-evaulation of European, non-English language contemporary music. Note -this version contains German spellings, corrected after final submission at the author's request.
TypeThesis or dissertation
SponsorsUniversity of Chester Gladstone Research Fellowship
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