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Objectivist music

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mordecai
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I was surprised to discover a band from the country of Ragnar Danneskjold, and also my homecountry, Norway who seem to be heavily influenced by Objectivism. Their lyrics convey a specific objectivist message and they even make numerous references to Ayn Rands litterature.

The bands name is Spiral Architect

Here is a excerpt from their homepage:

"Spiral Architect is about continual development, idealism, and intensity. Spiral Architect is controlled anarchy. The aim is to make music that challenges the listener, as well as pushes the abilities of the musicians and man. "

They even made a song called "Fountainhead":

Fountainhead

[Music: Norberg, Gornitzka, Gundersen, Mickelson]

[Lyrics: Gornitzka]

Crave for no more, nor the self that would

Not even that which always is there

Needy of naught, but to be constrained

From any care and want of a selfish urge

What is needed save strengthened will of man

Fulfilment of all that is latent within

What is to fear, what do they hate?

How can they even bear to look at themselves

Those who love to crawl?

Near breaking point

From the bows you've made

Towards the constructed

Deity's power

Reverence due,

not to unseen mights

nor lack of clarity,

but to the well-known, familiar

ever present miracle of the

I, Fountainhead of... progress

How can anyone with serious integrity

abandon all that's left for me

and still be free to seek what's real?

Where's the logic thought,

the one thing that should be guide our way

throughout this solitary state that we call life?

Where's the I, Fountainhead of progress?

Truly inspiring lyrics.

Here is a link to their homepage where you can also hear some soundclips from their album A Sceptic's Universe

http://www.spiralarchitect.com/

To read their lyrics you can go here:

http://www.darklyrics.com/lyrics/spiralarc...csuniverse.html

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This would qualify as Objectivist music only in a concrete bound sense that they seem to use words associated with Objectivism and make references to Rand and her work (which she would have disapproved of). But that misses the point completely. "Objectivist music" (which really isn't a valid concept, but we'll ignore that for now) would not be "music that talks about Objectivist ideas" - it would be music that applies Rand's esthetic theory to music.

One of the principles of lyric writing that I think would be mandatory for an Objectivist band would be to eschew abstractions. Talking about "integrity" and "justice" in the context of a song is like throwing spoltches of paint on a canvas and claiming you were painting emotion. To elicit emotion, you need to create something concrete and particular that embodies that abstraction. It's much more powerful when Rush sings about The Trees then to pick up a guitar and read Galt's speech.

Now, I happen to think the most essential ingredient in music, from an Objectivist perspective, is not the lyrics, which are secondary or less, but the music itself. In my view, the best sense of life music is to be found in swing revival rock bands (Big Bad Voodoo Daddies, Cherry Poppin' Daddies, etc.), and good ol' rock n' roll (Billy Joel being my particular favorite). But those are opinions.

The fact remains, there is no music I would classify as Objectivism influenced in a proper esthetic sense. Certainly not what you posted.

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Now, I happen to think the most essential ingredient in music, from an Objectivist perspective, is not the lyrics, which are secondary or less, but the music itself.  In my view, the best sense of life music is to be found in swing revival rock bands (Big Bad Voodoo Daddies, Cherry Poppin' Daddies, etc.), and good ol' rock n' roll (Billy Joel being my particular favorite).  But those are opinions. 

I agree . . . from *any* perspective. :rolleyes: I would add some '80s music, including the Swedish band Roxette, to the "best sense of life" list. The Beach Boys being my particular favorite as far as the good ol' rock n' roll goes (with The Rolling Stones pretty high up there, too). And maybe I'll have to check out a little more of those Cherry Poppin' Daddies. It seems to me I liked something of theirs that was on the radio a while back.

I love Rush, too, but it has nothing to do with their lyrics. This is where Richard_Halley's point comes in. Those boys can play.

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I was surprised to discover a band from the country of Ragnar Danneskjold, and also my homecountry, Norway who seem to be heavily influenced by Objectivism. Their lyrics convey a specific objectivist message and they even make numerous references to Ayn Rands litterature.

I found an interview, which included a bit of information about the band's interest in Ayn Rand. If you care, the full interview is located here:

Spiral Architect Interview

In one question, the drummer Asgeir Mickelson is asked if there is an Ayn Rand fan in the band. He replies: "I know Lars [bass player and band leader] isn't an objectivist but I know he's found Ayn Rand's books interesting. Kaj [guitarist] also likes her books."

Judging from their lyrics, which I find vaporous, this band doesn't seem to take ideas seriously.

I also noticed that their song "Cloud Constructor" includes a part called "Being and Nothingness". After seeing that and reading the lyrics, I think they also found Sartre "interesting".

Unfortunately, I can't judge their music, because the download doesn't work for me.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well I myself have come across an instance of lyrics that seem to uphold Objectivist views. A single song, and the band obviously dosen't even know who Ayn Rand is or have any sort of set beliefs. They move from one idea to another rapidly, but I think they honestly understood the concept of "checking you premises" when they wrote this

"How many times will they do the same thing?

How did they get programmed to, your following?

Everyone's locked up in their suffering

The only way you can tell is reconsider everything

What if the truth is that there is no truth(Though at first this might seem like it is counter Objectivist views, but what I think they mean is that there might be no truth in what they tell you)

The only thing I can prove is there is no proof(same as above^)

Don't be so sure that your source is correct(Don't trust others over yourself)

People believed it before, before they had checked

How many times can they tell you

Til you just give them their way

How many times can sell you

Til you let them have their say

Every time you will ignore your

Heart it will come back twice more

Never deny your own instinct

Reconsider Everything

Everybody want something they control

Some just want grass some they want gold

Either way does it feel good or feel low

Taking you down not fast but real slow

Rebellion done for it's own sake

Does not a true free thinker make

To go against for it's own sake

You're still controlled by the course that the other man takes(This, sadly, is not Objectivist I have to admit)

Reconsider everything, reconsider everything

Reconsider everything, reconsider everything

Reconsider everything, reconsider everything

Reconsider everything" - Reconsider Everything- 311

But as you can see a good deal of it echos Objectivist ideas, but then agian I might just be hoping for something inside of nothing ;)

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What if the truth is that there is no truth(Though at first this might seem like it is counter Objectivist views, but what I think they mean is that there might be no truth in what they tell you)

Nah, I'm afraid the implication is pretty clear: It is possible that there is no truth.

The only thing I can prove is there is no proof(same as above^)
Yup, same as above. This could be right from the Skepticist Anthem--definitely not Objectivist!

Don't be so sure that your source is correct(Don't trust others over yourself)

Again, that's not what it says. It says "don't trust your source," regardless of what your source is. There is a difference between not trusting Al-Jazeera and not trusting your eyes--but the song conveniently ignores this difference.

People believed it before, before they had checked
Translation: "People believed Hitler. Don't believe anything."

Every time you will ignore your

Heart it will come back twice more

Never deny your own instinct

Reconsider Everything

Emotionalism, mysticism, skepticism...

Rebellion done for it's own sake

Does not a true free thinker make

To go against for it's own sake

You're still controlled by the course that the other man takes(This, sadly, is not Objectivist I have to admit)

:confused: Come ON, this is the only part of the song I actually like! "It isn't rational to rebel for the sake of rebellion; if you always do what others don't want you to do, you are not acting independently."

But as you can see a good deal of it echos Objectivist ideas, but then agian I might just be hoping for something inside of nothing :P

It seems to me you caught a pretty bad case of "Like the music, therefore I like the lyrics"-itis! ;)

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Well I still think given the context of the stements they are applying these ideas purely to believing what other people tell you. And about disliking that one part, I only disliked the one line "You're still controlled by the course that the other man takes" when reffering to rebelling for your own values.

Every time you will ignore your

Heart it will come back twice more

Never deny your own instinct

Reconsider Everything

About this, I again choose to think by heart they mean your values and need to uphold them, and by instinct your own logic.

Gah, I guess this really isn't that strong of an argument.

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  • 2 months later...

I am an objectivist and a musical composer. I agree that the most accurate assessment would be

"music that applies Rand's esthetic theory to music".

Not that she created any comprehensive (or even fully consistent) theory as such. But she did provide a good starting point in The Romantic Manifesto.

Any genre of music that uses basic principles of tonality could potential qualify. For example: from the baroque of Bach to the classical perfection of Beethoven to the romanticism of Tchaikovski to the pop of the Beach Boys & Beatles to the rock of Rush...all of these artists have pieces that are well-constructed and benevolent in nature.

I personally love Beethoven more than the rest because his music strikes me as the ultimate in large scale integration, passion and musical craftsmanship. Also, classical (and some romantic) music is in some ways much more capable than other genres of expressing the widest possible range of thoughts and emotions.

Nevertheless, different genres should probably be viewed simply as different tools at the artists disposal; not in a manner that would imply one is more inherently/intrinsically valuable than another. That would depend on the content, the intention of the artist and its value to the listener.

I use many different genres when composing and think each has its own strengths and weaknesses depending upon what I am trying to express.

Anyone interested can hear the results at my site: www.truthagainsttheworld.com

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Check out these lyrics from the Ben Fold's Five song "Philosophy" (especially the last verse):

Won't you look up at the skyline

At the mortar, block, and glass

And check out the reflections in my eyes

See they always used to be there

Even when this was all was grass

And I sang and danced about a high-rise

And you were laughing at my helmet hat

Laughing at my torch

Go ahead you laugh all you want

I got my philosophy

(It keeps my feet on the ground)

And I trust it like the ground

That's why my philosophy

Keeps me walking when I'm falling down

I see that there is evil

And I know that there is good

And the in-betweens I never understood

Would you look at me I'm crazy

But I get the job done

I'm crazy but I get the job done

So go ahead and laugh all you want

I got my philosophy

(It keeps my feet on the ground)

And I trust it like the ground

That's why my philosophy

Keeps me walking when I'm falling down

I pushed you cause I loved you guys

I didn't realize

That you weren't having fun

And I dragged you up the stairs

And I told you to fly

You were flapping your arms

Then you started to cry, you were too high

Now you take this all for granted

You take the mortar, block, and glass

And you forget the speech that moved the stone

But it's really not that you can't see

The forest from the trees

You just never been out in the woods alone

I've always enjoyed BFF and these lyrics have always stuck with me. I've never done any research as to whether or not the band really believed these sentiments but even so, it a rare song that hits me so close to home. Even just reading the words brings a tear to my eye.

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I personally love Beethoven more than the rest because his music strikes me as the ultimate in large scale integration, passion and musical craftsmanship.  Also, classical (and some romantic) music is in some ways much more capable than other genres of expressing the widest possible range of thoughts and emotions.

It is the impressive levels of integration that drew me to Wagner, despite his truly apalling philosophy and outlook on life.

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