At the end of his life, Pierre Schaeffer commented that his musical and sound experiments had attempted to go beyond 'do-re-mi'. This had a direct bearing on Einstürzende Neubauten's musical philosophy and work, with the musicians always striving to extend the boundaries of music in sound, instrumentation and purpose.
The group are one of the few examples of 'rock-based' artists who have been able to sustain a breadth and depth of work in a variety of media over a number of years while remaining experimental and open to development. Jennifer Shryane provides a much-needed analysis of the group's important place in popular/experimental music history. She illustrates their innovations with found- and self-constructed instrumentation, their Artaudian performance strategies and textual concerns, as well as their methods of independence. Einstürzende Neubauten have also made a consistent and unique contribution to the development of the independent German Language Contemporary Music scene, which although often acknowledged as influential, is still rarely examined.
Contents: Vorwort, Blixa Bargeld; Part I Context for Destruction: Prologue: being there and not being there; Architecture, angels and utopia; Kattrin's drum; Free to make noise; Demon Berlin. Part II Performing Destruction: Prologue: 'They were always quoting Artaud'; Strategies against the body; Strategies against the corner; Strategies against the voice; Strategies against the scream; Strategies against the text. Part III Performing Reconstruction: Prologue: 'We know we have witnesses'; A small utopia; Conclusion: to infect others…; Postscript; Appendices; Bibliography; Index.
About the Author: Jennifer Shryane completed her first degree in English and History at the University of Cardiff in 1968. She went on to gain the Post-graduate teaching qualification at Kings, University of London, focussing on Drama and Theatre and taught until 2005. She gained her MA in Performing Arts at Liverpool University and completed her PhD in 2009.
Reviews: '… this book is an important contribution to the research of German popular music.' Popular Music
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