The Mount’s Visual and Performing Arts Department was proud to feature the Mount’s Lab Band in the Europe Endless: A Concert and Panel on the Emergence of a Post-War European Identity on Monday November 14 and Tuesday November 15 in the Knott Auditorium. The Event was directed by Dr. Mark Carlson, and featured faculty guest speakers Dr. Alejandro Canadas, Dr. Elizabeth Strauss and Dr. Jack Dudley.
The concert featured the Lab Band performing various songs by British, German and American artists from the 1970’s and 1980’s. The artists on the program included Kraftwerk, David Bowie, the Sex Pistols, Brian Eno, Iggy Pop, Ultravox and Devo.
The event opened with Dr. Canadas giving a discussion on the state of Europe after the second World War. His discussion focused on the European economy immediately after WWII, and the political tensions between the Communist USSR and the Capitalist United States. The main argument of Dr. Canadas’s lecture was that even though Communism fell first, it is not necessarily the “true” government.
The next guest speaker was Dr. Stauss. Her discussion focused on the idea of a cultural resurgence in the 70’s, as many of the artists that were featured in the concert were born near the end of the war. These artists looked to examine the attitudes and emotional atmosphere of the time, and looked to this period as a source of inspiration for their lyrics.
Dr. Dudley spoke near the end of the program. His portion focused more on the lyrics in the songs themselves, and the idea of “postmodernity”. Postmodernity is a term that many scholars disagree on what its definition exactly is. Postmodernity is generally concerned with poly-stylism and how identities are formed. The lyrics reflect the social and class conflict of the era, and are more experimental than most songs that came before.
The purpose of the event, as Dr. Carlson stated, was “To use music as a way to facilitate interdisciplinary dialogue.” The idea of the event being a combination of a musical concert and discussion panel came from the Catholic Intellectual Tradition Seminar under Dr. David Cloutier. There was a “misunderstanding of certain genres of music that they [professors] believed them to be potentially evil and/or without value,” Dr. Carlson stated. The panel was introduced to make clear that these genres of music have value on their own, as well as in other academic disciplines. Dr. Carlson also stated that a concert helps to break up the monotony of a lecture or panel discussion.
Dr. Carlson hopes that this event will inform students that music is a medium not just for entertainment, but also for an area of study. Dr. Carlson also hopes to continue the concert panel format in future years. He says that the only hinderance for having more would be attendance. “I think there is a widespread attendance problem on campus,” Dr. Carlson stated. He also is concerned that more and more students are taking night classes, which can hamper attendance to events such as this. Dr. Carlson also encourages more cross-discipline events such as this concert to foster greater academic opportunities for students and for professors to have academic discussions.
The choice of music for the event was proposed by Dr. Carlson, who provided the list of artists that the students then narrowed down to what was performed on the program. The Lab Band students proposed their own track, Under Pressure by Queen and David Bowie, and Dr. Carlson was pleased that the Lab Band was able to perform it so well.
The performers in the Mount Lab Band include Bari Boyd, Patrick Collins, Kieran Damitz, Bryan Dorbert, Olivia Eldrenkamp, Aiden Jensen, Daniel Joya-Iglesias, Matthew Kennedy, Kateri Miller, James Wolfe and Joseph Wolfensberger.
Photo courtesy of Alex Krall.