Browsing by Author "Aittoniemi, Toni"

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  • Aittoniemi, Toni (Helsingin yliopisto, 2012)
    The history of Goa trance spans trough decades, its first cultural factors having been born in 60's USA and then developed in Goa, India through the 70's and 80's. After some of the same factors matured into sub-cultural traits in the western countries, the new attitudes towards the role of youth in society led to increased travelling and some discarding of the traditional sedentary lifestyles. Goa trance would develop to be the music, the identifier and the culture of full-moon parties and other celebratory meetings of a new group of travelling, globally mobile youth interested in exploratory self-development, self-actualization, mysticism and alternative lifestyles and spirituality. Goa trance came to Finland through movement of these people, by an international group of travellers following a Finnish national Ior Bock from Goa to Finland. Goa trance parties in Sipoo at his summer residence started in 1987 and went on until 1998. From 1988 onwards, a similar process would also start in other countries around the world. By 1992 new groups also going to Goa or similar destinations elsewhere already present would also start organizing Goa trance parties in Finland. First finnish experiments in Goa trance music production were conducted the same year. A historical study incorporating music analysis as the bridge between the cultural and the ethnographical is conducted in this research. It's hypothesis is that a system can be found in Goa trance music and that it reflects and represents the cultural values found by ethnographic methods. It also suggests that this system can then be used to track how Finnish Goa trance music-production and culture reflected the different facets of original and international Goa trance culture and how this transfer and synthesis took place. The study is largely material-based, relying on extensive interviews of important people in the 1990's Goa trance scene of Finland, recording artifacts on DAT-tape and c-cassette, and published musical works from the same time-period. Secondary sources include other, mainly ethnographic writings and articles on the topic and several documentary films. The socio-cultural and anthropologic studies of electronic dance-music cultures by Fikentscher, Thornton, Taylor, St. John, Saldanha, and D'Andrea are the precursors and the academic framework within which this study operates in. In addition to new ethnomusicology, the several fields of scientific methodologies applied to the material favor the cognitive, incorporating the ethnomusicology of John Blacking as well as psychoacoustics and cognitive models of musical experience. General cultural semiotics are likewise applied to support the models of behavior developed. A major part of the study is formed by music analysis. The analysis aims to find a system of characteristics that are common or unique, elements of style and then to apply these in the context of the cultural analysis. All the claims are supported by examples in notation transcribed from the materials. The methods of score-analysis include common ethnomusicological and western methodologies supplemented with modern metric theory from Hasty as adapted to analysis of electronic dance-music by Butler and several methodologies connected to it. The study also develops these methods further to form a suitable set of derived methodologies to better deconstruct the particular musical material at hand. Through the music analysis backed by ethnography, it can be seen that the music of Goa trance is a unique development of western electronic dance-music steered strongly into an oriental and mystic direction, simultaneously preserving much of the early hypnotic qualities of early rave-, acid- and techno music. It is highly functional and tied to facilitating a psychedelic experience in the trance-dance party. The early development of Goa trance music parallels that of rave-music and is interconnected, but also separate to a degree. The most prominent difference is that the music was tied to a copying and trading culture instead of depending on record labels for distribution. Finnish Goa trance music production delivered finished works to the DAT-tape trading circuit by 1995, and released works on CD and vinyl in 1996. The first releases were: 10 Years Loop EP by O*Men, Flippin' Bixies - Sörkkä Sonic and Apollo 3D by GAD. The sound of Flippin' Bixies was a more localized version of Goa trance, much more experimental and also ended up being more influential to the global soundscape that evolved from Goa trance: Psychedelic trance. Music analysis shows that a unique Finnish sound was present already in many of the early works of all these artists, and that it bears a kindredness to the kind of music that was also developing in Australia and Japan. International connections between the local music scenes and high international mobility of their agents led to very rapid exchange of music between the scenes and further development from 1997 onwards was bi-directional with new Finnish Goa-/psychedelic trance bands Texas Faggott and Kolmiokulmiosilmiö on the leading edge of it.