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The Pink Floyd Intensity: Humanity, aesthetics and the breathless fan.

Wilsmore, Robert ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1584-6239 (2022) The Pink Floyd Intensity: Humanity, aesthetics and the breathless fan. In: Hart, C., Gregory, G. and Morrison, S., (eds.) Tear Down The Wall Pink Floyd: An Interdisciplinary Interrogation of the Music and Significance of Pink Floyd. London and New York, Routledge

The Pink Floyd Intensity v2 Mar18.pdf - Accepted Version

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On the cover of my copy of the single ‘When the Tigers broke free’ (1982) it says that it is taken from the album The Final Cut. As we know, it did not happen that way. The album title has so many possibilities attached to it: The finality of a life cut short, of a ruthless final solution to all (unwanted) life, of a band that was (or thought it was) at its end, of a song cut from an album.

The binary that a cut generates exposes constituent parts of the whole. Just as we split atoms to see what they are made of, so the split of Waters and Pink Floyd saw its human cry fly off in one direction and its smooth aesthetic in another. This chapter explores the dialectics of Pink Floyd’s music through the lived experience of an obsessed youth and the philosophy of an academic, both of whom are the same person. The humanity and aesthetic binary is over simplistic but the depth of what we felt owed much to how the authenticity of the cry was expressed in the sound (the Pink Floyd Intensity).

Analyzing music across Pink Floyd’s output, the chapter draws on my younger self to exemplify the depth of belief of a fan and, as a theoretical framework, dialectical constructs from Hegel to Žižek, in order to help understand how the sublation of humanity and aesthetics contributed to this belief and to the generation of such profound experiences. Pink Floyd’s music, coated in ‘gold leaf and all’ on the outside and razor sharp on the inside, moved through our facades and crumbled our walls, leaving us breathless. This chapter uncovers the elements behind this power to move, which, I hope, will ring true for those of us that experienced the ‘Pink Floyd Intensity’

Item Type: Book Section
Status: Published
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
School/Department: School of the Arts
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/2449

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