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Uwe Steinmetz

Exploring the Potential of Jazz as Sacred Music

Contact: uwe.steinmetz@hsm.gu.se

Uwe Steinmetz at Fabrik Hamburg in 2015Sacred Music in all cultures of the world expresses ideas of what is sacred in the respective culture and shares transformative experiences of the holy or the transcendental within a ritualistic way of performing and listening. From a post-secular perspective, Sacred Music comments on the unspeakable, the unsayable depths and mystery of our human situation with an artistic language that opens a space for reflection, that spoken language is not able to provide.

My research focuses on Christian Sacred Music that was performed outside of churches and perceived as religious or liturgical music with being equally at home in the church and the concert hall (Messiaen), and the Sacred Jazz tradition (Coltrane, Ellington, Blade). I am questioning how musical composition and improvisation can be influenced and shaped by theological concepts and religious experiences of the musicians and how it might affect the perception for their audiences. I look at cross connections between the disciplines of Music Theology and Jazz Music Theory starting with the roots of Spiritual Jazz in the 1960s in the USA and Europe till today. My aim as an active performer and composer is to formulate my own musical language of Sacred Jazz with new compositions and performances inside and outside of churches in different cultural and denominational contexts, and describe this in musicological and theological terms. I hope to show, how Jazz as Sacred Music can be speaking of sacred knowledge (Habermas), of faith within a post secular society.

Research blog: www.liturgicaljazz.com

Page Manager: Tobias Egle|Last update: 9/19/2017
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