Bastianello, O. (2022). Shamanic aspects in rock music performance: An organic-narrative inquiry into the lived experience of four women singers [Unpublished Master’s thesis]. Alef Trust & Liverpool John Moores University.

This qualitative study investigates shamanistic aspects in rock performance and relative contributing factors, through the stories of four women who sing and play in rock bands. Elements in their performance are analysed through a Narrative and Organic Inquiry, which emphasize the voice of participants and researcher in the development of major themes. Some rock stars are recipients of religious-like adoration, and the parallel between shaman and rock-star has been previously explored. However, literature on the topic is limited, and lacking in perspective of performers and particularly women’s performance. The study found that the participants can experience intense spiritual and transcendent moments during their concerts, that present similarities to the shaman’s activity. These included entering an altered state of consciousness, empowerment, adopting ritualistic aspects in performance, including embodiment of a stage-persona, and a degree of service and energy exchange with the public. Whilst the performers may not be considered as shamans, due to substantial differences in experiences, ontology, and cultural context, they can be seen as shaman-like figures. The richness and intensity of their experience is found to be empowering and enriching to them and potentially the audience.

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