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Embracing the Random: Essays on the Music of Tool, Esotericism and Creative Expression

Essays are invited which examine themes of the esoteric in the interconnected areas of popular culture which include the musical projects of Maynard James Keenan, visionary artwork (especially that inspired by Dimethyltryptamine (DMT)), and spiritual worldviews. This is a collection that proposes to explore these creative forms of expression, with a focus on how they manifest in contemporary Western contexts.

Such scholarly analyses of this area of popular culture will add new perspectives and insights into subcultures and lifestyles as well as into the specific art and music scenes.

Topics could include, but are not limited to:

 Occult and mystical symbology in the music of Tool

 Essays on Maynard James Keenan’s other bands, A Perfect Circle and Puscifer

 Dreams, visions, and DMT

 Visionary art and spirituality (in Western contexts)

 Entheogens and artistic expression (in indigenous Amazonian Amerindian cultural contexts)

 Judeo-Christianity and the lyrics of Tool

 Mathematics, sacred geometry, the physical universe, cosmology, and the music of Tool

 Analysis of the artwork of Alex Grey

 Lachrymology and pseudo-religions

 Esotericism, altered states of consciousness, and music subcultures

Essays are invited from scholars in the disciplines of ethnomusicology, music studies, cultural studies, study of religions, art history, philosophy, psychology, and related disciplines. Cross-disciplinary analysis is welcome.

Proposals should take the form of an approximately 300-500 word abstract, a provisional title, as well as a short biography (50-100 words). All proposals must be received via email by April 30, 2015. The word count of essays accepted for inclusion in the collection should be between 4,000 and 7,000 words.

Please send all proposals and questions to the editor, Dr Jenny Butler at and cc. to

images (5)


‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon:

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia:

Glenn Rikowski @ ResearchGate:

Online Publications at The Flow of Ideas:


Rikowski Point:

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