Keywords: music, love, relationality, politics, neoliberalism
Following a brief questioning of the notion of ‘context’ vis-à-vis ‘ambiance’ as an analytical category which has so far attracted limited attention in music scholarship, the paper explores the ambiances of love in popular song as spheres of affective subjectification and embodied knowledge. It focuses on the exploration of the political concept of love in the work of the singer-poet-musician Yiannis Angelakas, one of the most prominent figures of popular music in Greece. Angelakas’ politics of love, are interpreted here in the light of recent philosophical thinking on love as a political concept, as it has been addressed in the writings of Alain Badiou, Roland Barthes, Michael Hardt and Laurent Berlant. In the sonic-lyrical world of two of his most popular songs, ‘Akouo tin Agapi’ (‘I Listen to Love’) and ‘Giorti’ (‘The Fest’), the sentimental subject risks entering a regime of relationality, which becomes an ontologically constitutive process providing the means for collective transformation. Love thus materialises the pending desire of the ever dispossessed lover for radical transformation, even if loss is a constitutive part of this process.