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Thomas Adès's ‘Freaky, Funky Rave’

Thomas Adès's ‘Freaky, Funky Rave’ ‘Ecstasio’, the third movement of Thomas Adès's 1997 orchestral work Asyla, draws heavily on gestures and forms of electronic dance music (EDM) in a manner analogous to the use of contemporary dance genres in the Romantic scherzo. The relative novelty of EDM in the symphonic repertoire led early critics of the work to focus their attention on the unusual gestures and forms that are alluded to in ‘Ecstasio’. The resulting emphasis on the social, political and physical implications of EDM promotes an oversimplified picture of the movement; no mention is made of those alternative processes that comment on, conflict with and ultimately compromise the topical utilisation of EDM within the movement. Through the exploration of the primary and secondary significations of EDM, and by virtue of a close reading of the musical procedures in ‘Ecstasio’, this article offers a reading that questions and contradicts the early critical reception of the movement and suggests instead an ambiguous yet probing artistic position towards EDM. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Music Analysis Wiley

Thomas Adès's ‘Freaky, Funky Rave’

Music Analysis , Volume 33 (1) – Jan 1, 2014

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Music Analysis © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
ISSN
0262-5245
eISSN
1468-2249
DOI
10.1111/musa.12020
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

‘Ecstasio’, the third movement of Thomas Adès's 1997 orchestral work Asyla, draws heavily on gestures and forms of electronic dance music (EDM) in a manner analogous to the use of contemporary dance genres in the Romantic scherzo. The relative novelty of EDM in the symphonic repertoire led early critics of the work to focus their attention on the unusual gestures and forms that are alluded to in ‘Ecstasio’. The resulting emphasis on the social, political and physical implications of EDM promotes an oversimplified picture of the movement; no mention is made of those alternative processes that comment on, conflict with and ultimately compromise the topical utilisation of EDM within the movement. Through the exploration of the primary and secondary significations of EDM, and by virtue of a close reading of the musical procedures in ‘Ecstasio’, this article offers a reading that questions and contradicts the early critical reception of the movement and suggests instead an ambiguous yet probing artistic position towards EDM.

Journal

Music AnalysisWiley

Published: Jan 1, 2014

References