Futurism and Musical Meaning in Synthesized Landscapes

Journal article


Milburn, K (2013). Futurism and Musical Meaning in Synthesized Landscapes. Kaleidoscope. 5 (1), pp. 109-116.
AuthorsMilburn, K
Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to explore how musicians engaged with a particular form of technology, the synthesizer, to create imaginative geographies of the near future. It examines the output of numerous ‘synth-pop’ acts involved in the production of this commercially successful, urban-focussed music, focussing on the period between 1977 and 1984. Attention is given to how this music both embedded and self-consciously reflected notions of futurism, a theme that, until that time, had largely been neglected in popular music. The role of earlier futuristic visionaries, such as Fritz Lang, JG Ballard and Stanley Kubrick, in shaping musicians depictions of futurism is highlighted. Throughout, the music is interpreted by situating it within the specific cultural, economic and socio-technical realms in which it was produced. Whilst the emphasis is on debates concerning futurism that were played out within a British musical context reference is also made to related significant developments that occurred outside the UK.

KeywordsSynthesizer; Futurism; Synth-pop; Basildon; Yellow Magic Orchestra; Futurists; Electronica; Depictions of the Future; Urban Music; Music and Place; Music Representation of Place; Musical Landscape
Year2013
JournalKaleidoscope
Journal citation5 (1), pp. 109-116
PublisherLondon South Bank University
Web address (URL)http://community.dur.ac.uk/kaleidoscope/index.php/kaleidoscope/index
Publication dates
Print02 Jan 2013
Publication process dates
Deposited03 Apr 2018
Accepted02 May 2012
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY 4.0
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https://openresearch.lsbu.ac.uk/item/87945

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