Futurism and Musical Meaning in Synthesized Landscapes
Milburn, K (2013). Futurism and Musical Meaning in Synthesized Landscapes. Kaleidoscope. 5 (1), pp. 109-116.
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.
|Keywords||Synthesizer; Futurism; Synth-pop; Basildon; Yellow Magic Orchestra; Futurists; Electronica; Depictions of the Future; Urban Music; Music and Place; Music Representation of Place; Musical Landscape|
|Journal citation||5 (1), pp. 109-116|
|Publisher||London South Bank University|
|Web address (URL)||http://community.dur.ac.uk/kaleidoscope/index.php/kaleidoscope/index|
|02 Jan 2013|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||03 Apr 2018|
|Accepted||02 May 2012|
|Accepted author manuscript|
CC BY 4.0
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