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Thomas Adès: Full of Noises

Conversations with Tom Service

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Composer, conductor, and pianist, Thomas Adès is one of the most diversely talented musical figures of his generation. His music is performed by great opera companies, symphony orchestras, chamber groups, and music festivals throughout the world. But Adès has resisted public discussion of the creative process behind his musical compositions. Until now, the interior experience that has fired the spectrum of his work—from his first opera, Powder Her Face, to his masterpiece The Tempest and his acclaimed orchestral works Asyla and Tevot—has largely remained unexplained. Here, in spirited, intimate, and, at times, contentious conversations with the distinguished music critic Tom Service, Adès opens up about his work. "For Adès, whose literary and artistic sensibilities are nearly as refined and virtuosic as his musical instincts," writes Service, "inhabiting the different territory of words rather than notes offers a chance to search out new creative correspondences, to open doors—a phrase he often uses—into new ways of thinking in and about music."

The phrase "full of noises," from Caliban's speech in The Tempest, refers both to the sounds "swirling around" Adès's head that are transmuted into music and to the vast array of his musical influences—from Sephardic folk music, to 1980s electronica, to Adès's passion for Beethoven and Janácek and his equally visceral dislike of Wagner. It also suggests "the creative friction" essential to any authentic dialogue. As readers of these "wilfully brilliant" conversations will quickly discover, Thomas Adès: Full of Noises brings us into the "revelatory kaleidoscope" of Adès's world.

From Publishers Weekly

Sep 03, 2012 – For the past 12 years, music critic Service and Ad s have been talking about the ways that Ad s the brilliant composer, conductor, and pianist conjures his musical inventions from the sounds swirling in his head, how he reimagines the music of the past, from Beethoven to Ligerti, and the ways that his music explores the intersections of music and literature. Throughout 2011, the two met at Ad s s London home and recorded the interviews gathered in this new collection, which ranges over many of the same subjects and offers us a glimpse of Ad s s creative mind at work. Reflecting on the central theme of stability and equilibrium in music, Ad s observes that the music we listen to is the residue of an endless search for stability... that s the way I understand everything in musical history. Exploring the reasons he starts composing a certain piece of music, Ad s reveals that he s always been preoccupied by the why and how of composition. Early on, he thought that writing a new opera was purely the creation of an alternative reality into which one can escape. Now, however, he s come to the conclusion that you try to create a simulacrum of the real world, a reflection. The piece is a way of trying to make the real world real again, in a sense. Energetic, honest, and warm, these conversations between friends reveal the intricacies of the creative process and a deep and abiding love of music.
Thomas Adès: Full of Noises
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  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Published: Oct 16, 2012
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Seller: Macmillan
  • Print Length: 208 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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