Composing EDMC Possession Trance Methods in Urban Electronic Folk Music Culture Dr. Rupert Till Senior Lecturer in Music Technology University of Huddersfield DJ, club promoter, clubber, since 1991
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Possession Trance Methods in Urban Electronic Folk Music Culture
How does music act
to send people into a trance?
What techniques are used?
This rhythm is very common in African and Latin Music. It creates off beats and syncopation
There is also complex interaction of duple and triple time (3 or 4)
bell| GO * GO * GO GO * GO * GO * GO |
clap| dzi * * dzi * * dzi * * dzi * * |
Both|(B) * GO dzi GO GO dzi GO * (B) * GO|
Top part is
Lower Part is simply three quavers
This combination includes multiple time signatures and
syncopation, disguise and confusion of where the first beat of
the bar lies, confusion of phrase lengths. When dancing the
body is put into and then removed from being synchronised
to the beat.
interlock of parts important
Donna Summer. listen for the triplets
Hyper-ventilation raised heart and breathing rate can alone cause trances
Lasers (above) Mandala (right)
What is going on?
Liquid Modernity = post-enlightenment
‘postmodernity … brings ‘re-enchantment’ of the world after the protracted and earnest, though in the end inconclusive, modern struggle to dis-enchant it … Dignity has been returned to emotions; legitimacy to the ‘inexplicable’, nay irrational, sympathies and loyalties which cannot ‘explain themselves’ in terms of their usefulness and purpose.… Fear of the void has been blunted and assuaged … we learn to learn to live with events and acts that are… inexplicable. Some of us would even say that it is such events and acts that constitute the hard, irremovable core of the human predicament.
The importance of music in ritual, and, as it were, in addressing the supernatural. This seems to me to be truly a universal, shared by all known societies, however different the sound. Another universal is the use of music to provide some kind of fundamental change in an individual’s consciousness, or in the ambiance of a gathering….And it is virtually universally associated with dance; not all music is danced, but there is hardly any dance that is not in some sense accompanied by music.
Bruno Nettl, An Ethnomusicologist Contemplates Musical Universals, in Nils L. Wallin, Bjorn Merker, Steven Brown (eds), The Origins of Music, (Cambridge, 2000), p. 469.
‘These ingredients of ecstatic rituals and festivities – music, dancing, eating, drinking or indulging in other mind-altering drugs, costuming and/or various forms of self-decoration, such as face and body painting – seem to be universal’
Heelas and Woodhead, p.53
unlike a primary institution like the Catholic Church
Perhaps it was millenium fever?
‘Tonight I’m gonna party like its 1999’.
Prince - Purple Rain
in Exploring Religion and the Sacred in a Media Age, ed. Chris Deacy, Ashgate, Forthcoming.
To dance is to inscribe music in space, and this inscription is realised by means of a constant modification of the relations between the various parts of the body. The dancer’s awareness of his body is totally transformed by this process. Insofar as it is a spur to dancing, therefore, music does appear to be capable of profoundly modifying the relation of the self with itself, or, in other words, the structure of consciousness. Psychologically music also modifies the experience of being, in space and time simultaneously.
The possession cult of EDMC is an artefact of the post-enlightenment. (call it postmodernity, posthistorical or liquid times, the modernists can stay in the past with their high modernity).
It is part of reconstruction and reenchantment, of the new reformation.
It is taking on roles fulfilled in the past by mainstream religions.