Thomas Adès: Full of Noises: Conversations with Tom Service

Front Cover
Macmillan, Oct 16, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 188 pages
1 Review

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.


What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


Full of Noises List of Works

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2012)

Thomas Adès is widely considered the foremost composer of his generation. His first opera, Powder Her Face, has been produced throughout the world; his 1997 orchestral piece Asyla won a Grawemeyer Award; and his 2004 opera The Tempest was staged at the Royal Opera House to huge critical acclaim. The Tempest premiered at the Metropolitan Opera in October 2012, with Adès at the podium. Adès was artistic director of the Aldeburgh Festival for a decade, has conducted orchestras from the New York Philharmonic to the London Symphony Orchestra, and has had festivals worldwide devoted to his music.

Tom Service writes about music for The Guardian, where he was chief classical music critic, and broadcasts for BBC Radio 3. He has presented Radio 3's flagship magazine program, Music Matters, since 2003. Service was the inaugural recipient of the ICMP/CIEM Classical Music Critic of the Year Award and a guest artistic director of the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. He is the author of Music as Alchemy: Journeys with Great Conductors and Their Ochestras.

Bibliographic information