30 immolated ; 16 returned for extreme metal band, soprano, live electronics, and theatrical component, with accompanying document

  • Author / Creator
    Brophy, Daniel J
  • My thesis work, 30 immolated ; 16 returned, reflects the systematic transgression of sexual taboos found in the Marquis de Sade’s 120 Days of Sodom through a 30 minute sonic and dramatic work, comprised of extreme metal, harsh noise, and avant-garde composition, live electronics, and an integrated dramatic theme. My goal for this project is to place the observer into an environment of oppressive sensorial input that reflects the setting of 120 Days of Sodom. To achieve this, an extreme metal quintet begins by playing rigidly structured music that, through the gradual transgression of the performance style and techniques, and the introduction of reflexive electronic instruments (REIs), gives way to chaos. The gradual transgression is handled via improvisation and noise-based extended instrumental techniques communicated through customized notation. In addition, the sonic portion is augmented by an integrated dramatic element choreographed by Gerry Morita and myself and comprised of three actors that transposes the story into a modern human sex trafficking party with costumes and props. The actors gradually become part of the musical ensemble through the introduction of REIs whose appearance and manner of performance reflect torture devices from 18th century France. The title of my work receives its name from the final tally of murders that takes place within the four months at the château in Sade’s text: “Whereof thirty were immolated and sixteen returned to Paris” (Sade 1785, 672). Death is not the end for all, as the libertines choose sixteen victims to return with them to Paris and further serve their needs – which begins a new cycle where the fear of death is replaced with that of living. The accompanying document is a paper which will take the form of a historical overview of Sade and the 120 Days of Sodom, a description of the extreme metal ensemble, the dramatic elements of the work including the collaborative process with the choreographer and the dancers, an analysis of the compositional process, and a conclusion including a review of the premiere and summary of this document. Supplemental material related to this thesis is available at

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2017
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Music
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Ingraham, Mary (Musicology)
    • Sandred, Orjan (Music Composition and Theory)
    • Hannesson, Mark (Music Composition)
    • Loveless, Natalie S. (Contemporary Art and Theory)