Remembering Danish Electronic Music Pioneer Else Marie Pade
One could think of the life of electronic music pioneer Else Marie Pade (1924 – 2016) as a Carl Theodor Dreyer film, but soundtracked by outer-space drones. She played a key role in the development of electronic music and against the odds, came up with breakthroughs in sound and composition. At the age of 20, she was accused of being a spy and imprisoned by the Gestapo and coined her own notational system by carving music scores on the prison walls. At 89, living in a retirement home with her piano and a tape recorder, she planned to write an piece of music inspired by the sound of birds. This academic study argues that Pade’s most influential track, “Seven Circles,” laid the groundwork for Danish electronic music and sets her work in the wider context of the European avant-garde.