“We are persuaded that there is something after all- something essential waiting for all of us in the dark alleys of the world; aboriginally loathsome, immeasurable, and certainly nameless.” — Orson Welles on Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness”
I’ve been DJing at the Edwardian Ball since 2007. Every year I see the Ball push beyond the musty confines of the previous year, blossoming further peculiar elaboration upon an experience that lives and breathes through the lucid imagination of its professional audience.
It’s the vitality of this creative interpretation that fuels it. While Edwardian-era music and attire are certainly prominent at the Ball, the event continually shirks the shackles of a stale period reenactment party and instead invites attendees to participate in a flight of fancy that’s more often fictitious than historically accurate. That elusive period roughly beginning at the end of Queen Victoria’s rule and dissolving in the smoke of World War I is merely a conceptual starting point, a suggestive diving board.
Ball-goers utilize a safari of exaggerated apparel and preposterous pageantry from an encyclopedia both fact and fiction to stoke the flames of revelry and toggle transportation, not to any specific time, but to an event strangely outside of history itself. It’s the magic of this floating anachronism that peels back the everyday paradigm to highlight features of human existence that are so often muted in the prison of contemporary times.
Themes like the curiosity of invention, the danger of adventure, the measured savagery of seduction, and most especially; the comedy of the macabre (as championed in the works of Edward Gorey himself) are showcased and celebrated with near ritual abandon. I always aim to reflect these themes and experiences in the music.
Whether it’s a royal ballroom in 19th century Vienna, a salon in Montmartre during the Belle Époque, or an African caravan through Picasso’s rose period, the sights and sounds of the Edwardian Ball are a travel log of an antique incantation that beckons you to dress, dance, laugh, and conspire with the opulent mystery of mortality itself.
With the next Ball just on the horizon, I invite you for a sonic preview of worlds to come. Here’s DJ Delachaux’s 2013 Edwardian Ball Mix.
DJ/Producer Delachaux is San Francisco’s sonic evocateur par excellence. His intoxicating style of pouring vintage samples and exotic orchestrations over a barrage of saucy beats has fused a wild carousel of voluptuous voodoo and body-quaking bass that reflect the dilated discos and carbonated cabarets of Barbary Coast nightlife and have made him one of the Edwardian Ball’s most cherished maestros.
This post is part of a series showcasing the fabulous diversity of The Edwardian Ball. Have an Edwardian Tale of your own? Share it with us, and you could win tickets to the Edwardian!