EMS 09 -Abstract- Online Compositional Tools, Synectic Strategies and Free Trade of Knowledge; a Wish List for the Future of Electroacoustic Music

Edgar Barroso
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Electroacoustic music has inherited a tradition of collaboration. Technological advances in telecommunications have led to the first tools which became the genesis of electronic music. Collaboration with areas that apparently have no direct relations with the traditional conception of music has been a common place for electroacoustic music. Intrinsically, this heritage is pushing composers and developers to follow this tradition of collaboration with non-musical related areas of knowledge.  Moreover, everything points to the fact that this is just the beginning, and this trend will expand to unimagined levels in the coming years. This presentation proposes three critical aspects that will play an important role in the future of electroacoustic music: Online Compositional Tools, Synectic Strategies and Free Trade of Knowledge.

Recently, internet offers a vast number of free/commercial software and online applications for sound production. In the following years we will witness online high quality realtime multimedia applications that will enhance collaboration concerning composition and performance of any form of sonic experimentation. In despite on all the advances in these tools, the paper will not focus in the technology, but in the compositional impact on the users and the social implications of them. These applications willallow users to realize alliances in a simultaneous manner. Composition, performance will have a similar platform as online video games, where people from all over the world will get online to create or to collaborate with any form of sound art or interdisciplinary task. With appropriate tools, creation groups or "bands" will emerge. An increasing amount of Digital Art will be the result of collectiveness rather that individuality.

A key element for these phenomena is that these interfaces will be enriched through collaborations with other areas of knowledge, in other words music will move to towards a synectic approach to creation. As defined by William Gordon, Synectics is an approach to solve problems based on the creative thinking of a group of people from different areas of expertise. This technique provides a systematic approach to a new way of thinking and creation which opens a new gate of using artistic features to improve other areas of knowledge. In David Edwards words, the production ofArtscience.

The presentation will also show some results of one year of work with the Open Source Creation Group at Harvard. A group of five PhD students from Harvard University, dedicated to share and develop artistic and scientific ideas. The members have different backgrounds such as Literature, Music, Physics, Medicine and Government. We will show how a Synectical approach towards knowledge and creation between different professions enables researchers to find common interests, helps to solve problems in a more efficient way and enhances novelty also in electroacoustic music and/or in another kind of hybrid electronic art form. These individual objects of knowledge will be part of a free trade, and unlimited exchange that will give a new contour to interdisciplinary. Finally, the presentation will explain how in spite of all these major changes of cross-disciplinarity, a self-sustained electroacoustic art will prevail. The treatment of sound alone is indispensable to develop the objects of knowledge, which composers and programmers will exchange in the knowledge market.

Edgar Barroso

PhD Candidate in Music Composition
Harvard University
Harvard University Studio for Electroacoustic Composition (HUSEAC)