If considered a machine, the listening body becomes fluid. Its function is only specific to the connections it forms with other machines. (Deleuze and Guattari: 1988, 4) What it means, according to Deleuze and Guattari, is what it does. (Ibid) My first experience of listening to electroacoustic music was not a musical one. What the music did to me was force me to rethink many years of classical training. My reaction, as was echoed by most of my peers, was that ‘this is NOT music’. It called into question everything I thought I knew about music.
This paper documents sound recording approaches for immersive multiple loudspeaker acousmatic composition. The notion that spectrum and spatiality are inseparable is supported by perspective-based recording approaches (foreground, middleground and background) that serve to simplify real-world sound environments. A hybrid approach is proposed as findings suggest that it is not possible to limit recording, and in turn re-presentation, to one optimal method.
The paper discusses how electroacoustic music has developed, and develops rapidly, with the technologies and societies that nourish it. Core values, aesthetic directions and artistic concerns have changed over time, as has public interest and focus in the various aesthetic iterations of technology-based music.
Quelle est aujourd'hui la place de la musique électroacoustique sur la place publique? Quel est le rôle des institutions — studio de production, centre de recherche, institutions d'enseignement — dans le portrait général de la musique électroacoustique? Combien y a-t-il de sociétés de concert électroacoustique professionnelles dans le monde? À qui s'adressent les musiques électroacoustiques d'aujourd'hui? Autrement dit, pour paraphraser un titre utilisé par le GRM dans les années 70, L'électroacoustique du futur a-t-elle un avenir?
1. Tracing the author's encounters with and incorporation of Auditory Scene Analysis
The word 'Texture' has a common use among spanish and english spoken musicians. However it seems to have a precise musical meaning for not a long time ago. For example: it didn´t appeared as such until 1954 in the Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians edition, and it didn´t has a reference in the 1933 edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. And there´s a very similar situation in Spanish.
From time to time I hear a categorical commentary about myself that lets me thinking on the limitations of the intellectual capacities of the people who make it; a very irritating situation: “Flo, take care, the tropical tempest of this afternoon will cut off the energy for many hours!” This fact implies in their vision that I cannot make my music as long as we have no electricity.
La musique « a priori » á été l’objet du réflexion du « Traité des objets musicaux » de Pierre Schaeffer :
« A partir de la musique sérielle dont les règles, déjà, se formulaient comme une algèbre, se sont élaborées des « musiques a priori », dont le souci dominant parait être celui de la rigueur intellectuelle, et d’une totale emprise de l’intelligence abstraite….«(1966, p. 20)
Las diferencias que existen entre los materiales sonoros y visuales han sido objeto de complejas polémicas sobre las correspondencias entre sus propiedades. Artistas y teóricos de distintos perfiles (como Wagner, Kandinsky, Eisenstein, Schoenberg, McLaren y Chion, entre otros) se han enfocado en esta situación desde diversos ángulos. Sin embargo, las relaciones que se pueden establecer entre sonido e imagen al interior de procesos creativos parecen obedecer a lógicas complejas que han sido difíciles de formalizar.
El concepto de transducción ha sido evocado en investigaciones previas en referencia a una técnica utilizada para establecer circulaciones de información entre elementos de la imagen y el sonido en la composición asistida por computadora (Sedes et al., 2003). Este artículo aborda el concepto de transducción como una herramienta para describir y analizar los mecanismos que permiten crear transferencias de elementos entre los ámbitos sonoro y visual a diferentes niveles de procesos de composición. El objetivo es establecer un marco conceptual en el que sonidos e imágenes puedan ser puestos en interacción a través de la transducción. Varias disciplinas (tales como la composición musical, las artes visuales, la musicología, las ciencias cognitivas, la arte-terapia, entre otras) podrían beneficiarse de la aplicación de este concepto.
This paper closes a cycle intended to encourage advanced wind instruments and composition students from the School of Music, Rosario National University, in the mixed media works practice. As the result of our work, we developed a pedagogic method, which is, at present, in its experimental phase. This method is currently being implemented in Max/MSP.
At the beginning of this research, theoretical fundamentals were set based on the following fields related to the contemporary composition techniques:
Sound object perception, problems related to durations and rhythmic grouping, use of instrumental extended techniques and work on musical notations. It was in the course of the research (after the first practices), when the need arose to extend the theoretical framework and include other features, such as gesture and representation.
Heritage and Future...an enticing proposition for the forthcoming EMS09 symposium in Buenos Aires. Heritage, our common memory, the many things we have shared during this last half century of electroacoustic music. I will leave the future to the younger and more savvy colleagues, for myself perhaps I should stay closer to the heritage, the memories of the recent past. I must confess that there are things that frighten me. One could be the rapid pace of our changing technology. Is it truly necessary to have to adapt to these constant and accelerating changes? Could we make an effort to 'extend a little' the validity of earlier technological moments? Scanning some significant steps that have taken place say, since Pierre Schaeffer...You will be surprised... paste discs and turntables – 78 rpms – 33 and why not, 45 rpm; the mono to stereo conversion; the early multitracks with 4 or 8 channels, then 16 or more; analog tape; DAT recorders; MP3s; sample-to-disk; the world of voltage control and MIDI; diffusion and multichanneling, from Varése, Stockhausen, Normandeau... 5.1, 9.1, and 16.2 sound; Multi-Channel Digital Projectors; well the list is long.
This paper introduces the ongoing ElectroAcoustic Resource Site Pedagogical Project, or EARS II, in some detail. EARS II is to become an online educational resource for two groups of users: children of ca. 11-14 years of age as well as people of all ages who have little to no knowledge of electroacoustic music and undergraduate students embarking upon a study of electroacoustic music. EARS II is based on a holistic approach linking appreciation to understanding and creative application. The paper’s goal is to share the project vision and provide an update concerning how far the project team has come. The project is the second phase of the original EARS site (www.ears.dmu.ac.uk) as well as the second phase of the Music, Technology and Innovation Research Centre’s Intention/Reception project.
The question of what listeners do when listening to electroacoustic music is considered and discussed in its relation to everyday listening. Specific cognitive mechanisms and idioms of electroacoustic music are examined that give rise to artistic meaning, meaning that includes the embodied sense of the flow of felt experience as well as the continuous emotional assessment of context. The importance of context for meaning is considered as well as the role of cognitive blending, especially the conceptual blending that creates analogy and compression in many electroacoustic works.
One of the most influential paradigms in contemporary music is the so called “liberation of sound” (LALITTE, 2005) or “aesthetics of sonority” (GUIGUE, 2007), by which music came to be composed not just with notes but with sound itself. Exploration of timbres, acoustics and the movement away from twelve-tone compositional processes are well illustrated by futurism, microtonalism and the music of Varèse, to name a few examples in the first half of 20th century. However, electroacoustic music can be considered the height of this historical and aesthetic development. Composers who passed by the proliferating studios were noticeably inspired and some of them didn't return to instrumental non-recorded means (for DELALANDE, 2001, the invention of recording was music's “second technological revolution” after the first one, music notation). Nowadays almost every western musician is, at least indirectly —and very often unconsciously—, influenced by these “spectromorphological structuring processes” (SMALLEY, 1986 and 1997).
The heritage of electroacoustic music has included repertoire and resources which present unique problems in terms of preservation and archiving due to technical and non-technical materials utilized, unique performance and presentation venues needed, and lack of planning and consideration of the possible significance of the works. This has lead to a loss of historical content which may be invaluable to future generations of electroacoustic musicians. The author of the paper has encountered the disadvantages of this lack of preservation in her own research of the works of Carla Scaletti, Ruth Anderson, and Annea Lockwood.
Que deviendront nos créations numériques dans cinquante ou cent ans ?
L'irruption de la technologie dans la création contemporaine et plus particulièrement dans les musiques électroacoustiques a complètement bouleversé les modalités de production et d'archivage. Aux problèmes de conservation déjà bien connus : sauvegarde des partitions, des instruments et des techniques associées, est venu s'ajouter le problème général de la sauvegarde d'un ensemble hétérogène – voire hétéroclite - d'éléments contribuant à la réalité des œuvres. Dans ce contexte, et dans la perspective de pouvoir représenter les œuvres dans le futur, il devient nécessaire de développer des stratégies nouvelles de préservation permettant de restituer dans futur inconnu les composantes des œuvres et les œuvres elles-mêmes.
This paper aims to offer a general outline of the development of electronic music in Iran and its intertwinement with tradition. After presenting a brief history of electronic music before and after the 1979 Revolution of Iran, I will discuss in more depth the social, political and musical context in which three generations of Iranian composers have developed their musical language. With regard to the phenomenon of multiculturalism evolved in such contexts, the role of universities, the internet, and the use of personal studios will be taken into consideration.
In my paper for EMS08 (Paris), ‘Pulse, metre, rhythm in electroacoustic music’ (Emmerson 2008), I aimed to raise questions as to whether perceptions of rhythmic working somehow distracted attention - took up valuable ‘bandwidth’ - away from a purely spectromorphological, instant by instant, perception of the sound objects in the sonic flow. In this paper I wish to focus on three of the composers I cited, all from Latin America, and all of whom used pulse and rhythm as a primary organising principle. In that paper I grouped them together too easily; here I wish to show both similarities and differences in their approaches to rhythm and to add some detail to their apparent critique of ‘European modernism’, as they saw it. All were PhD students at City University in London in the 1980s where I had the privilege to supervise their work: Alejandro Viñao (Argentina), Javier Alvarez (Mexico), Julio d’Escriván (Venezuela). I argue in fact that their work represented a ‘double critique’: both against ‘post-serial’ approaches (‘parameterisation’ of music, especially electroacoustic), but also developing a ‘strange critical distance’ from the more puritan strains of the acousmatic tradition, then relatively new in the UK.
At the EMS 2007 symposium at Leicester, I presented a paper in which I discussed the history of live EA, and what I perceived to be some of the problems facing the genre [Eigenfeldt]. In this paper, I’d like to suggest what I believe to be some possible avenues of exploration that live EA might pursue in the coming years.
Artistic creation, scientific research and technological innovation represent three different “areas” whose boundaries seemed to be well established in the western culture during the past few centuries. Nevertheless, whether because of a real interest, necessity or fashion, these fields have met again and are now associated to continue deepening the cultural changes caused mainly by our use of recently-evolved electronic technologies.
At the EMS conference in 2007 in Leicester I described the approach I had taken to making an analysis of Jonathan Harvey’s work Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco (1980). The analysis had appeared in the book Analytical Methods of Electroacoustic Music (Clarke 2006). In particular I explained my concern about relying exclusively on the printed page in analyses of electroacoustic music: be that in the form of text, diagrams or printed sonograms etc.
1. Heritage and Actuality
Let me get into the heart of my topic by sharing an anecdote that really happened to me only some weeks ago. While reviewing concerts for some German newspapers, I got involved in a discussion with two concert-goers that culminated with the question of a shocked well-distinguished lady, “But is it possible that they play composers who are not yet dead?”