EMS 09 -Abstract- An emerging field of Swedish electronic music

I Autor: Andreas Engström
Idioma: Inglés
Fecha de Publicación: 25/06/2009
Actividad en donde fue presentado: EMS 09. Herencia y futuro


The paper present some recent trends in Scandinavian and particularly Swedish electroacoustic music, regarding stylistic traits, institutional figurations and the use of new terminologies and the way these are applied to the new emerging field. These tendenses are connected and thereby constitutes a shift in paradigm which includes a new conception of the electroacoustic ”work”, method and craft. The music institutets, from pre-university education in composition, to the comissioning intitutes, like the EMS-electronic music studio, plays a crusial role in the shaping of a new field of electroacoustic music. In the education, focus has shifted towards the DIY-electronics, and there is a general move away from comissioning ”tape” pieces, to either comission mixed pieces, or to support different forms of live-acts. Young composers, active in the field of rock/punk no longer maintain this music as a parallell musicianship, but integrate this into a general field of electronic subculture. Apart from changes in performance practice it also affects the presentation places. There is no longer a strive for the acoustically optimal acousmatic experience. Instead, electronic music is more likely to take place as a late concert or club at a festival for contemporary music. Several festivals in Sweden have moved in this direction regarding programming, and new festivals and venues have sprung up following this tendency, which can also be seen in the output of cds. Obviously, the idea of the electroacoustic work is at stage. As a result of electroacoustic music integrated with other disciplines, new terminologies is used to define an electronic music scene, which stylistically is devided, but culturally finds technological and aesthetical affinities. In regarding the Swedish heritage of electronic music, this tendency has been important to mark the acousmatic music as a ”historical genre”, certainly a ”golden era” of Swedish electronic music, but at the same time a passing stage and a relic from the 80s and 90s. This tendency also – partly as a consequence of the activities of the studios themselves – has resulted in an ongoing process for the studios to (re)define their activities concerning education, commissioning, and as a work stations for composers. There is a tendency that the education of the electroacoustic ”craft” is finding its way into the education of  other artistic disciplines, like the visual arts and drama educational institutes. The electronic music in general and the acousmatic music in particular, tend to be an ”applied” art form in a much broader artistic context. The paper will present some stylistic raits of the contemporary field of electronic music, and also refer to statistics concerning the commissioning of new music and also to how the studios and the educational institutes are defining their field, avtivity and programme.

Andreas Engström