Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Call for Papers - Electroacoustic Music

Paper due 1/11/08, conference - Paris - early June

Musique concrète - 60 years later

Electroacoustic Music Studies Network - International Conference Series

5th Conference ‘EMS08’ 3-6 June 2008, Paris

Presenting EMS 08

When the first trains were “running out” off the loudspeakers during the concerts of Pierre Schaeffer’s Études, the audience must have been surprised and shocked with the notion that such mundane sounds could be used in music. Sixty years and thousands of musical works later, the shock factor is gone but our surprise remains in terms of the discovery of new musical trends on the unending road where technology is applied to music.

And yet, what do we know about electroacoustic music? It is vast domain with many actors, small and large; a domain that attracts composers from all around the world; a domain for any musician to explore. However it is a domain where few studies have been done in comparison to other domains; where methodologies and terminologies have yet to evolve that are capable of taking the complexity of electroacoustic music into account.

One of the main functions of the EMS Network is to promote and encourage the study of electroacoustic music, and to provide a regular framework for discussion and diffusion of the results. 2008 is a special year for this, a year for celebrating the past but also a year for new perspectives. Several trends will be explored during EMS08; before the meeting, there will be a special study session on the socio-political implications of electroacoustic music, Composing Today. This meeting and the EMS08 event will be hosted by the GRM (which will be celebrating its 50th anniversary) and the University of Paris Sorbonne. It will last three days and concerts will be performed during the event featuring the Asian Network (EMSAN) track; on the weekend immediately following EMS08 there will also be two concerts in the annual GRM series at the Salle Olivier Messiaen at the French Radio.

EMS 08 main theme

The main topic for the EMS08 will be the relationship between sound and music

- Inventing new sounds for music: how do composers approach the production of sounds for their musical works, which methods and procedures they used?
- Influence of tools on music: Is the music the result of invention, or do tools determine the final result?
- Relations between sound and structure: what relationships exist between the sounds and the structure of the work? Are there significant trends in this domain?
- Sound terminology: is a physical or the morphological description efficient for characterising sounds? Has a need for new terminology appeared in any way?

Other EMS 08 themes

None of these is exclusive; any may be combined, others added. Criticism of the terminology, categories and assumptions made in this list will be perfectly acceptable. We also encourage papers from the margins of electroacoustic music and papers which discuss works in the fields of intermedia, installations, video music, multimedia, Internet-based collaboration, etc.

- What types of discourse are relevant to electroacoustic works?
- Which analytical methods are currently being developed?
- Can one adapt existent analytical methods of music to electroacoustic works, many of which involve no prescriptive notation?
- How can we further develop the field of study of electroacoustic musics?

Transcription and representation of sound, new audio-visual tools:
- How are analytical tools being produced and disseminated in the community?
- Which means are available for communicating this sonic artform through symbolic and graphic representations?
- Does the study of electroacoustic musics require specifically designed tools or can it take advantage of methods conceived for other musics?

Taxonomy, terminology - ‘meaningful’ units of music description:
- Which systems of classification are in use or should be developed?
- How can we become more consistent in our use of terminology in a field as dynamic as electroacoustic music?

Real-time music making:
- How can live performance/composition strategies be analysed?
- What is ‘live’ electronic music?

Performance, presentation, dissemination:
- What is the ‘work’?
- New presentation spaces, technologies.
- Internet communities, group compositions and performances.

Listening, Intention-Reception:
- Issues of perception and interpretation.
- How do the composer’s intentions relate to what is perceived?

Semiotics/semiology, ‘meaning’:
- What (and how) do different electroacoustic music genres express?

Soundscape, sound ecology:
- Analytical tools for the understanding of soundscapes.
- New approaches to sound ecology, sonification, sound environment.

Genres/styles, ‘languages’:
- Questions of unity, diversity, plurality, multicultural resources, polystyle, hybridisation, ‘local music’

Gender issues:
- Have gender balances shifted since the early days?
- The relationship between technology/electroacoustic music and gender.
- Unrecognised contributions: revising history.

Electroacoustic music in East and South-East Asia:
- The EMS 08 conference will include a special EMSAN track. EMSAN (Electroacoustic Music Studies Asia Network) is devoted to the study of the development and practices of electroacoustic music in East and South-East Asia. All contributions are welcome.

Furthermore ... Proposals concerning any other themes related to electroacoustic music studies, such as sources and resources are most welcome.

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