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Blog archive for June 2007

Spaces and musical forms

June 8, 2007

As Wallace Clemence Sabine commented while designing the Boston Symphony Hall cultures that gathered in enclosed spaces for music developed musical forms dominated by melody and harmony and cultures that gathered in open spaces for music developed musical forms dominated by percussive sounds with strong rhythms. Our heritage of classical music arose from a limited set of parameters. A wider set of parameters now opens up possibilities for novel musical forms.

Blesser &amp Salter: Spaces Speak. Are you listening? p. 144.

Virtualization of space

June 8, 2007

During the last century we experienced two revolutionary shifts in the way we conceive of musical space. First the recording technology of the early twentieth century split musical space temporally spatially socially and artistically – partitioning what when and by whom music could be heard. In doing so it added many new participants to the process of creating spatial experiences. The computer technology of the late twentieth century then virtualized the space where the music would be heard how it would be created and who would be responsible for its aural architecture. As this pattern of virtualization continues musical space will merge ever more completely with musical instruments with both becoming ever more abstract.

Blesser &amp Salter: Spaces Speak. Are you listening? p. 133.

Professions of computer music

June 20, 2007

This event caught my attention:

Festival AGORAIRCAM Paris France
Professional Level Meeting
Friday 22 &amp Saturday June 23
10h-18h / 10:00AM – 6:00PM

Un compositeur le plus souvent une singularité isolée se retrouve avec un interlocuteur privilégié – le réalisateur en informatique musicale – au travail dans un studio. Quelles pratiques (temporalités partage du travail signature de l’ouvre intégration des avancées technologiques…) et fonctions s’inventent ainsi ? Ces journées de rencontres internationales dessinent les contours de ce métier émergent de ses pratiques et de ses formations spécifiques.

A composer usually isolated meets with an honored interlocutor – the computer music producer – at work in the studio. What practices (temporality work-sharing signing the work integration of advanced technology etc.) and functions will be invented this way? The international meetings will sketch the contours of this emerging field its practices and different trainings.

This is a topic that interests me a lot both personally in terms of how I relate to and use technology in my own artistic practice but just as much in terms of how we relate to technology in general at BEK and what kind of artistic practices we try to encourage. The organizations working with electronic music and arts in Norway are small with limited resources. We have no ability of offering artists extended amounts of technical help in realizing their work. Instead we encourage artists to explore technology themselves develop their own skills and critically explore and challenge the potential and limitations of the technical means involved. For my colleague Gisle this has resulted in a strong emphasis on open-source software expressed in activities related to Piksel and informing general thinking and strategy at BEK.

I believe that there has to be room for different practices anything from the “musician meet technical developer” to the artist-coder practice that Marius Watz argues for in the curatorial statement of Generator.x. But the various positions all have to be critically examined for their potentials and limitations.

One of the strengths of the Norwegian new media scene is the ability to cross boundaries between different art practices and between art and technology. I remember Jeremy Welsh once saying that the ability to surf on the surface knowing what do exist and pick what is needed along the way is a meta-skill that will be increasingly important as the amount of information continues to increase. On the other hand I also very much see the need and value of working in-depth developing an in-depth expertise that I will never be able to match in anything of what I’m doing.

Sound and space at ZKM

June 20, 2007

Wouldn’t mind participating at this:

This year the “next_generation” festival with the motto “Music and Space” will take place for the second time. Over 20 academic studios from Germany Switzerland Austria and the Netherlands have registered. At nine concerts and a three-day long symposium new aesthetic directions and technical developments new works and approaches by young composers and their teachers will be presented analyzed and discussed. With the festival ZKM | Institute for Music and Acoustics aims at promoting exchange between university studios and those that lie outside of universities.