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Interacting in and with music: sound, gesture, devices in contemporary electronic and electroacoustic music

Posted: March 7th, 2017 | Filed under: Calls for Papers | No Comments »

11-12 October 2017 – Université Rennes 2, France

Keynote Speakers
Mark J. Butler, Professor of Music theory and Cognition at Bienen School of Music, Northwestern, University, Chicago.
Julia Kursell, Professor of Musicology at the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Amsterdam

Organizing Committee
Bruno Bossis (Université Rennes 2), Emmanuel Parent (Université Rennes 2)
Kévin Gohon (Université Rennes 2), Baptiste Bacot (Ircam/EHESS)

More information: http://volume.revues.org/5145

WESTERN MUSIC has considerably evolved and developed in many different forms, both in its popular or more classical expressions. The boundaries between visual arts, music, dance, theater and cinema tend to fade away as the artists create multidisciplinary works in which sounds, bodies, voices and still or moving images are involved in a common project. This is due to the audiences’ increasingly transversal artistic and cultural practices, which develop new ways of using emerging technologies, including new body-instrument relationships. By irradiating and nurturing most forms of art from improvisation to composition, from entertainment to classical forms, from performing arts to cinema or videogames, the art of sounds stands as an independent activity as well as a point in which a multitude of interactions work together. This conference intends to question this point in its practical and conceptual aspects.

An interaction presupposes that at least two heterogeneous poles exist, between which one or more processes develop in or with music. If the art of sounds is considered as one of these poles, then the second one may be declined in different areas. The place in which the artistic action unfolds, not only produces a spatial environment but often enters the intimacy of the artistic expression at all times, from Greek theatres to electronic devices. As the recipient of music and sometimes the co-creator of performance in some popular contexts, the audience is led to interact with the music as well. However, the emergence of new technologies in music during the last century has also deeply renewed musical praxis by introducing new material elements in the artistic process, which require new kinds of interaction in order to create music. The fixation of sounds and the massive development of technological mediations in popular and art music have introduced new devices – analog and digital instruments, gestural interfaces, computer programs, spatialization devices and pre-recorded sounds, etc. – at the center of the performance, thus renewing the question of these interactions. This new configuration of artistic sound producing has affected all 20th century musical practices, yet it is very important for electroacoustic music and popular/intelligent electronic (dance) music (EDM/IDM). These musical practices exceed the usual dichotomy between object and process by establishing it as a field of interaction. Thus, these repertoires have to be considered as paradigmatic in order to develop a reflection on interactions, especially in their technological dimension, which involves and questions the heterogeneous aspect of electronic devices in the artistic practices.

Interaction takes various forms throughout different configurations. One of them has been questioned in a study day on virtuosity and machines organized at Rennes 2 university in 2016. In a larger sense, an interaction is often based on analogies and matches, or different forms of dialogue. The relationship between choreography and music can be interrogated in this perspective, as well as the relations included in instrumental gestures. Then, it is easy to conceive how the different elements can interact. For instance, the relationship between these elements can be thought in terms of causal relations, dependency, subordination, producing constrained or correlated forms. Electronic instruments, opera, cinema and videogames are generally based on codified correspondences or escape genre traditions. These models can be built on serial- or cross-interactions, up to generative programming of relationships between devices located on different sites. Proposals can consequently deal with the contextualized coherence of this combination of interactions.

The conference will focus on any music structurally related to the technological devices, as electroacoustic music, popular electronic music and various practices lying at the intersection between these two poles.

The conference encourages contributions which address the following topics:

  • Organological analysis of the interaction
  • The interaction in the composition
  • The interaction in the performance
  • The interaction with the audience
  • Musicological analysis of interactions
  • Music and spatialization

The proposals, written in English or in French (600 words) must be sent by email to [email protected] and [email protected] by April 15, 2017, accompanied with a short biography and a list of main publications. The official languages of the conference are English and French. Authors will be notified of their participation on June 1st.

Scientific Committee

Marc Battier, Professeur émérite, université de Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV)
Antoine Bonnet, Professeur des universités, département de musicologie, Université Rennes 2
Bruno Bossis, Professeur des universités, département de musicologie, Université Rennes 2
Ragnhild Brovig-Hanssen, Associate professor in Popular Music Studies, University of Oslo
Mark J. Butler Professor of Music theory and Cognition at Bienen School of Music, Northwestern University, Chicago
Joel Chadabe, Professor Emerite, State University of New York, Albany
Marc Chemillier, Directeur d’études, EHESS, Paris
Nicolas Donin, responsable de recherche, Ircam, Paris
Simon Emmerson, Professor in Music, technology & Innovation, De Montfort University, Leicester
Julia Kursell, Professor of Musicology at the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Amsterdam
Stephen McAdams, Professor, Department of Music Research, McGill University, Montréal
Robert Normandeau, Professeur à la faculté de musique, université de Montréal (UdM)
Emmanuel Parent, Maître de conférences, département de musicologie, Université Rennes 2
Christophe Pirenne, Professeur, Arts et sciences de la communication, université de Liège
Vincent Tiffon, Professeur de universités, département de musicologie, université Lille-3
Germán Toro Pérez, Zürcher Hochschule der Künste, Zurich


Association Electroni-k, organisateur du festival Maintenant, du 10 au 15 octobre 2017
Société Française d’Analyse Musicale (sfam.org)
Volume ! La revue des musiques populaires (volume.revues.org)
Sforzandoc, Association des doctorants en musicologie de l’université Rennes 2

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