Archives for category: Music

 

Conference dates: 29-30 November 2016

Location: Leiden University, the Netherlands

 

Introduction to the Conference Topic

Sound is among the most significant, yet least-discussed, aspects of public spaces in urban environments (Hosokawa 1984; Kang and Schulte-Fortkamp 2016). Architects, engineers, and urban planners invariably stress the visual and tactile aspects while (re)designing urban environments but often pay less attention to the aural consequences of their interventions; sound tends to be considered mainly as an inevitable byproduct of industrial areas, traffic, commercial centers, and/or human activities. If sound attracts the attention of policy makers and users of public urban spaces, it is often in a rather negative context: as noise pollution which should be avoided by somehow reducing the amount of decibels (Devilee, Maris, van der Kamp 2010; Elmqvist 2013; Kamin 2015).

 

In contrast, this conference aims to increase the attention to the role of sound, sound design, and sounding art in urban spaces – with sound considered both as an epistemological tool and as an aesthetic instrument.

Sounds in urban spaces – including the “omnipresence” of music – (co-)regulate our behavior, attract specific groups that give a space a specific identity, call for certain actions, make us nauseated, etc.; sounds thus have social, political, ethical, and economic power. Reflections on everyday urban soundscapes – their features as well as the way they are used and experienced – could lead to a new theory of sonic ecology.

Furthermore, sounding art has the potential to contribute directly to an improvement of city soundscapes, while a more fundamental and scholarly attention to sounds in public urban spaces can lead to a concrete contribution to already existing discourses in urban studies, history, anthropology, and philosophy.

 

In this conference three questions will play a central role:

  1. How do sounds in general and sounding art in particular contribute to the general atmosphere of a public urban space?
  2. How do users of that space – dwellers, tourists, people working in that neighborhood, passersby – experience its sonic qualities and how does that influence their behavior as well as the function of that space?
  3. How can we, on a theoretical level, develop a new sonic ecology?

 

Keynote speakers: Salomé Voegelin, Gascia Ouzounian, Holger Schulze, and Jean-Paul Thibaud.

 

Conference Coordinator: Prof. dr. M.A. (Marcel) Cobussen

(M.A.Cobussen@umail.leidenuniv.nl)

 

Abstracts: Abstracts of no more than 250 words should be sent to Gabriel Paiuk acpa@hum.leidenuniv.nl before October 1, 2016. Submitters will be informed before October 15.

 

The conference is sponsored by KNAW, LUF, JSS, and ACPA (Leiden University)

logo knawlogo leiden universitylogo lufsonicstudies-banner

 

 

 

sounding art companion

I just received an email from Routledge that that The Routledge Companion to Sounding Art has now officially published! The book presents an overview of the issues, methods, and approaches crucial for the study of sound in artistic practice. Thirty-six essays cover a variety of interdisciplinary approaches to studying sounding art from the fields of musicology, cultural studies, sound design, auditory culture, art history, and philosophy. The companion website hosts sound examples and links to further resources.

The collection is organized around six main themes:

  • Sounding Art: The notion of sounding art, its relation to sound studies, and its evolution and possibilities.
  • Acoustic Knowledge and Communication: How we approach, study, and analyze sound and the challenges of writing about sound.
  • Listening and Memory: Listening from different perspectives, from the psychology of listening to embodied and technologically mediated listening.
  • Acoustic Spaces, Identities and Communities: How humans arrange their sonic environments, how this relates to sonic identity, how music contributes to our environment, and the ethical and political implications of sound.
  • Sonic Histories: How studying sounding art can contribute methodologically and epistemologically to historiography.
  • Sound Technologies and Media: The impact of sonic technologies on contemporary culture, electroacoustic innovation, and how the way we make and access music has changed.

With contributions from leading scholars and cutting-edge researchers, The Routledge Companion to Sounding Art is an essential resource for anyone studying the intersection of sound and art.

word-cloud-improvisation-300x245

Just published in Revista Musica: a dialogue between myself and a good friend of mine, Brazilian composer/improviser and Professor of Music, Rogerio Costa. Although the dialogue has as its main topic (the borders of) musical improvisation, it also touches on issues of identity, (Brazilian) politics, and educational systems. Here’s a link to the article.

concert hall

Aalto University researchers found that the emotional impact experienced by music listeners depends on the concert hall’s acoustics.

Earlier research has shown that the strongest emotional experiences by music listening may elicit shivers or goosebumps in the listener. Much weaker reactions can be detected from the variations in the electrical skin conductance. Based on this knowledge, the researchers presented the test subjects an excerpt of Beethoven’s symphony with the acoustics measured in different concert halls. During listening, the skin conductance was measured with sensors attached in the listeners’ fingers in order to record the magnitude of the emotional reactions to different acoustic conditions.

The results revealed that an identical performance of classical orchestra music evoked stronger emotional impact when presented in the acoustics of shoebox-type concert halls, such as Vienna Musikverein or Berlin Konzerthaus. The study included identically selected two positions from six European concert halls: Vienna Musikverein, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Berlin Konzerhaus and Philharmonie, Cologne Philharmonie, and Helsinki Music Centre.

“Some interpretations of a same music piece can evoke stronger emotions than others. Similarly, our study has succeeded in demonstrating that the hall’s acoustics plays an important part in the overall emotional impact. After all, emotional experiences are a key factor in music to many listeners.” says Dr. Jukka Pätynen. For decades, researchers on concert hall acoustics have aspired to explain the acoustical success of certain halls with room-acoustic parameters. The study by Finnish researchers is the first to assess the acoustics of existing concert halls as the emotional impact. The group aims to understand how room acoustics affect sound signals, and how people perceive room acoustic properties.

The full article can be found in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (JASA): http://scitation.aip.org/content/asa/journal/jasa/139/3/10.1121/1.4944038

time and music

Call for Papers
The capacity to be in time together lies at the heart of all music-making and is one of the most profound of human capabilities; being in time together is implicated in social bonding, altered states, and foundational pleasures associated with music.  The ways in which we play in time together, also mark out difference-between genres and between instruments (and instrumentalists), between studio and live performance, between the virtuoso and the beginner.

Two assertions about the temporal in music are the starting point for our call for papers: David Epstein’s comment in his seminal book, Shaping Time, that time is ‘the critical element in performance’, and Lefebvre’s lament that rhythm has been music’s neglected component. These comments underscore the aim of this conference, which is to bring time and timing to the fore in our thinking about musical experience, and in particular, its production.

The conference committee encourages submissions from scholars representing diverse disciplines whose interests lie in time, timing and timekeeping, and their construction by musicians. We welcome papers that address the subject from the following broad perspectives: the psychological/cognitive foundations of this human achievement, time and timing as part of specific cultural praxis, critical approaches to time and technology, the aesthetics of timing, and musical time’s relationship to social being.

The following list of questions indicates some broad concerns of the conference but is suggestive rather than prescriptive.

– How is the time of music implicated in social being and sociability? In what ways does the social penetrate the temporality of music?
– Can we speak of cultures of time in music? How does the relatively tacit feel for time amongst musicians connect with the discursive?
– What is the relationship between the relatively automatic capacity to be in time together and timekeeping as intentional and expressive?
– In what ways have technologies changed our relationship to time in music? Is temporality changed through developments in recording and digital technologies?
– What are the politics of musical time?
– What methods are available to us to address questions of temporality, music, the social and the psychological?
– How do we teach and learn about time in music?

Proposals of 250-300 words are invited for spoken papers of 20 minutes. These should be sent as a Word attachment to makingtime@music.ox.ac.uk and must include the following: Title, author(s), affiliation(s), email address for contact. The deadline for proposals is Friday 15 April 2016 at midday. Decisions on proposals will be communicated by Monday 9 May 2016.

It is hoped that some papers from the conference will contribute to a volume, Making Time in Music, edited by Mark Doffman.

The conference committee is: Dr Mark Doffman, Dr Jonna Vuoskoski, and Dr Toby Young (all University of Oxford), and Dr Emily Payne (University of Leeds).


I’m working hard on my contribution to The Oxford Handbook of Sound & Imagination. The editors want to put less emphasis on the visual connotation of the word “imagination” and are primarily interested in what they call “sonic imagination”. I’ve decided that my article will concentrate on the role of imagination while listening to sounding art (by which I mean both music and sound art, actually all art in which sound plays a substantial role). The question that keeps me busy at this moment is if it is possible that we do NOT use our imagination while listening to music. Any thoughts from your side?

loudspeakers

Working hard on a Massive Open Online Course right now. Topic: Music & Society. Four modules: (a) Music and Atmospheres; (b) Music and Identity; (c) Music and Politics; (d) Music, Norms and Values. The course will contain attractive video’s, challenging texts, interviews with famous scholars and musicians, etc. Should be online in September 2016.

DARE 2015
9 – 11 November 2015
Orpheus Institute | Ghent | Belgium

DARE 2015, The Dark Precursor, is the first international conference entirely dedicated to the relation between artistic research and French philosopher Gilles Deleuze and/or Félix Guattari. The three-day will feature both artistic presentations and scholarly papers that investigate this relation.
The Deleuze/Guattari’s philosophy acts as a key reference for many artist-researchers, who engage with knowledge across academic and non-academic fields of practice. The extent and depth of their influence on artistic research is largely uncharted, nor has their philosophy ever before been evaluated from the perspective of artists.

UniverCidade_cartaz-jpeg

From June 11 till 13 Performa ’15 will take place at the University of Aveiro in Portugal. On June 11 I will open the conference with a keynote lecture entitled “Musical Performances are (not) Artistic Research”. Of course I will pay attention to my favorite topic, the relation between artistic research and knowledge; however, the major part of my presentation will consist of particular musical performances and their relation (or not) to artistic research.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor sublime in music image

30-31st October 2015: The University of Aberdeen and the SOUND festival, Aberdeen, Scotland.

Theodor Adorno noted the difficulty of creating new art that can be beautiful in a truthful way, eschewing any response to musical modernity that would allow its easy assimilation in terms of the traditionally beautiful. For Jean-François Lyotard, the arts for the last century have no longer been concerned primarily with the beautiful but rather with a renewed concept of the sublime. This dissociation of the beautiful from the modern in Adorno and Lyotard contrasts strikingly with Helmut Lachenmann’s revalorisation of the beautiful and his distinction of ‘humanity’s legitimate and profoundly rooted demand for art as the experience of Beauty, and its false satisfaction and alienation in the form of art “fodder” manufactured by the bourgeoisie and preserved in a society of repressed contradictions’ (Lachenmann 1980, 20). Out of this polarity of the modern as the moment of the sublime (Lyotard) and the possibility of a ‘rescued’ concept of the beautiful (Lachenmann), participants are invited to offer twenty minute papers on any aspect of musical modernity in relation to the beautiful and/or the sublime. The sublime has become a rich source of reflection in critical theory, with alternative conceptualisations from Lyotard, Derrida, Lacan, Zizek, Marion and others, and following Simon Morley’s categorisation, the contemporary sublime has been related to the unpresentable, transcendence, nature, technology, terror, the uncanny and altered states. While the sublime has not enjoyed attention in music studies comparable with what it has stimulated elsewhere in the humanities, this conference will provide a forum for musicological, theoretical and philosophical reflection in conjunction with a series of musical performances.

Proposals considering any of the following are welcomed:
• Musicological papers considering any aspect of contemporary music in relation to the sublime and/or the beautiful.
• Philosophical/Critical theory papers developing thinking on the beautiful and/or the sublime in relation to music.
• Papers considering musical modernity, politics and the sublime.
• Papers considering the extent to which music concerns the sublime or a reconstituted notion of beauty.

Abstracts should be c. 400 words and should also contain first and last name of presenter, title of proposed presentation, institutional affiliation, mailing address, telephone number and email address.
Proposals must be received no later than 20th April 2015 and should be posted toe.campbell@abdn.ac.uk.

Confirmed performers include: Ensemble Alternance (Paris, France) and Ian Pace (piano)