Leonardo Music Journal Volume 8 (1998)

with Compact Disc

Leonardo Music Journal is a print journal edited

by Leonardo/the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology, and published annually

by the MIT Press.

ONLINE ACCESS: Subscriptions to Leonardo Music Journal include access to electronic versions of journal issues available on The MIT Press website.

ORDER: Subscriptions, individual issues and articles can also be ordered from The MIT Press.

[ See also the Tables of Contents and Abstracts of past issues of Leonardo and LMJ ]

Ghosts and Monsters: Technology and Personality in Contemporary Music


Ghosts and Monsters: Technology and Personality in Contemporary Music

by Nicholas Collins


John Cage--Ghost or Monster?

by Cornelius Cardew


Origins of a Form: Acoustical Exploration, Science and Incessancy

by Alvin Lucier

ABSTRACT: John Cage's use of chance operations coupled with David Tudor's configurations of found electronic devices formed a radical departure in twentieth-century music composition and performance. Inspired by this collaboration, author-composer Lucier, along with composers Robert Ashley, David Behrman and Gordon Mumma, formed the Sonic Arts Union, a live electronic music ensemble devoted to the performance of each other's works. The author used scientific experiments, as well as audio test equipment, to compose works that explored the natural characteristics of sound. Along with certain other composers, including Robert Ashley, Tom Johnson, James Tenney and Steve Reich, who created works in which simple procedures yielded complex results, the author helped create a new musical form.


Composing with Shifting Sand: A Conversation between Ron Kuivila and David Behrman on Electronic Music and the Ephemerality of Technology

by Ron Kuivila and David Behrman

ABSTRACT: This dialogue between composers David Behrman and Ron Kuivila centers on the ephemerality of technology and technological innovation in musical practice over the last 40 years. The conversation focuses on a musical lineage that begins with the early, live electronic music of John Cage and D.B. Tudor, the projects of Experiments in Art and Technology (EAT), the work of the Sonic Arts Union and the San Francisco Tape Music Center.


not necessarily anything to do with Karlheinz Stockhausen
(excavated from diary entries 20 February-10 November 1994)

by Richard Barrett


The Identification and Transposition of Authentic Instruments: Musical Practice and Technology

by Jonathan Impett

ABSTRACT: This article explores the idea of "authenticity" in musical practice as a function of its situatedness in technology. Two recent developments of the trumpet are discussed--the reinvention of the baroque trumpet and the author's design and use of a computer-extended trumpet (the meta-trumpet) to highlight issues of historical, personal and cultural authenticity. It is suggested that an appropriate understanding of the technology of a given culture is necessary for the "authentic" expression of that culture. Texts

by Lyotard and Adorno illuminate an exploration of the nature and practice of contemporary music technology. The integration of subject and material, and the redefinition of the relationship between "composed" and "performed" time in music, are identified as essential and relevant properties of this technology.


Ubiquitous Electronics--Technology and Live Performance 1966-1996

by Nicolas Collins

ABSTRACT: The author discusses the influence of sound recording on the chain of musical production from composer to acoustic artifact--in particular, the shift of the locus of power from composer to producer. He reevaluates Glenn Gould's predictive 1966 article, "The Prospect of Recording," in light of the current relationship of recording to live performance and introduces strategies for live performance in a post-recording context.


A Performer-Controlled Live Sound-Processing System: New Developments and Implementations of the Expanded Instrument System

by David Gamper with Pauline Oliveros

ABSTRACT: The Expanded Instrument System (EIS) is a performer-controlled delay-based network of digital sound-processing devices designed to be an improvising environment for acoustic musicians. The EIS emerged from Pauline Oliveros's work dating back to the 1950s. In the last 5 years David Gamper has been developing and expanding the capabilities of the EIS; he describes in this article how performance experience has led to recent technical developments and relates how the current configuration of the EIS has been used in composition, performance and teaching activities. He also discusses why seemingly outdated analog technologies have been retained in the EIS after adaptation to allow computer control. The core concept of the current configuration has proved to be flexible and adaptable to many demands, several of which are described.


The Aesthetics and History of the Hub: The Effects of Changing Technology on Network Computer Music

by Scot Gresham-Lancaster

ABSTRACT: The author, a member of the group the Hub, discusses the aesthetic and performance history of the group and related San Francisco Bay Area live interactive music performance practices. The performance practice of the Hub--interactive computer network music--is discussed. Particular focus is placed on the impact of changes in technology. Future applications and directions of this musical approach are discussed.


Distortion Is Truth

by Robert M. Poss

ABSTRACT: In two realms of music production--the amplified electric guitar and the recording studio--archaic technology is often the state of the art. Electric guitarists, recording engineers and producers rely upon technology that was perfected in the 1950s and 1960s for much of their sound-making and sound-processing needs because it provides a desirable sonic character. The author asserts that sonic transparency--"uncolored" sound made possible by modern solid-state and/or digital equipment--is antithetical to musical pursuits in which distortion itself is an essential part of the aesthetic.


From the Margins of the Periphery: Music and Technology at the Outskirts of the West--A Personal View

by Ricardo Arias

ABSTRACT: The author discusses the singular character of music technology as a product of Western culture and its potential in helping to understand and articulate fundamental changes in music and its ideological implications. He also comments briefly on the place of music technology at the "margins of the periphery," and hints at how technology might be approached so as to confer it meaning and context at such junctures. Finally, the author sketches a history of music and technology in Colombia and offers a glimpse at the role technology has played in his own music.


CD Companion Introduction

Ghost and Monsters: Technology and Personality in Contemporary Music


by Matthias Osterwold

LMJ 8 CD Companion

Ghosts and Monsters: Contributors' Notes

1998 Leonardo and Leonardo Music Journal Author Index

Leonardo/ISAST News

Updated 5 August 2010