Leonardo Music Journal, Volume 13 | Leonardo/ISASTwith Arizona State University
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  • The Influence of Recording Technologies on the Early Development of Electroacoustic Music
    Peter Manning
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    From the earliest experiments with the manipulation of 78-rpm disks during the 1920s, the technology of recording has played a major role in the evolution of electroacoustic music. This has extended not only to the recording and reproduction of materials but also to key components of the compositional process itself. Although such influences have become less prominent with the advent of digital technology, their impact during the formative years of electroacoustic music was significant and far-reaching. This article examines some key aspects of the pioneering era of creative development through the early 1950s, with particular reference to the Bauhaus sound artists, Pierre Schaeffer and musique concrète, and the Cologne studio for elektronische Musik

  • John Cage and Recording
    Yasunao Tone
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    There is general agreement that John Cage's attitude toward records and recording was ambiguous and not necessarily coherent. However, if one closely analyzes his work and his evolution of the concept of the art—that is, from his pieces for prepared piano to his use of the I Ching for Music of Changes to 4′33′′ to his prototype of Happenings at Black Mountain College in 1952—one finds a critique of something that other composers take as self-evident. Cage's critique of recording relates to the representation as re-presentation of music. The author aims in this article to discover/uncover Cage's critique of the metaphysics of presence through his work and utterances.

  • Christian Marclay's Early Years: An Interview
    Douglas Kahn
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    The artist discusses with the author his early career and influences. Marclay explains his upbringing in Switzerland and his lack of familiarity with American mass culture, to which he credits his early experiments in art, music and performance using records. Marclay describes the evolution of his use of records and discusses other influences, such as art school and the New York club scene of the 1970s.

  • Recursive Audio Cutting
    Nick Collins
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    Algorithmic procedures for the cutting and splicing of audio can be iterated to explore the technique of recursive audio cutting. The author investigates both implicit (intuitive) and explicit (analytic) methodologies applicable either to prerecorded signals or to continuous streams in real time, with an emphasis upon practical implementation. The techniques can be of immediate use as special effects for audio processing, as well as in deeper explorations of fractal music. This work has grown out of a broader search for new audio cutting procedures. Analysis is also provided of the trends exposed by such routines in relation to the order of recursion employed. An appendix connects this work to the subject of time-map representations, and a glossary is provided for the terminology of cuts employed.

  • The Music of the Sphere: An Investigation into Asymptotic Harmonics, Brainwave Entrainment and the Earth as a Giant Bell
    David First
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    The author discusses a conceptual framework for the organization and performance of music that has its basis in the frequency relationships of the Schumann Resonances and in the principle of binaural beats. He describes the steps he took in conceiving the project, the technical issues involved in realizing the goal of live data transmissions from a remote location and the creation of the three-dimensional overtone series that is the project's theoretical centerpiece. He also lays out his philosophy of improvisation and treads lightly into the curious gray areas where science mutates into leaps of faith.

  • Regenerative Feedback in the Medium of Radio: Study 1.0 (FM) for Radio Transceiver
    Matthew Burtner
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    The author discusses compositional applications of feedback in the medium of radio as a means of exploring the nature of transmission and reception. His Studies for Radio Transceiver are presented here along with a detailed discussion of Study 1.0 (FM). This composition juxtaposes the historical and technical use of feedback in radio with audio signal recursion. Regenerative feedback is used to redefine the compositional capabilities of the medium.

  • TOHU BOHU: Considerations on the nature of noise, in 78 fragments
    Guy-Marc Hinant
  • Damaged Sound: Glitching and Skipping Compact Discs in the Audio of Yasunao Tone, Nicolas Collins and Oval
    Caleb Stuart
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    From the initial release of the CD in 1982, artists have tampered with the system to test it, compose with it and sample from it. The author examines the use of the cracked and manipulated CD in the work of Yasunao Tone, Nicolas Collins and Oval in relation to their differing approaches and the role of the CD in sound expansion. Tone and Collins are interested in indeterminacy and the benevolent catastrophe in composition, while Oval's process has more in common with pop production and studio practices.

  • Displaced Soundscapes: A Survey of Network Systems for Music and Sonic Art Creation
    Álvaro Barbosa
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    The introduction of various collaborative tools, made possible by the expansion of computer network systems and communications technology, has led to new methods of musical composition and improvisation. The author describes a number of recent music and sound art projects involving the use of network systems that enable geographically displaced creators to collaboratively generate shared soundscapes. Various system designs, ideas and concepts associated with this interaction paradigm are presented and classified by the author.

  • Hand-Luggage: For a Generative Theory of Artifacts
    Holger Schulze
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    This article presents the basic elements and strategies of a generative theory of artifacts, the Theorie der Werkgenese. Starting with a narrative reconstruction of Mike Mills's TV commercial for Adidas, the text briefly outlines a history of aleatoric games and heuristic strategies in the classical avantgarde as well as in postmodern follow-ups and late-20th-century pop music. Finally, the various fictions conveyed by the commercial are narrated in a new way, demonstrating generative analysis.

  • Early Musical Impressions from Both Sides of the Loudspeaker
    Sérgio Freire
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    Ametaphoric image of the loudspeaker and its sides sums up the spatio-temporal ruptures that started shaping aural perception in the late 19th century: on one side, the listener; on the other, sound events conveyed by phonographic products, radio and various sound-recording devices. Diverse practices as well as samples of theoretical and aesthetic thinking from the early 20th century illustrate how new media have affected the musical imagination and listening in general.

Extended Abstracts

  • Recursive Audio Systems: Acoustic Feedback in Composition
  • Performance Space Meets Cyberspace: Seeking The Creative Idiom and Technical Model for Live Music on Broadband
  • The Gallbladder Sonata: Transmission Time on the Internet
  • Mediating (Through) Imagination: Web-Based Sound Art
  • Turn/Stile: Interpreting Udo Kasemets' Calendaron for a Single Turntable with Treatment and Surfaces

LMJ13 CD Companion: Splitting Bits, Closing Loops: Sound on Sound

CD Introduction

CD Contributors' Notes


Leonardo Music Journal, Volume 13

December 2003