Friday, 23 November 2012

Call for Submissions - CMJ Special Issue: “Advances in the Design of Mapping for Computer Music”

Guest Editors: Marcelo M. Wanderley and Joseph Malloch
 
When we use digital tools for making music, the properties and parameters of both sound synthesizers and human interfaces have an abstract representation. One consequence of the digital nature of these signals and states is that gesture and action are completely separable from sound production, and must be artificially associated by the system designer in a process commonly called mapping.

The importance of mapping in digital musical instruments has been studied since the early 1990s, with several works discussing the role of mapping and many related concepts. Since roughly the mid-2000s, several tools have been proposed to facilitate the implementation of mappings, drastically reducing the necessary technical knowledge and allowing a large community to easily implement their ideas. Coupled with the availability of inexpensive sensors and hardware, as well as the emergence of a strong Do-It-Yourself community, the time seems right to discuss the main directions for research on mapping in digital musical instruments and interactive systems.
This call for submissions for a special issue of the Computer Music Journal focuses on recent developments and future prospects of mapping.
Relevant topics include, but are not limited to:
  • Mapping in instrument/installation/interaction design
  • Mapping concepts and approaches
  • Mapping tools
  • Evaluation methodologies
  • Mapping in/as composition
  • Mapping for media other than, or in addition to, sound
Deadline for paper submission is March 15, 2013. The issue will appear in 2014.

Submissions should follow all CMJ author guidelines (http://www.mitpressjournals.org/page/sub/comj).

Submissions and queries should be addressed to marcelo.wanderley(a)mcgill.ca, with the subject starting with [CMJ Mapping]

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

eOREMA journal call

"The eOREMA journal is a peer-reviewed scholarly arm of the OREMA (Online Repository for Electroacoustic Music Analysis) project (www.orema.dmu.ac.uk) that focuses on the analysis of electroacoustic music. The eOREMA journal will be an open access publication platform that accepts both articles that discuss analytical methodologies and analyses of electroacoustic music compositions in the broadest sense (which can range from acousmatic music to installations and electronica). We encourage both new and established researchers to contribute."

Deadline for paper submissions: Friday 4th of January 2013. More info

Thursday, 4 October 2012

New books and CDs in EMS' library

Many thanks to Andrés Lewin-Richter who has donated 21 CDs with Spanish contemporary and electroacoustic music to EMS' library:
  • Foro de comunicaciones electroacústicas. Vol II-III
  • ICMC 2005 : free sound
  • Balsach, Llorenç: Música concreta
  • Berenguer, José Manuel: On nothing
  • Brnčić, Gabriel: Barcelona: Músiques 1974-2011, Gabriel Brnčić
  • Callejo, Lluís: Lluís Callejo
  • Capdevila, Mercè: Zas : música vertical
  • Elvira, Julián: Obres per a flauta i electrònica
  • Ferrer, Carlos: Gil Obres per a trombó i electrònica
  • Giner, Xelo: Obres per a saxòfon i electrònica
  • Iglesias, Lito: Obres per a violoncel i electrònica
  • Jara, Jesús: Obres per a tuba i electrònica
  • Lewin-Richter, Andrés: Andrés Lewin-Richter 1-2
  • Padrós, David: Jo-ha-kyu
  • Parra, Hector: L’aube assaillie : música de cambra
  • Quadreny, Mestres: L’estro aleatorio
  • Ribera Torres, Manel: El món d’Ulisses
  • Rossinyol, Jordi: Lapsus : música de cambra
It's been a while since I reported new stuff, so many of the items below aren't really new anymore. Please note that many of our books (and a few CDs/DVDs) are available in the Music and theatre library catalogue. If you don't live in Stockholm, you can borrow an EMS book as an interlibrary loan ("fjärrlån", ask your local library).

New books
  • Black fat soil = Svart fet jord
  • Harmony and tonality : papers given at a seminar organized by the Music Acoustics Committee of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music
  • OEI nr 55 2011 : on tape
  • Kommentare zur neuen Musik, 1
  • Ackerfeldt, Carl: Depeche Mode : världens mest originella band?
  • Agostini, Luigi: Creating soundscapes
  • Aikin, Jim: Csound power! : the comprehensive guide
  • Anderberg, Carl-Olof: Hän mot en ljudkonst
  • Andersson, Kent: Tendenser inom den moderna musikelektronikkulturen
  • Arrhenius, Sara & Bergh, Magnus: Resan till månen = A trip to the moon
  • Asplund, Pär: Analoga modulära synthesizers : diskussioner kring design
  • Bijsterveld, Karin & Dijck, José van (ed.): Sound souvenirs : audio technologies, memory and cultural practices
  • Breatnach, Mary: Boulez and Mallarmé : a study in poetic influence
  • Bucht, Gunnar: Född på Krigsstigen : minnesbilder, människor, musik
  • Butler, Mark J. (ed.): Electronica, dance and club music
  • Clarke, Eric F. & Emmerson, Simon (ed.): Music, mind and structure
  • Crook, Tim: Radio drama : theory and practice
  • Danchev, Alex (ed.): 100 artists' manifestos
  • Documenta (13 : 2012 : Kassel, Germany): Das Begleitbuch = The guidebook
  • Dolk, Kalle & Ottem, Bernt Johan: Musik & data
  • Duncan, John: John Duncan : Los Angeles, Tokyo, Amsterdam, Scrutto
  • Electroacoustic Music Studies Conference: Sforzando! : June 14-18, 2011, New York City
  • Eriksson, Michael: Jean-Michel Jarre : musiken 1976-1986
  • Eriksson, Michael: Play it again, SID : datorspelsmusiken för Commodore 64
  • Escrivan Rincón, Julio d': Music technology
  • Freedman, Camilla: Elektronmusikprojektet på Kärsbyskolan : 1986-1989
  • Grundmann, Heidi: Re-inventing radio : aspects of radio as art
  • Gärdenfors, Dan: Towards musical hypermedia : an investigation of the possibilities of non-sequential music
  • Hambraeus, Bengt: Aspects of twentieth century performance practice : memories and reflections
  • Hansson, Olof: Efva Lilja och musiken : en studie av Efva Liljas arbete med musik och tonsättare i produktionen Byen Viso
  • Harper, Adam: Infinite music : imagining the next millennium of human music-making
  • Hein, Folkmar & Seelig, Thomas: Internationale Dokumentation elektroakustischer Musik = International documentation of electroacoustic music
  • Holmes, Thom: Electronic and experimental music : technology, music, and culture (4th ed.)
  • Kiefer, Peter (ed.): Klangräume der Kunst
  • Klanten, Robert ; Ehmann, Sven & Hanschke, Verena: A touch of code : interactive installations and experiences
  • LaBelle, Brandon & Martinho, Cláudia (ed.): Site of sound #2 : of architecture and the ear
  • LaBelle, Brandon & Migone, Christof (ed.): Writing aloud : the sonics of language
  • Lidbo, Håkan & Lidbo, Johan: Spelskalle : 60 spel med vardagslivet som insats
  • Machado, Penousal ; Romero, Juan & Carballal, Adrian (ed.): Evolutionary and Biologically Inspired Music, Sound, Art and Design : First International Conference, EvoMUSART 2012. Proceedings
  • McAdams, Stephen: Music and psychology : a mutual regard
  • Migone, Christof: Christof Migone : sound voice perform
  • Millroth, Thomas: Man får förlora sig
  • Museum of Contemporary Art Roskilde: Simple interactions : sound art from Japan : September 24th - December 18th 2011
  • Nordeson, Kjell: Cage och Fylkingen
  • Nylén, Magnus: Fluxus och den experimentella musiken
  • Nyström, Lars-Olof: Digital kreativitet : bland låtskrivare, digitala pirater, tonsättare, hemstudiopulare, musiker, kompositörer och deras maskiner
  • Olofsson, Charlie (ed.): Musik och genus : röster om normer, hierarkier och förändring
  • Olofsson, Martin: De futuristiska musikerna och Einstürzende Neubauten : en jämförelse av bullerestetik
  • Olsson, Erik: David Tudor och kompositörens nya roller
  • Paulsson, Johanna: Avantgardistisk musik & äcklandets estetik : en musiksociologiskt inriktad studie av de provokativa dragen hos Throbbing Gristle
  • Perle, George: Serial composition and atonality : an introduction to the music of Schoenberg, Berg, and Webern
  • Perrine, Jake: Producing music with Ableton Live 8
  • Perrine, Jake: Sound design, mixing, and mastering with Ableton Live
  • Peters Deniz ; Eckel, Gerhard & Dorschel, Andreas (ed.): Bodily expression in electronic music : perspectives on reclaiming performativity
  • Ptak, Anna (ed.): Re-tooling residences : a closer look at the mobility of art professionals
  • Schafer, R. Murray: The new soundscape : a handbook for the modern music teacher
  • Schnupp, Jan ; Nelken, Israel & King, Andrew: Auditory neuroscience : making sense of sound
  • Stockhausen, Karlheinz: Texte ... Bd 1-4
  • Stravinskij, Igor & Craft, Robert: Samtal med Stravinskij. 2
  • Strohecker, Nino: Victims : a film
  • Sverige. Utredningen om en nationell musikplattform: I samspel med musiklivet : en ny nationell plattform för musiken : slutbetänkande
  • Ternhag, Gunnar & Wingstedt, Johnny: På tal om musikproduktion : elva bidrag till ett nytt kunskapsområde
  • Thomas, Ernst (ed.): Darmstädter Beiträge zur Neuen Musik 1961
  • Thyrén, David: Brian Eno : en undersökning av Enos musik
  • Törnblom, Folke H.: Att läsa partitur
  • Zorn, John (ed.): Arcana V : music, magic and mysticism
New CDs and DVDs
  • Cache 2005
  • Cache 2006
  • Computer music journal : sound and video anthology. Volume 35, 2011
  • Cage, John: Variations VII (9 evenings : theatre and engineering)
  • Petersson, Mattias: Floodlight
  • Rauschenberg, Robert: Open score (9 evenings : theatre and engineering)
  • Tudor, David: Bandoneon ! : (a combine) (9 evenings : theatre and engineering)
 (The full catalogue can be found here: http://www.elektronmusikstudion.se/library-and-archives/.)

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Sunday, 2 September 2012

ICMC proceedings online

Thanks to a collaboration with the University of Michigan Library, the International Computer Music Conference proceedings from 1975 onward are now available online. The articles are full text searchable.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Algorithmic.net

Algorithmic.net by Christopher Ariza is a "comprehensive research resource for computer aided algorithmic music composition, including over one-thousand research listings, over one hundred system listings, cross referenced links to research, links to software downloads and documentation, and web-based tools for searching and filtering the complete lexicon."

European Sound Studies Organisation founded

ESSA, the European Sound Studies Organisation, was founded on Friday, July 14 2012. The aim is to provide an international, interdisciplinary and interprofessional organization for promoting the study of sound by providing a forum for knowledge exchange, for conferences, for research encouragement and development of projects, and for information. Membership is currently free, but an annual fee will be charged eventually.

There are three open access journals affiliated with ESSA: Soundeffects, Journal of sonic studies, and Interference, which I've mentioned before.

Call for projects 2013-2014: IRCAM Musical Research Residency Program

The fourth edition of IRCAM's Musical Research Residency program is now open for online submissions for the 2013-2014 school calendar. IRCAM (Institute for Research and Coordination in Acoustics and Music) offers experimental environments where composers/artists strive to expand their artistic experience at one end, and scientists aim at extending research and technological paradigms for new artistic expressions. Such interactive process is called Musical Research.

For its fourth edition, IRCAM and the INEDIT Project partners are inviting composers and artists to submit projects for the 2013-2014 Musical Research Residency program. The program is open to international artists, regardless of age or nationality, who wish to carry experimental research using Ircam's and partners’ facilities and extensive research environment. Submission is online only and an international panel of experts including researchers, composers, computer musicians and artists will evaluate each project. Upon nomination, each candidate will be granted a residency at Ircam during a specific period (three or six months) and in association with a team/project at Ircam. In addition, laureates receive an equivalent of 1200 Euros per month to cover expenses in France.

Submission Deadline: September 30, 2012
Details and submission procedure:
http://www.ircam.fr/875.html?L=1
http://www.ulysses-network.eu/web/competitions/residency2012/

(Via Music-IR list)

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Female sound art in Terz Magazin

Terz Magazin has some articles on women in sound art and electroacoustic music: Lauren Redhead on British artists Caroline Lucas, Lauren Sarah Hayes, Claire M. Singer, and Karen Lauke, Michaela Graf on sexuality and sound art, Sabrina Peña Young on Pauline Oliveros, Maggi Payne, Alice Shields, Adina Izarra, Brenda Hutchinson, Annea Lockwood and Elainie Lillios, and finally Julia Gerlach on Maryanne Amacher, Oliveros, Eliane Radigue, Christina Kubisch, Kaffe Matthews and Hanna Hartmann. There are also features on Mia Zabelka and Katharina Klement.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

DREAM

DREAM, Digital Re-Working Re-Appropriation of Electro-Acoustic Music, is
"a EU funded project aimed at preserving, reconstructing, and exhibiting the devices and the music of the Studio di Fonologia Musicale di Milano della Rai. During the 1950s and 1960s, this was one of the leading places in Europe for the production of electro-acustic music, together with Paris and Cologne.

During the project, part of the equipment of the Studio (oscillators and non-linear filters) has been virtually reconstructed and will become part of the permanent exhibit at the Museum of Musical Instruments in Milan. Some of these devices were used by Belgian composer Henri Pousseur to compose Scambi, one of the very first examples of open forms in music. The history of the Studio and the main project results have been published in the book The Studio di Fonologia - A Musical Journey (Ricordi, 2012)."
I hardly need mention that the Studio di Fonologia was the place where Berio, Maderna and Nono created their early electronic works. It seems that the book hasn't been released yet, but there's an earlier Italian version available at the Ricordi website.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

More random stuff

Open space publications and magazine.

A chronology / history of electronic and computer music and related events 1906 - 2012 by Paul Doornbusch.

EAnalysis (beta version) - a tool for the analysis of electroacoustic music, to be presented at the EMS conference in Stockholm.

AES oral history #85 - John Chowning on the origins of FM synthesis (lots of other interesting clips too).

Multimodal music processing - a free online book edited by Meinard Müller, Masataka Goto and Markus Schedl.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

New issue of Hz, #17

DYNAMIC PERFORMANCE OF NATURE: AUGMENTING ENVIRONMENTAL PERCEPTION THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA AND ARCHITECTURAL INFORMATICS
by BRIAN W. BRUSH, YONG JU LEE & NOA YOUNSE
Dynamic Performance of Nature is a permanent architectural media installation in the Leonardo Museum located in Salt Lake City, Utah. It intends to augment environmental perception in museum visitors by communicating global environmental information through a dynamic and interactive interface, facilitated by social media, and embedded in the material of a high-tech media wall.

FEELTRACE AND THE EMOTIONS (AFTER CHARLES DARWIN)
by DEBRA SWACK
The Emotions is a multi-channel photographic, possibly interactive, video done in collaboration with the Brain Mind Institute in Switzerland about the universality of emotions on a biological level and the potential for futuristic misuse through genetic and or technological modification. Genetically emotionally or otherwise enhanced individuals could become the fashionable norm; synthetic biology could replace plastic surgery, with the further complication of not knowing where those genetic modifications might take them as individuals or us as a species.

FROM PLAINTEXT PLAYERS TO AVATAR ACTORS: A SHORT SURVEY OF ONLINE GAMING PERFORMANCE
by MATHIAS JANSSON
Online performance started in the early text based systems as MOO, MUD and chat rooms and have followed the technology development into 3D online worlds. Joseph Delappe, Eva and Franco Mattes, Rainey Straus and Katherine Isbister are some examples of artists who are today making performance in these new digitals worlds.

EMERGENCE IN THE SOCIAL WEB
by LIAT BERDUGO
With emergence theory - in ant colonies, cities, and brains - the whole is more than the sum of its parts. Something new is happening online, where a collective consciousness seems to emerge from the social web, giving rise to emergent phenomena like memes, the Occupy Movement, and the hacker collective Anonymous.

A STEP BACKWARDS FOR A LEAP FORWARD: THE OFF LABEL FESTIVAL / DIGITAL ART WEEKS 2011
by ART CLAY
The OFF Label Festival is the brainchild of the Digital Arts International Network group in collaboration with host institutes around the world. Wary of the present New Media movement in the arts and the academic environment upon which many "New Media Art Festivals" and "Science and Art" fusion events depend, the DAW moved this year's edition into more diverse and eclectic waters and targeted a more general audience by focusing on analogue arts, mixed-media art forms, and by introducing the element of spirituality.

THE BOOK OF STAMPS: TRAVEL GUIDE FOR SONIC LANDSCAPING FROM CITIES TO URBAN CULTURES
by ART CLAY
The Book of Stamps is a travel guide between sonic landscapes from cities to urban cultures. The sheets of the book provide a "recording surface" and the ink stamps with their various patterns provide the ability to place sounds into the book. Together they act as an interactive tangible interface for a variety of time based musical tasks that form a collaborative composition by its users.

THEMUSICOFTHEFUTUREISNTMUSIC
by HENRY GWIAZDA
"What is music today anyway? Is it still organized sound? Or is it evolving into something else? Perhaps music is not only sound. Perhaps artists choose a medium to work in because it enables them to present their ideas reflecting how they view time?" Video artist and composer Henry Gwiazda discusses his artistic progression from music/sound to what he describes as "multimedia digital choreography" and questions what the music of the future might look/sound like.

VISUAL RHYTHMS
by SIMON LONGO & MAX SCHLESER
Visual Rhythms is a collaborative project between Simon Longo and Max Schleser. The article explores the transversal synergy between sound and video, placing the Bergsonian concept of intuition at the basis of the creative discovery in the live performance, which materialises into a temporal AV experience during this artistic intervention.

CLICK FOR DETAILS, A SOUND AND LIGHT INSTALLATION
by ALESSANDRO PERINI
The core of the sound and light installation Click for Details is a looped 4- channels electronic music track, entirely produced using a single impulse (mathematically a Dirac delta, also called "click" or "glitch") as the only source for the whole piece. Departing from the the traditional dualism of sound and visuals as a combination of two different levels of perception, the work intends to provide the audience with an experience of sound and light as two aspects of a sole entity, related to the same source.

VERTIGO OF THE TECHNOLOGICAL SUBLIME
by VITO CAMPANELLI
This essay of Campanelli explores a deeper reflection on Abstract Journeys, the most recent artwork by the Italian artist Marco Cadioli. Abstract Journeys consists of a series of screencapture video and images from Google Earth whose different surfaces and forms have been transformed by human activities in an abstract geometric compositions.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Sound and Music Computing Sweden conference

The Sound and Music Computing, Understanding and Practicing in Sweden conference will take place at KTH (the Royal Institute of Technology) on April 3-4. Besides paper presentations, Johannes Bergmark will talk about Muzak Blocker, and Marcus Wrangö about Audiorama. There will also be demos of products from Teenage Engineering, Wallander Instruments and Score Cleaner. For details, see the full programme.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

OREMA (Online Repository for Electroacoustic Music Analysis)

Via MUSIC-IR:

"This is an open invitation to the OREMA (Online Repository for Electroacoustic Music Analysis) project. We are looking for people with an interest in electroacoustic music analysis (in any genre) to become participants in this project. The OREMA project is a community-based repository and forum for electroacoustic music analysis. It is a platform where analysts can upload and share their analyses of electroacoustic compositions and participate in online discussions of analytical methodologies and strategies with other practitioners. The aim of the project is to establish an active community focused on the analysis of electroacoustic music. The OREMA website could be a valuable resource for a wide range of practical, research and pedagogic applications.

The OREMA project is split into three main areas: analyses, the analytical toolbox and the community forum. The analysis section of the website is a place where users can publish their analyses of any electroacoustic work. The analytical toolbox is a collection of methodologies and strategies for electroacoustic music analysis. Finally, there is a forum where users can post topics to debate ideas on the subject of electroacoustic music analysis.

Registration is free and open to anyone. We welcome composers, musicologists, practitioners, enthusiasts, teachers and students to take part in this project. If you are interested in becoming a member of the OREMA project please visit the main page of the website (www.orema.dmu.ac.uk) and click the create an account link under the login portal.

History of the project
Since March of last year the OREMA project has been tested with 20 plus core participants working on analyses and discussing topics concerning the analysis of electroacoustic music. There are currently 12 analyses that have been submitted to the OREMA project of 7 different compositions ranging from acousmatic works to audio-only games.

Links
Project website: www.orema.dmu.ac.uk
Googlegroup: http://groups.google.com/group/orema_project?lnk=srg

Notes
The OREMA project is part of the New Multimedia Tools for Electroacoustic Music Analysis project, which is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) in the Music, Technology and Innovation Research Centre at De Montfort University, Leicester.

All content held on the website is protected under a Creative Commons Licence. This specific Creative Commons Licence has been chosen, as participants are encouraged to share and alter analyses provided that attribution is given to the original author(s)."

Musica/Tecnologia

Musica/Tecnologia is a free electroacoustic music journal, published by Firenze University Press, with articles mostly in Italian, but also in French and English.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Francisco López's SONM archive

Francisco López has very generously made his private music collection into a public resource, the Sound Archive of Experimental Music and Sound Art (SONM). It's a free streaming-only archive, but one has to register to listen. According to López,
[t]his sound archive is not the result of a collector's accumulation (I am not a collector) but is instead the consequence of an intense activity as an artist, and also of one of the most fundamental features of the international community of sound artists: the exchange and collaboration, both physical and telematic. The archive is thus a personal collection, subjective, partial, and particularly focused on the global communities of so-called "independent" or "underground" artists, which I am part of since the late 70s.

In spite of this, however, since my sonic and pesonal interests have always been very wide, the natural result in the collection is a large variety and representation of the inmense universe of sound practices in experimental music and sound art. With nearly 5,000 items on cassette, vinyl, CD, and DVD, at the time of its offical opening, this sound archive is predominantly composed of very small editions -in many cases self-editions by the artists themselves- encompassing all kinds of aesthetics, movements, periods, labels, and sonic manifestations: electronic, concrete, industrial, noise, minimal, improvisation, soundscapes, glitch, turntablism, avant-garde, etc.

Furthermore, the collection is in constant expansion with all the sound materials I personally receive and with the contributions of a myriad sound artists worldwide that want their work to be adequately preserved and promoted with the resources of this sound archive.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

The Latin American electroacoustic music collection

The Latin American electroacoustic music collection is a convenient resource compiled by Ricardo Dal Farra. It lists 1723 works by 390 composers from 1956-2007, with an historical introduction, composer biographies and interviews.

A nice bonus is that a selection of 231 compositions is available for listening online, some with scores or sonograms.

I wish we could do something similar with the EMS music archive.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Two online journals

Dancecult : journal of electronic dance music culture. "Dancecult is a peer-reviewed, open-access e-journal for the study of electronic dance music culture (EDMC)."

Jems : journal of experimental music studies. "Jems is an online peer-reviewed journal devoted to experimental, systems, minimal, post-minimal, ‘new’ tonal and postmodern music." The same web site also hosts The experimental music catalogue and its article archive.

I've updated the meta-bibliography. All links to Music & Dance Reference should now work.

Friday, 20 January 2012

EAM and 20th century modernism

Reading Paul Griffiths' Modern music and after (3. ed.), I was struck by the author's cursory treatment of EAM, especially since he himself writes that
"[...] electronic music was soon set on a path apart from other music, to become a sphere (too often regarded as a secondary sphere) with its own institutions and proponents." (p. 18, emphasis mine)
Griffiths doesn't reveal the identity of those who regard EAM as a "secondary sphere" (nor what he means by "secondary"), but he certainly seems to belong to them, since he mentions almost no composers that have devoted themselves to EAM.

From the book's index I've estimated that, of the 10-11 most mentioned composers, Stockhausen receives by far the most attention, followed by Boulez, Cage and Nono, and then Berio, Messiaen, Ligeti, Stravinsky, Babbitt, Kagel and Lachenmann. Surprisingly, Xenakis is not among these 11, and ranks below e.g. Elliott Carter, Maxwell Davies, Ferneyhough, Henze, Kurtág, Reich, and Scelsi.

The composers Griffiths discusses in connexion with EAM are almost the same as the ones listed above. Of those that's mentioned more than twice, Stockhausen again receives the most attention, followed by Nono, Berio, Cage, Babbitt, Boulez, Chowning and Schaeffer. These composers were obviously important for the development of EAM, but many of them wrote mainly instrumental and vocal music.

Many of the other EAM composers discussed in the book are associated with either IRCAM or computer music, such as Jonathan Harvey, Jean-Claude Risset and Charles Dodge. Xenakis' EAM isn't mentioned, and also left out are the entire French/Canadian acousmatic and soundscape traditions, e.g. Bayle, Dhomont, Ferrari, Parmegiani, Radigue, Schafer, Smalley, Truax, and Westerkamp.

Of course, Modern music and after is an introductory text, and numerous composers have to be excluded (for another perspective on this, see James Primosch's blog post Whose “Modern Music” and whose “After”?). I still think that Griffiths' text is a good introduction to the main trends in 20th century modernism, and a glance through Music in the late twentieth century, the fifth volume of Richard Taruskin's Oxford history of Western music, suggests that it too suffers from the same distorted view of EAM.

But privileging EAM that emanates from serial and computer music is an unfortunate bias that carries with it notions of purity, control and academicism. It's no coincidence that David Metzer chooses Stockhausen's Gesang der Jünglinge and Harvey's Mortuos plango, vivos voco as his prime examples of purity in Musical modernism at the turn of the twenty-first century.

Not all computer music sucks, and there is certainly boring and academic-sounding acousmatic EAM, but that's no reason for musicologists to neglect the latter.

EAM and music perception

There is an interesting discussion in the online journal Empirical musicology review (EMR) concerning the use of electroacoustic music (EAM) for the study of music perception. In "Time series analysis as a method to examine acoustical influences on real-time perception of music" (EMR, vol. 5, no. 4 (October, 2010)), Roger T. Dean and Freya Bailes use an extract from Trevor Wishart's Red bird to analyse correlations between the acoustic properties intensity and spectral flatness, and listener arousal (perceptions of change) and valence (expressed affect). They argue that
"[p]revious studies of listeners’ real-time perceptions of affect in music have attempted to map response through time to acoustic properties of the piece [...]. Missing are substantial attempts to assess which acoustic properties also drive listeners’ perceptions of the structure of the same music. Structure in this instance need not be a music-theoretic analysis of large-scale form [...], but refers to the low-level assessment by a listener of change and continuity in the music. [... M]usical forms that do not rely on hierarchical structures such as tonality or meter might exhibit quite a close relationship between acoustic properties of the work, listener perceptions of structure (change in sound), and listener perceptions of affect. EAM is one such form, and the subject of the current paper."
Dean and Bailes find that
"intensity influences perceptions of change and expressed arousal substantially. Spectral flatness influences valence, while animate sounds influence the valence response and its variance."

Marcus T. Pearce, in "Time-series analysis of Music: Perceptual and Information Dynamics" (EMR, vol. 6, no. 2 (April, 2011)), comments that Dean and Bailes
"[...] give two reasons for using EAM in their study: first, to demonstrate that their methods generalise beyond Western tonal music which is more often used in empirical work on music perception; and second, Red Bird provides an opportunity to test their methods on idiosyncratic temporally-localised timbral features in addition to the continuous features which generalise to other musical genres (see, e.g., Dean, Bailes & Schubert, 2011). Interestingly, their timbre feature of choice is spectral flatness, which they view as a more global indicator of timbre than spectral centroid, which is more commonly used in research on music perception (though this is not true of research on audio signal processing and music information retrieval where spectral flatness is one of the standard descriptors used in the MPEG 7 standard)."
Spectral flatness is the geometric mean of the power spectrum divided by the arithmetic mean. Noisy spectra have high flatness, peaky spectra low flatness. Spectral flatness is also related to the information content of the sound. The spectral centroid, i.e. the mean, barycenter or "mass center" of a spectrum, is correlated with brightness. Both flatness and centroid are included in the MPEG 7 standard. For descriptions of these and other timbre measures, see Geoffroy Peeters, A large set of audio features for sound description, 2004.

In addition, Pearce remarks that
"Dean and Bailes also argue that EAM can be algorithmically generated in such a way that the acoustic and algorithmic parameters of interest are systematically varied in creating stimuli for research on music perception. In other work, for example, Dean et al. (2011) extend their approach to the effects of intensity on arousal in two pieces written by Roger Dean, one of which is composed in the minimalist style. We might legitimately ask what advantage such algorithmically generated music has over the stimuli often constructed artificially to create experimental conditions in empirical research on music perception. The most obvious advantage is that the results gain in ecological validity from using stimuli created by composers, using stylistically legitimate methods, with an artistic purpose. These results should generalise to the experience of similar music outside the laboratory, while results obtained with artificially created or altered musical stimuli are not guaranteed to do so. The advantage of computer-generated music over other musical styles is that it can be produced so as to conserve experimental control."

Dean and Bailes respond to Pearce in another paper, "Modelling perception of structure and affect in music: spectral centroid and Wishart’s Red Bird" (EMR, vol. 6, no. 2 (April, 2011)) where they analyse the Red Bird extract using spectral centroid and find that
"[...] it is fairly clear that spectral centroid and spectral flatness bear a quite distant relationship to atomic perceptual processes, and it is still unclear how they may influence cognition. But acoustic intensity, on the other hand, is an immediate determinant of an important perceptual response, loudness, and this relationship is much better understood. Again, most studies use short tones, often synthetic, but it is clear that even with longer musical extracts, intensity is a close determinant of continuously perceived loudness."