From Xenakis’s UPIC to Graphic Notation Today (2020)

26 April 2020, dusan

“In the late 1970s, an interdisciplinary team led by the composer Iannis Xenakis developed the UPIC (Unité Polyagogique Informatique CEMAMu) out of an effort to transform drawings into synthesized sound. The composers can draw waveforms and envelopes straight onto an electronic tablet interface and translate them into sound through the computer. The revolution in graphic composition triggered by Iannis Xenakis and carried forward by other established computer musicians such as Jean-Claude Risset or Curtis Roads continues forty years later in modern computer programs.”

“Together with the Centre Iannis Xenakis, the ZKM is now addressing the genesis of this unique computational instrument and traces its technical, social, institutional, and educational significance up to the current practice of contemporary composers.”

Contributors: Richard Barrett, Rodolphe Bourotte, Pierre Couprie, Cyrille Delhaye, Alain Després, Julio Estrada, Kiyoshi Furukawa, Rudolf Frisius, Hughes Genevois, Kosmas Giannoutakis, Dimitris Kamarotos, Henning Lohner, François-Bernard Mâche, Guy Médigue, Chikashi Miyama, Lukas Nowok, Gerard Pape, Marcin Pietruszewski, Brigitte Robindoré, Julia Rommel, Julian Scordato, Takehito Shimazu, Victoria Simon, Andrey Smirnov, Ronald Squibbs, Katerina Tsioukra, Peter Weibel.

Edited by Peter Weibel, Ludger Brümmer and Sharon Kanach
Publisher Hatje Cantz, Berlin, and ZKM, Karlsruhe, 2020
Open access
ISBN 9783775747417, 3775747419
672 pages

Publisher
Publisher
WorldCat

PDF, PDF (12 MB)
Audio samples and additional archive material

Georgina Born: Rationalizing Culture: IRCAM, Boulez, and the Institutionalization of the Musical Avantgarde (1995)

16 December 2019, dusan

“Anthropologist Georgina Born presents an ethnography of the renowned Institut de Recherche et de Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM) in Paris. As a year-long participant-observer, Born studied the social and cultural economy of an institution for research and production of avant-garde and computer music. She gives a unique portrait of IRCAM’s composers, computer scientists, technicians, and secretaries, interrogating the effects of the cultural philosophy of the controversial avant-garde composer, Pierre Boulez, who directed the institute until 1992.

Born depicts a major artistic institution trying to maintain its status and legitimacy in an era increasingly dominated by market forces, and in a volatile political and cultural climate. She illuminates the erosion of the legitimacy of art and science in the face of growing commercial and political pressures. By tracing how IRCAM has tried to accomodate these pressures while preserving its autonomy, Born reveals the contradictory effects of institutionalizing an avant-garde.”

Publisher University of California Press, Berkeley, CA, 1995
ISBN 0520202163, 9780520202160
xvi+390 pages

Reviews: Tia DeNora (Am J of Sociology, 1996), Eduardo de la Fuente (Culture and Policy, 1996), Simon Emmerson (Review: J Royal Musical Association, 1997), Timothy Dowd (Contemporary Sociology, 1997), Paul D. Lopes (American Ethnologist, 1998), Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner (Computer Music J, 1999).

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (17 MB)

Thor Magnusson: Sonic Writing: Technologies of Material, Symbolic, and Signal Inscriptions (2019)

16 September 2019, dusan

Sonic Writing explores how contemporary music technologies trace their ancestry to previous forms of instruments and media. Studying the domains of instrument design, musical notation, and sound recording under the rubrics of material, symbolic, and signal inscriptions of sound, the book describes how these historical techniques of sonic writing are implemented in new digital music technologies. With a scope ranging from ancient Greek music theory, medieval notation, early modern scientific instrumentation to contemporary multimedia and artificial intelligence, it provides a theoretical grounding for further study and development of technologies of musical expression. The book draws a bespoke affinity and similarity between current musical practices and those from before the advent of notation and recording, stressing the importance of instrument design in the study of new music and projecting how new computational technologies, including machine learning, will transform our musical practices.

Sonic Writing offers a richly illustrated study of contemporary musical media, where interactivity, artificial intelligence, and networked devices disclose new possibilities for musical expression. Thor Magnusson provides a conceptual framework for the creation and analysis of this new musical work, arguing that contemporary sonic writing becomes a new form of material and symbolic design–one that is bound to be ephemeral, a system of fluid objects where technologies are continually redesigned in a fast cycle of innovation.”

Publisher Bloomsbury Academic, New York & London, 2019
ISBN 9781501313851, 1501313851
xiv+290 pages

Reviews: Gregory Taylor (Cycling ’74, 2019), Diana Chester (Interference, 2019).

Author’s research blog
Publisher
WorldCat

PDF
EPUB