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

Joel Chadabe: Electric Sound: The Past and Promise of Electronic Music (1997)

6 July 2019, dusan

A classic of electronic music history based on 150 interviews by an active participant in the northeast American scene.

Publisher Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 1997
ISBN 0133032310, 9780133032314
xiv+370 pages
via x

Reviews: Marc Battiq Ircam (Leonardo Music Journal, 1997), Anna Laura Arpel (Computer Music Journal, 1997), Warren Burt (Computer Music Journal, 1998), Rebecca Coyle (Convergence, 1999), Darwin Grosse (Cycling74, 2018), Jay Williston (Synthmuseum, n.d.).

Author
WorldCat

PDF (44 MB)