Curtis Roads: Composing Electronic Music: A New Aesthetic (2015)

8 July 2018, dusan

“Electronic music evokes new sensations, feelings, and thoughts in both composers and listeners. Opening the door to an unlimited universe of sound, it engages spatialization as an integral aspect of composition and focuses on sound transformation as a core structural strategy. In this new domain, pitch occurs as a flowing and ephemeral substance that can be bent, modulated, or dissolved into noise. Similarly, time occurs not merely as a fixed duration subdivided by ratios, but as a plastic medium that can be generated, modulated, reversed, warped, scrambled, and granulated. Envelope and waveform undulations on all time scales interweave to generate form. The power of algorithmic methods amplify the capabilities of music technology. Taken together, these constitute game-changing possibilities.

This convergence of technical and aesthetic trends prompts the need for a new text focused on the opportunities of a sound oriented, multiscale approach to composition of electronic music. Sound oriented means a practice that takes place in the presence of sound. Multiscale means an approach that takes into account the perceptual and physical reality of multiple, interacting time scales-each of which can be composed. After more than a century of research and development, now is an appropriate moment to step back and reevaluate all that has changed under the ground of artistic practice.

Composing Electronic Music outlines a new theory of composition based on the toolkit of electronic music techniques. The theory consists of a framework of concepts and a vocabulary of terms describing musical materials, their transformation, and their organization. Central to this discourse is the notion of narrative structure in composition-how sounds are born, interact, transform, and die. It presents a guidebook: a tour of facts, history, commentary, opinions, and pointers to interesting ideas and new possibilities to consider and explore.”

Publisher Oxford University Press, 2015
ISBN 9780195373233, 0195373235
xxvii+480 pages

Reviews: Nick Collins (Music and Letters, 2016), Gregory Taylor (Cycling74, 2016), Warren Burt (SoundBytes, 2016).

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (24 MB)
Companion website

Pauline Oliveros: Sonic Meditations (1974)

21 December 2017, dusan

“25 meditations for musicians of all ages and skill levels, to help them learn how to focus on, listen to, and produce sound naturally. An important work in the development of Oliveros’ Deep Listening.”

Publisher Smith Publications, Baltimore, MD, [1974]
[33] pages

Commentary: Pauline Oliveros (Painted Bride Quarterly, 1976), William Osborne (2000), Kerry O’Brien (New Yorker, 2016), Bradford Bailey (The Hum, 2016), Emma Warren (Bowers & Wilkins, 2017).

Author
WorldCat

PDF

See also Oliveros in UbuWeb Sound and UbuWeb Film.

Douglas Kahn, Gregory Whitehead (eds.): Wireless Imagination: Sound, Radio, and the Avant-Garde (1992)

13 November 2017, dusan

Wireless Imagination addresses perhaps the most conspicuous silence in contemporary theory and art criticism, the silence that surrounds the polyphonous histories of audio art. Composed of both original essays and several newly translated documents, this book provides a close audition to some of the most telling and soundful moments in the ‘deaf century,’ conceived and performed by such artists as Raymond Roussel, Antonin Artaud, Marcel Duchamp, André Breton, John Cage, Hugo Ball, Kurt Weill, and William Burroughs.

From the late nineteenth century to the 1960s, the essays uncover the fantastic acoustic scenarios projected through the writings of Raymond Roussel; the aural objects of Marcel Duchamp; Dziga Vertov’s proposal for a phonographic ‘laboratory of hearing’; the ZAUM language and Radio Sorcery conjured by Velimir Khlebnikov; the iconoclastic castaways of F.T. Marinetti’s La Radia; the destroyed musics of the Surrealists; the noise bands of Russolo, Foregger, Varèse, and Cage; the contorted radio talk show delivered by Antonin Artaud; the labyrinthine inner journeys invoked by German Hörspiel; and the razor contamination and cut-up ventriloquism of William S. Burroughs.”

With essays by Douglas Kahn, Charles Grivel, Craig Adcock, Christopher Schiff, Mel Gordon, Gregory Whitehead, Allen S. Weiss, Mark E. Cory, Frances Dyson, and Robin Lydenberg.

Publisher MIT Press, 1992
ISBN 0262111683, 9780262111683
xi+452 pages

Reviews: Timothy Dean Taylor (Postmodern Cult, 1993), David L. Austin (Art Doc, 1993), Gerald Hartnett (Leonardo Music J, 1994), Stephen Miles (Notes, 1994), Ágnes Ivacs (Artpool, n.d.).

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (98 MB, no OCR)