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  4. Compositional Reproduction in the Wake of Big Data




Compositional Reproduction in the Wake of Big Data




Speaker: Aaron Einbond (City, University of London)

Series: Department of Music Research Seminars

Music Information Retrieval (MIR), the science of extracting musical Big Data, since its beginnings in the late 1990s has increasingly penetrated the classification, distribution, marketing, consumption, and creation of music. Even for musicians who do not identify their work as electroacoustic, MIR technology has probably affected their process at some point in listening, planning, production, or recording.

The implications for music making are vast: as Nicolas Donin writes, “‘composition’ [...] now includes as well the navigation between different ‘reproducibilities’ through operations of translation such as transcription, transcoding, or transformations.” The myth of compositional originality is superseded while musical “re-production” takes its place among other fields of “re-search” as a practice of information-gathering.

Composition resourcing Big Data, to borrow phrases from writers Kenneth Goldsmith and Marjorie Perloff, is “uncreative writing” where, rather than generating new information, emphasis is given to “moving information.” It encourages distributed processes of creation—reminiscent of research collaboration in other fields—where sound and media artists, performers, directors, and software developers merge to make work at the intersection of composition, improvisation, theater, and installation. Audio and video examples will be drawn from my recent compositional practice, which I refer to as musique instrumentale concrète referencing Pierre Schaeffer and Helmut Lachenmann, as well as other composer-reproducers.

Aaron Einbond

Aaron Einbond’s work explores the intersection of instrumental composition, sound installation, field recording, and technology, bringing the spontaneity of live performance together with computer interactivity. His recent music has focused on audio transcription as the centre of a creative process bridging composition, improvisation, and interpretation, questioning the thresholds of perception between instrument, stage, room, and loudspeaker.

Recently Chicago-based Ensemble Dal Niente released his portrait album Without Words on Carrier Records, SWR Experimentalstudio produced his Giga-Hertz prizewinning Cartographies for piano with two performers and electronics for the 47-loudspeaker Klangdom at ZKM in Karlsruhe, and the Académie du Festival d’Aix and Opera Lab Berlin co-produced his site-specific ambient chamber opera Hidden in Plain Sight in the streets of Aix-en-Provence.

Upcoming projects include a concert-installation for Yarn/Wire and a collaboration with TwoNewDuo. He is Co-Artistic Director of Qubit New Music Initiative, with whom he curates and produces experimental media in New York.

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When and where

5.30pm - 7.30pmWednesday 26th October 2016

AG09 College Building City, University of London St John Street London EC1V 4PB United Kingdom