Call for proposals

Writing <–> Technology
Composers 1973-1983
Editors: Giacomo Albert, Andrea Valle

The musicological journal «Nuove Musiche» invites authors to submit a proposal for the forthcoming issue, No. 5 (2018). The topic of the issue will be living composers’ relation with technology and writing. Such a relationship must be understood in the widest sense, both as technology for writing and as writing for technology.

The aim of the issue is to provide a phenomenology of music practices in relation to the two main themes indicated by the title. This requires an in-depth scrutiny of some features of musical outputs created by some of the most prominent composers born between 1973 and 1983. The chosen time range defines a generation that:

  • reached the legal age after the fall of the Berlin Wall;
  • experienced growing globalization, cultural transnationalization and the continuous development of new forms of communication;
  • grew up in the digital age;
  • developed new musical architectures and devised new forms of performance;
  • gave a renewed attention to the expression of outer meanings;
  • developed new ways of expression through music;
  • experimented with new relationships between performers, instruments and technology;
  • approached writing for multimedia in innovative ways, being able to imagine new ways of combining sound and other media.

This Nuove Musiche issue is intended to capture some of these aspects through the lens of the relation between writing and technology (see below for suggested topics).

Authors are expected to perform a twofold task, working both on the music of a composer and together with her/him. To this end, we have compiled a list of composers that are willing to collaborate in this investigation. Authors are asked to write an essay on their own between 20.000 and 30.000 characters, analyzing the music(s) of one of the selected composers, with a specific attention to the relationship between technology and writing. As a second step, authors will collaborate with the composer they choose, writing a joint article (this may vary in form: e.g. from an interview to a fully collaborative piece of writing) between 15.000 and 20.000 characters, contextualizing the topic of the call, referring also to other works of the composer, and including/deepening aspects that were not discussed in the musicological essay.

The list of selected composers is as follows (in birth order):
Francesco Filidei (1973), Malin Bång, Panayotis Kokoras, Jennifer Walshe (1974), Andrea Agostini, Raphaël Cendo, Mauro Lanza (1975), Dmitri Kourliandskij, Simon Steen-Andersen (1976), Rama Gottfried, Eduardo Moguillansky, Du Yun (1977), Ondřej Adámek, Stefan Prins, Alexander Schubert, Francesca Verunelli, Vito Žuraj (1979), Johannes Kreidler, Sarah Nemtsov (1980), Ryan Carter, Marina Khorkova (1981), Ashley Fure, Tristan Perich (1982), Clara Iannotta (1983)

I. Technology:
Technology being a vast and heterogeneous domain, the following is a set of topics intended to provide clues and suggestions:

- structural use of advanced technology in composition, such as CAC and algorithmic composition, in which the computer acts not only as a secondary tool but rather as pivotal component in the composition process.
-> a tool as a co-subject in composition

- composition as music design, that is as a relationship between constraints and materials. Technology should be intended in a broader sense: as a device – even if not a physical one – that triggers composition and prompts musical construction. Thus, compositional techniques, formalized procedures etc. could be intended as technological devices.
-> compositional techniques as technology

- the so-called “lutherie”, that is the exploitation of new possibilities both in extended performance techniques on traditional and completely new instruments (where novelty may be referred to their use in the “traditional” composition context)
-> extended techniques in search of new sounds/practices

- the use of “extra-musical objects/devices” in composition
-> objects from outside the compositional space

- the use of technologically extended instruments
-> technology (electronics, physical computing, virtual and hyper-instruments)

- the overall correlation of instruments and music with multimedia technologies, even if they are not directly bound together but simply participate in the same musical and multimedia discourse.
-> multimedia

II. Writing:
While technology is pervading the music domain also from the point of view of production (widening the area of exploration), we are most interested in the relationship between technology (see before) and writing:

- writing as a crucial pivot that allows the coordination/integration of technology with human performers

- writing as a form of design, that is as the structural organization/planning of the live interaction between musicians and other elements

- writing as an attention shift towards the formal/symbolic side, as it requires an abstraction effort in relation to objects that are typically not conceptualized in musical terms

- writing as a way to extract/abstract technology, so as to insert it into a symbolic organization, defining specific features or modes of usage

Proposals of 150 words ca. must be submitted by July 31, 2017 to:
Proposals – written in English, Italian, French, or German – should also express a list of three composers authors would be interested to work on and with, in order of preference.
Acceptance notifications will be provided by August 31, 2017.
Deadline for the submission of full articles is April 30, 2018.

All text must be written in English.

Download the call for proposals