Re: The cultural engineer


Subject: Re: The cultural engineer
From: Innes <%> (iparki23@yahoo.com)
Date: Tue Feb 01 2005 - 19:00:44 EST


> Actually, there were never any composers working
> with CSIRAC - that
> was one of the key points of the developments at
> Bell Labs.

 My points viz semioticians/people with a knowledge
of cultural theory compsing was not related directly
to the scientists at Bell. The points did refer to
contemporary composers with cultural/social
understanding of what composition and rendition
entails.
Although upon further reading Pearcey was a Brit so
the post colonial angle may be a partially mooted.

 but "computer music",
> and the inquiry
> of what it might mean musically and compositionally
> to use such a
> machine for music, would have to wait for later
> developments.

 Well the hand with its digits (digital) can be used
to compute and also to make music. So I agree with
your speech marks around "computer music".
Furthermore, the human brain is an exquisite computer,
and future developments in machine computing may
contain organic matter integrated with circuitry.
 

CSIRAC was built and first played music in
> Sydney in 1950
> or 1951. That activity was further developed in
> Melbourne after it
> was moved there (on the back of a rather large
> truck) in 1956.

 Ouch.. Well my students here in Sydney will be
pleased to hear that.

> Also, because for cultural and political reasons,
> CSIRACs musical
> activities were never "exported" or written up in
> any journals or
> exported to the northern hemisphere...

 Given the flow of information between countries that
were to become Echelon at the end of WW2 which enabled
computer technology to be developed between UK,
Australia, USA etc. I imagine that most developments
were noted by intelligence services and divulged at
one end of the planet or another.
There are also phenomena such as morphic resonance,
the collective (un)conscious, and Bell's telephone.
Science, like music does not operate externally to
society.

Your website reflects great work Paul, and you have
every right to remain as the author and the authority.
Yet once the work is written, performed or recorded it
is not finished by any means as its interpretation,
contextualisation (and recompostion) continues. Many
American textbooks on EA start with IBM in the 50/60s,
I wonder if this will change.. not likely..

regards,
Innes Park

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