Re: Lack of clarity regarding the term EA, clarification

Subject: Re: Lack of clarity regarding the term EA, clarification
From: Rick (
Date: Fri Mar 18 2005 - 04:30:29 EST

It sounds like one of you is talking about electroacoustics as a tool
and the other is talking about electroacoustic music.

I think the point K is making is that there is a difference. EA means
nothing but what it says. It is a means to an end. The tools of the

EA music is music that is made by those means. AFTER that comes the
aesthetic "divisions"

There is no "creative copout" . Saying a piece of music is EA is like
saying a piece of music is orchestral. Except with EA, it doesn't have
to concern music, whereas an orchestra has a hard time doing anything

But then again, I used to play soccer (football) with the local
orchestra. So maybe that was orchestral football.


On Thu, 17 Mar 2005 23:10:53 -0500 (EST), Eliot Handelman
<> wrote:
> >>It says nothing at all about the music and makes no distinctions
> >>between the practices of EA and anything else that uses loudspeakers.
> > Thank you. This is the position I have proposed all along -- if it is
> > transduced by a loudspeaker, it is EA
> Unless it's "anything else that uses loudspeakers," eg, the
> weather report. I don't find it illuminating to describe
> "eye on the sky" as "EA." Perhaps you need something like
> "loudspeakeronics" rather than EA as a description of your interests.
> > Eliot Handelman wrote:
> >>Kevin Austin wrote:
> > An acoustical characteristic of almost all ea is that it is point
> > source in origin. In my experience, the experience of listening to a
> > Beethoven quartet played live and produced through loudspeakers is
> > not the same. The Bach/Carlos is a representation of the Invention (a
> > minor) that does not exist in an acoustical form other than as it
> > comes from loudspeakers.
> Jonathan Crow, the concertmaster/soloist of the MSO was on my show,
> and I played him some simulated orchestra stuff and asked him what he
> thought. He made an interesting comment -- that it takes the creative
> freedom and influence of the recording engineer to the next level. I
> also asked him about the acoustics of Salle Wilfred Pelltier (the
> major orchestral concert hall in montreal) and he said that it felt
> fine while playing, but that listening was like "watching a movie," in
> other words the sound is out there and you're over here in the
> audience. So there are a couple of points in this. First, that
> recording is just revealing itself to be continuous with composing,
> through simulation -- surely, as well, in EA, a part of which always
> does seem to me to be about simulation. Second, that the acoustic
> experience is often a compromise to the ideal of performance, which to
> my mind is always best served by immersion (I think it's in the nature
> of music). In other words, the acoustic experience is an aspiration
> rather than a category. And that leads to the further thought that the
> only real distinction worth making in music is the conflict between
> the vision of what might happen and what does happen, and that there's
> no way to adumbrate that conflict (I haven't heard the word
> "adumbrate" since the early 90s, forgive me).
> > I have no difficulty
> > with my proposed 'definition' of ea, and to date no one has proposed
> > a "better' more comprehensive, clearer or more articulate
> >>definition.
> It's as good as describing quattrocento painting as "the application
> of smearable pigmented matter to a surface," or "it uses brushes."
> It's a creative cop-out, Kevin, and you need something better.
> Jim Randall once showed me a music appreciation book he was reading
> for a course on writing about music, that described the opening of the
> Beethoven 9 as "a sustained dominant pedal." "That really says what in
> that opening contributed to this piece coming to be known as the
> crowning achievement of western music, doesn't it?" he asked.
> -- eliot

Rick Nance
De Montfort University
Leicester, UK


"It's a poor sort of memory that only works backward." -- Lewis Carroll

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