Re: CIMESP-Results Fwd:

Subject: Re: CIMESP-Results Fwd:
From: bill thompson (
Date: Mon Nov 07 2005 - 05:59:25 EST

--- Kevin Austin <> wrote:

> I would ask those who use the term ea to 'define' it
> in some way.

> I continue to get the sense that your use of the
> word "ea" relates to
> the acousmatic tradition

you're right here, but in my defense, i didn't think
of it that way until i re-entered academia. previous
to that, i and the musicians i played with considered
electro-acoustic music to be just that...pieces with
an electronic element and an acoustic element
(instrumental or mic'd object) took me about 6
weeks here to realize i was having conversations with
other people where we weren't discussing the same
thing! ;)

we also defined other areas of electronics
sufficiently to understand each other (computer
music=music made/played primarily on a computer (this
would include max/msp, pd, lisa, suppercolider, csound
etc), live electronics = music using a high amount of
live, usually analogue, electronics, a 'tape' piece
being a piece that exists on fixed media, tape and
instrument (different for us than ea as ea (for us)
usually involved live elec's) ...i'm not saying these
are the best definitions, but they helped us know what
we were talking about anyway.

finally someone here explained that they were using
the term ea as an umbrella term for any music that is
using electronics/computers (with the exception of pop

but even then, in practice, it seems that within
academia, ea = acousmatic and if you mean something
different you have to specify (live electronics,
non-diffused, etc) it might just be the dominance of
the acousmatic approach within academic ea?

i wouldn't be that bothered as i said, if it was
simply acknowledged that acousmatic music (as it is
being taught at least) is a genre with it's codified
means/methods/sounds, and if it would stop being
tauted as the final monkey on the electronic music
evolutionary chain.

even then i probably wouldn't be that bothered (i mean
if certain people want to close themselves off to
outside developments because they feel they've 'got
it' that's none of my business) except that many (or
most as far as i hear) institutions seem set up to
support acousmatic music only (not just in terms of
facilities but aesthetic sensibilities as well) and
not any of the other areas that exist under the
umbrella term ea. this seems reflected in the contests
as well. and i think THAT is what is bothering those
of us who are trying to work within ea academia but
outside of 'acousmatia'.

and i'm not the only one...many feel this way but
because of political situations can't say anything's just one example from an email

"i have been struggling against this idea of ea being
a genre - and a fossilised one at that - for a while
now, particularly because of this added factor that it
is the 'supreme' means of composition within
sound (and 99% of the people writing ea who would
publicly deny that they believe this is true are liars
and prove themselves to be just this - and
also absolute hypocrites - when you try to engage them
with any other form of sound work!)

.....the work that i am hearing coming from the
studios and from ea concerts is the same as
what i have been hearing for as long as i can
remember, and i find it utterly depressing. in fact it
makes me really angry....

so now i am a 'sound artist'...."

which brings up a very serious point. if people coming
into the field are trying to do something new,
something creatively outside of tradition, and aren't
supported but rather are being re-labeled sound
artists and thus marginalized, what is the impact on
ea 'music'?

imv, nothing new in = nothing new out...things either
change (develop) or they die.


"The more you think about things the weirder they seem." -Calvin

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