Re: Interactive la musique? - reflections

Subject: Re: Interactive la musique? - reflections
From: Rosemary Mountain (
Date: Mon Apr 05 1999 - 09:42:08 EDT

        (Mes amis -- desolée mais j'ai oubliée mon français et ne peux pas
repondre sauf en anglais....)
        This initial discussion about interactive music (Leduc, Burton,
Hettergott in response to Dufort) has brought to mind a concept brought
up by Michael Boyle (UMich) last year (on another list) inviting us to
reflect on possible uses for HyperMusic -- the technology of hypertext
applied to a musical score. Although no one seemed clear what this
would mean, it suggests that the listener would be at a computer while
listening, and would have the option to "click" onto given points of the
music to hear more/different/etc sounds. As a composer, I find the idea
stimulating, if challenging (but somehow I doubt it will become the mode
of the future).

        In her "P.S.", Alexandra Hettergott leads us straight into interesting
ramifications of the concept by referring to the serial publication of
Sue's work
whose plot (?) ended up being influenced by the readers -- I'm sure I've
heard of this in other contexts as well, of the same era -- perhaps

        This in turn leads me to reflect on the old issue of the composer's
degree of sensitivity to the audience's reception of his/her works over
a long period of time -- another mode of being influenced by the
"readers". Although it is standard practice to pretend that this does
not happen (the root of the "those who are popular are not good" idea),
I wonder if such a stance is always healthy: shouldn't the composer BE
sensitive to the success of the communication of the expressions/ideas,
and try to identify any "transmission" problems and "correct" (or at
least re-examine) those that seem to lie in the elaboration of the
work's language/expression itself? Of course, the idea is that the
composer not to have to compromise his/her ideas in catering to the
fickle tastes of a non-discerning public -- but maybe the public IS a
specific, known, discerning one, and the ideas are not so fragile that
they can't be expressed in a variety of ways, in which case there is a
certain flexibility of the language/means chosen.

        However, I have wandered far enough from the original topic.....



  Dr. Rosemary Mountain
  University of Aveiro
  Communication & Art Dept.
  P-3810 Aveiro, Portugal

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