Prix Ars Electronic 99 (Computer Music)

Subject: Prix Ars Electronic 99 (Computer Music)
From: Barry Truax (
Date: Fri Jul 02 1999 - 02:15:02 EDT

   Last spring many of us in the electroacoustic music community received
an email from you inviting our participation in this year's Prix Ars
Electronica. When the question of revised criteria for the computer music
category came up, you advised Larry Austin who posed the question that his
work, and by implication this type of computer music, would be "welcome".
The results of this year's jury emphatically show that this was not true.
   You may not be aware that debate about this year's music results has
been raging on cecdiscuss for over a month now. I am personally not
interested in debating the merits of various styles of music, but it is
clear from this discussion that the Prix A-E has lost credibility with
those working in artistic/non-commercial forms of computer music because
of the controversial and obviously biased results of this year's
jury. It is even rumoured that the jury chose or nominated works by
colleagues with whom they had previously worked.
   I would therefore urge you to, once again, reconsider how this category
is defined and juried. One suggestion that has been circulating is to
divide the category so that "popular" and "artistic" styles are considered
separately - though the exact wording of this distinction would obviously
be tricky.
   In any case, you should be aware that because of this year's results,
if no further change is made, I personally, and probably most of my
colleagues in the computer music field, will no longer consider
participating in your otherwise worthwhile and prestigious competition.
   Barry Truax

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