Re: 9th Annual Florida Electroacoustic Music Festival Call for Works/Participation

Subject: Re: 9th Annual Florida Electroacoustic Music Festival Call for Works/Participation
From: paul steenhuisen (
Date: Fri Sep 17 1999 - 14:27:26 EDT

the attendance issue for the Florida Electroacoustic Music Festival comes
up each year,
with non-institutionalized composers rightly stating their frustration at
effectively having their music ineligible for performance due to not having
the money to be present for the performance. university regulations or
not, the festival may in fact be legislating it's own incremental
irrelevance. while it becomes increasingly easy to transfer/send
information, with funding available to artists on the decline there is a
decrease in the probability of being present for these performances. as
tenured professors retire and their positions are increasingly filled with
sessionals, travel funding available to composers within universities is
therefore applicable to an increasingly small segment of the compositional
community. unless there are changes that reflect the changing situation of
composers in the community, the result for the festival may mean increased
localization and/or concentration upon the music of an extremely small
segment of the active musical community. due to the financial constraints
on freelance/independent composers, in most cases it's simply not possible
to travel to a performance unless the festival provides the funding. this
lack of recognition of a large segment of the community then reduces the
programming possiblities, and quite likely makes for a less interesting
festival. that isn't to take away from the work of barry truax et al, but
is rather a statement that a stupid rule requiring the composer to be
present for the festival is depriving it from other good music, such as
that of ned and many others. there is an excellent festival in montreal
already, rien a voir, and many other activities within and without the
universities, but that doesn't negate the ramifications of the
presence=performance rule at the florida festival. surely it must be
possible to create a venue whereby a certain percentage of pieces performed
are by composers who aren't present, in order to fulfill funding
regulations and maintain a festival that draws upon a wider pool of
composers. if not, you may find that in 10 you're cycling through the same
list of composers, and listeners may go to montreal instead, for a broader
and more interesting spectrum of programming.

paul steenhuisen

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