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Session 5D: Listening to Electroacoustic Music through Analysis

Friday 19 September/Saturday 20 September
Session Convenors: Nicolas Marty/Pierre Couprie

Friday 19 September

10.00     Nicolas Marty
Introducion: Listening to Electroacoustic Music through Analysis

1 Listening to Specific Characters in Electroacoustic Music
Chair: Pierre Couprie

This first subsession broaches our topic most immediately with the study of specific, sometimes contradictory, perspectives towards listening to, composing, and analyzing, electroacoustic music. Analysis is thus informed by listening, and vice versa. Discussion of how those perspectives may relate with compositional approaches further enrich the contributions.
John Dack, inspired by Pierre Schaeffer, talks about two different listening strategies applicable to the apprehension of Pierre Henry’s Variations pour une porte et un soupir, according to whether attention is given to plastic qualities or a more traditional musical language.

Lin-Ni Liao, in an historically-informed perspective, presents the work of Taiwanese composer Miao Wang-Wen in order to establish a bridge between ‘Western’ and ‘Eastern’ approaches towards composition, focusing on the question of ‘musical identity’ and its articulation.
Bruno Bossis follows with a specific emphasis on the apprehension of voice in contemporary music, focused on the duality between ambiguity and meaning, illustrated with several electroacoustic and instrumental examples, notably Jonathan Harvey’s Speakings.
Bill Brunson will close this subsession with his presentation of the ‘narrative stance’ as an intermedial listening and analytical perspective, illustrated with Swedish electroacoustic works, focusing on three axes: the cognitive mapping of morphological structures into image schemata, the referentiality of sounds and the use of methods derived directly from other media.

10.30     John Dack
Listening to ‘Plastic’ and ‘Musical’ Languages in Pierre Henry’s Variations pour une porte et un soupir

11.00     Lin-Ni Liao
Interculturality: Intellectual Organization of the West and Spiritual Listening of the Far East in the Mixed Music of Wang Miao-Wen

11.30     coffee break                                          

12.00     Bruno Bossis
The Ambiguous Listening or the Research for Universals: The Example of Electroacoustic Vocality

12.30     Bill Brunson
Triangulating Narrativity in Electroacoustic Music

13.00     lunch break                               

2 Aims and Methodologies for the Analysis of
Electroacoustic Music

Chair: John Dack                        

This second subsession offers an eclectic approach towards the analysis of electroacoustic music, in the spirit of our session’s title: listening may be aided by analysis, but may also itself be analyzed in several ways.

Joshua B. Mailman opens with a discussion of two purposes for analysis, after having refused the ‘neutral’ paradigmatic approach: critical aesthetic (the indirect teaching of listening perspectives, which will be exemplified with Hugh LeCaine’s Dripsody) and epistemological (the generation of robust knowledge about works or groups of works).
Eldad Tsabary then explains how Concordia University establishes the link between aural training pedagogy (i.e. how students learn to hear and listen to electroacoustic music) and analytical models for electroacoustic music: in this perspective analysis is derived from listening as much as listening is oriented towards characters relevant to analytical models.

Pascal Terrien and Nicolas Marty close this subsession with a presentation of the explicitation interview as a method which allows for an esthesic survey oriented towards the real-time experience of listeners: this could open the way for a dynamic esthesic analysis (of which a first attempt will be made with Elizabeth Anderson’s Chat Noir), meeting both of Joshua B. Mailman’s proposed purposes.

15.00     Joshua B. Mailman
Renewing the Riverbed: Critical Aesthetic and Epistemological Purposes for Analysis, Fueled by Performative Theory

15.30     Eldad Tsabary
Understanding Analysis of EA Music through Aural Training Pedagogy

16.00     Pascal Terrien/Nicolas Marty
The Explicitation Interview, Analyzing the Dynamics of Electroacoustic Music Listening

16.30     coffee break                                          

3 Listening to Electroacoustic Music through Analytical

Chair: Joshua B. Mailman                         

This last subsession focuses on analytical representations and their utility towards the listening, analysis and understanding of electroacoustic music.

Pierre Couprie opens with a discussion of several software programs allowing for various forms of transcription which may be help in different domains, from the creation to the reception and analysis of electroacoustic music, putting an emphasis on the links between analysis and creation in recent works.Lasse Thoresen presents the graphic representation linked with his analytical model, ‘Aural Sonology’, as a tool for the understanding and listening of electroacoustic music, illustrating his discourse with the implementation of the Aural Sonology notation on the GRM’s Acousmographe software. René Mogensen closes this last subsession with a discussion of how users/listeners may react and adapt to their use of two types of graphical representation, exemplified with Stéphane Roy’s pictographic approach and Lasse Thoresen’s symbolic approach.

17.00     Pierre Couprie
New Forms of Representation to Listen, Analyze and Create Electroacoustic Music

17.30     Lasse Thoresen
Aural Analysis of Emergent Musical Forms: A Gestalt-Oriented Approach to Musical Analysis

18.00     René Mogensen
Comparison of Comprehensibility of Analytical Representations of Electroacoustic Music: Pictographic versus Symbolic


Saturday 20 September

Round Tables & Keynote
Chair: Nicolas Marty

10.15     Leigh Landy
Keynote: How Listening-based Analysis Can Aid the Appreciation and Understanding of Electroacoustic Music

11.15     break

11.30     Elizabeth Anderson, François Delalande, Leigh Landy, Joshua B. Mailman, Nicolas Marty, Lasse Thoresen
Round Table: Listening Behaviours in Music Theory and Analysis

This roundtable will group François Delalande, Elizabeth Anderson, Nicolas Marty, as well as Leigh Landy, Joshua Mailman and Lasse Thoresen, to discuss issues related to the study of listening behaviors and its place in music analysis and music theory.
Main topics for this roundtable will include the potential role of the study of listening behaviors in music analysis (what is being analyzed and how is it being analyzed? – e.g. how can esthesic inquiries inform analysis? how can analysis aid listening?) and in music theory (what is being theorized and how is it being theorized? – e.g. how can we articulate findings related to listening behaviors with existing theoretical models?).