Ontological Substance and Meaning in Live Electroacoustic Music

In Computer Music Modeling and Retrieval: Genesis of Meaning in Sound and Music. Philosopher Stephen Davies has used the terms “ontologically thin” and “ontologically thick” to describe compositions with varying amounts of flexibility under interpretation. Placing these two poles on a continuum of ontological substance, I extend Davies’s ideas to shed light on issues concerning meaning in live electroacoustic music. I demonstrate that algorithmic and interactive elements lend an extra dimension to the existence of the musical work and that the apparent obsolescence of live performance

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Embracing a Mediat[is]ed Modernity: An Approach to Exploring Humanity in Posthuman Music

Performance Paradigm, vol. 4. In the nineteenth century, the reputation of Beethoven’s music persisted long after his death, causing younger composers to feel as if they were competing against the “flood” of Beethoven’s influence. Many composers like Johannes Brahms and Gustav Mahler reconciled themselves in this situation by referring to or adapting materials of Beethoven’s but using them in their own ways. The advent of recording technology extended this effect to every composer that could be recorded, without relying solely on history to recognise Continue reading

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Live sampling in improvised musical performance: Three approaches and a discussion of aesthetics

DMA Dissertation. A discussion of issues raised by these works includes aesthetics, ontology, performance, and the role of the composer. Non-interactive indeterminate compositions are ontologically thin, because some composerly agency is required of the performer. An interactive work can be ontologically substantial if it makes distinct and significant contributions to performance, even though it may not make sound on its own. Although reproducibility reduces ontology and eliminates aura, live sampling within a performance can deepen the ontology of the Continue reading

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