Research Seminar: Lived Electronics / Obtuse Machines

Owen Green (Speaker)

Activity: Academic talk or presentation typesInvited talk


The central concern of this talk revolves around the disciplinary health of live electronic music research, and practice-research in music more generally. I suggest that live electronics suffers from a lack of unifying research questions, coupled with an overly atomic culture of research. Consequently, opportunities for the discipline are being missed, given how well placed it should be to engage productively with timely and urgent matters, such as the interplay of institutional and 'lay' musical cultures; the place of music technology in our practices; and the need to develop ways of doing musical history that nurture rather than censor aspirants' musical voices. I shall establish the background to these ideas as emerging from my recent research developing, composing and performing 'live algorithm' pieces, with particular attention paid to the role of machine listening in this type of work. Given the unusual and quite possibly degenerate ways in which machine listening is used in these pieces (and in other similar work), what is its disciplinary relationship to the more canonical approaches inherited from technical fields? Is there scope for a productive agonism to emerge between artistic and technical research, focused on a discussion of what it is we think these technologies could be, or ought to be, for? In this way, a wider terrain is opened up to consider our ambitions for musical, practically orientated research in terms of its relationships to sister disciplines and wider culture.
Period15 Oct 2015
Held atUniversity of Aberdeen, United Kingdom