Call for Papers: Rethinking the History of Technology-based Music

Centre for Research in New Music (CeReNeM), University of Huddersfield 

The Centre for Research in New Music (CeReNeM) invites submissions of abstracts for presentation at the conference ‘Rethinking the History of Technology-based Music’ to be held at the University of Huddersfield 9-11 June 2022.

As Modernist thinking, evident in concrete, electronic and computer music from their inception, has been challenged by the post-acousmatic, neo-modern situation today, conceptual approaches and the use of sound to points to situations and events outside of itself have become more the rule than the exception in new musical practices, providing context, identity and often intent. These factors, alongside pluralistic, ecological, feminist and de-colonization agendas that question who determined the canon, who has been listening, to what and to whom make it timely for us to question, re-evaluate and rethink the history of technology-based music.

The continued expansion of digital technologies including machine learning and AI has radically changed the production, engagement, and dissemination of sound and music for composers, musicians, listeners, media content creators and casual music users. The constant everyday exposure to electronic or processed sounds has influenced listening skills and listening intentionality broadly, and ideas of what constitutes valuable sound experiences have expanded radically. Improvisation and participation have found ways into this new socio-acoustic space where the formal hierarchies of Kultur, virtuosity, and on preserving institutionalised accepted aesthetics have become less dominant. Much of this engaged art can arguably be seen as artistic responses to the increasingly noticeable consequences of the Anthropocene situation of rapid digitisation, technical development of communication, services, commerce, and organisational structures.

This stronger focus and inclusive awareness on the cultural and social aspects of music has also begun to find expression in new research and scholarship. In light of these developments, this conference seeks to revisit the development of technology-dependent music and investigate whether there have been practices, tendencies and elements that have previously been overlooked. It aims to question whether the biases embedded in the canon of technology-based music be revisited, can we expect to uncover hidden gems, can we hope to arrive at a more comprehensive understanding of music's development and new role in this post-acousmatic period?

The call is open to all researchers regardless of nationality, age or career stage. Papers will be up to 30 minutes (20 minutes for presentation and 10 mins for questions).

Materials to be submitted:

  • an extended paper abstract — 500-750 words
  • biography of author(s) — 150 words
  • image of author(s) for conference website

All paper presentations will be recorded and published on the conference website with a DOI.

Authors of selected papers from the conference may be invited to expand their paper for publication in a volume of edited essays.

Register for the event 

Organizing Committee: Prof Monty Adkins, Leverhulme Professor Jøran Rudi

All abstracts will be peer reviewed by Dr Manuella Blackburn (Open University), Dr Adam Stanovic (London College of Communication), Dr Ulf Holbrook (University of Oslo), Dr Rose Dodd (Utrecht University) and from the University of Huddersfield Dr Eddie Dobson, Prof Monty Adkins & Prof Jøran Rudi.


Keynote speakers

Simon Waters

Queen's University Belfast

Dr Linda O Keeffe

University of Edinburgh