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CFP: Philosophy of Human+Computer Music

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University of Sheffield, Wednesday 27 May 2015

We warmly invite you to participate in this one day RMA Music and Philosophy Study Group workshop, to discuss philosophical questions raised by human+computer music.

On the musical side, fundamental issues raised by the production and reception of this music are often obscured in the literature by a focus on technical details of system construction or function. Meanwhile, philosophical work on music is typically focused on acoustic instrumental/vocal works, and arguably has yet fully to engage with the challenges raised by current movements in human+computer music. This is especially the case when human+computer music does not conform to the established work-concept and/or pitch-based structures.

The keynote event will be a performance discussion session, featuring Pete Furniss on clarinet+computer. Pete’s expert live performance will provide tangible examples for debate: the exact nature of the music can be interrogated and its potential changeability questioned.

Call for papers:

We invite papers on topics related to human+computer music. Relevant themes include but are not limited to:

•The ontology of human+computer music systems (are human+computer musics bound to lead to what Georgina Born has labelled ‘strange ontologies’?)

•The agency (or lack thereof) of systems and their designers

•Authorial responsibility in largely improvised musical works (especially where the computer is ‘autonomous’ in performance)

•The possibility of interpretation when music is not conventionally specified

•The metaphysical space of the work / performer / listener interface

•The aesthetics of computer-mediated music

•Do computers destroy any musical ‘frame’ and, thereby, aesthetic, as Joanna Demers has suggested?

•Cyborg agency in musical performance

•The audibility of algorithms

•Posthuman music

•The term ‘human+computer music’ and possible alternatives

Papers will be 20 minutes long. Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be sent to m.summers@sheffield.ac.uk by 27 April 2015. Notification will follow soon after, no later than 4 May 2015.

The event will begin with coffee at 10.30am and close with a gin and tonic reception at 5.30pm, with lunch served mid-way through.

It will cost £25 (£15 students) for non-RMA members and £20 (£10 students) for RMA members.

Registration details are available here: http://www.musicandphilosophy.ac.uk/2nd-workshop-on-philosophy-of-humancomputer-music/

Details of the previous workshop can be found here: https://humancomputermusicphilosophy.wordpress.com


Dr. Adam Stansbie and Mark Summers, Department of Music, University of Sheffield
Tom Hewitt, Department of Music, Open University
Dr. David Roden, Department of Philosophy, Open University