1. Imaginary Soundscape – talking about electronic music pioneers
This workshop aims to share historical content in form of theory + sound / audiovisual examples and to stimulate an open discussion among the participants which can lead to a reflection about the more contemporary ways of electronic music production.
Emphasis will be given to the major break with the conventions provided by the musical thought of some pioneering composers and by technological advances that have enabled the advent of electronic music and its development in the last century. New musical languages transformed both the work of composition and listening – changes on perception and on sound implementation constitute therefore an essential part of the theme. To better understand how the innovations and ruptures changed the way we listen and produce sounds nowadays, a retrospective of the period under review will be conducted based on the concepts and work of John Cage, key figure of the twentieth century, space-time protagonist of this reflection. Certain conceptual changes operated by certain composers and technological developments led to the emergence and evolution of electronic music, which became a field of experimentation, both technical and ideological – the music of the 20th century was heavily influenced by electronic music, whether or not the composers used electronic instruments for their compositions. The constant questioning of the musical art was central to John Cage and other composers who searched for unconventional ways to use instruments. Cage, in creating new sounds from the modification of the piano, performed sound experiments that would become common in electronic studios. His and other composer´s pioneering thought was essential to carry out what was announced some time ago: the confrontation with the myriad of sounds. Technological advances in the development of electronic equipment allowed the openness to all sounds (all sounds of future, as predicted by the most visionary composers) and the implementation of microtonal music. Electronic means of recording and sound production has allowed the expansion of sensory and perceptual capacities of the audience, promoting new ways of listening to new ways of building sounds.
Time. 1,5 hours
2. Live electronic music – towards a living electronic music, from Imaginary Landscape no.1 to the present day
This workshop/discussion will question its participants on how to produce work and performance situations with higher degrees of liveness, taking the link between performer and audience as an important variable for the unfolding of a live act.
During the 60´s electronic music´s sounds were criticized as being dead, and indeed, they were in some respects. Some of the problems related to this were taken seriously by composers, and the combination of electronic music and live elements has become increasingly common. The main interest turned to the live performance of electronic musical equipment, in what would be called “live electronic music”. Cage was also a pioneer in this field, with Imaginary Landscape n.1 (1939), but since then little had been done. In the mid 60′s, sets of live electronic music multiplied which began to use both conventional and electronic instruments (sometimes synthesizers), and electronic amplification and modification of sounds. Nowadays we deal with new forms of criticism that are mainly based on the use of laptops for electronic music performance. No matter how many real-time decisions are being made or how influential the audience is for the unfolding of the sonorities, a link between performer and listeners is made fragile by the lack of correspondance or possibilities of interpretation of the performer´s gestures and its consequent sounds. Electronic music producers and DJs play an important part on the construction of communication processes with the audiences when playing live – during the workshop participants can tell about their own live act strategies or the ones they appreciate the most, sharing contents and proposing new solutions for this sometimes problematic aspect of our work.
Time: 1,5 hours