Contemporary Music Review (Contemp Music Rev )

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

Description

Contemporary Music Review is a contemporary musicians' journal. It provides a forum where new tendencies in composition can be discussed in both breadth and depth. Each issue will focus on a specific topic. The main concern of the journal will be composition today in all its aspects--its techniques, aesthetics and technology and its relationship with other disciplines and currents of thought. The publication may also serve as a vehicle to communicate actual musical materials.

  • Impact factor
    0.00
  • 5-year impact
    0.00
  • Cited half-life
    0.00
  • Immediacy index
    0.00
  • Eigenfactor
    0.00
  • Article influence
    0.00
  • Website
    Contemporary Music Review website
  • Other titles
    Contemporary music review
  • ISSN
    0749-4467
  • OCLC
    11128997
  • Material type
    Music, Periodical, Internet resource
  • Document type
    Journal / Magazine / Newspaper, Sound Recording, Internet Resource

Publisher details

Taylor & Francis

  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author can archive a post-print version
  • Conditions
    • Some individual journals may have policies prohibiting pre-print archiving
    • On author's personal website or departmental website immediately
    • On institutional repository or subject-based repository after either 12 months embargo for STM, Behavioural Science and Public Health Journals or 18 months embargo for SSH journals
    • Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
    • On a non-profit server
    • Published source must be acknowledged
    • Must link to publisher version
    • Set statements to accompany deposits (see policy)
    • The publisher will deposit in on behalf of authors to a designated institutional repository including PubMed Central, where a deposit agreement exists with the repository
    • STM: Science, Technology and Medicine
    • SSH: Social Science and Humanities
    • Publisher last contacted on 25/03/2014
    • 'Taylor & Francis (Psychology Press)' is an imprint of 'Taylor & Francis'
  • Classification
    ​ green

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This paper bears on Agostino Di Scipio's work from the years 1987–2000. Early computer-generated pieces like Punti di tempo (1987) and Estensioni (1988) seem to reflect a kind of double artistic individuality. In the first piece, the musical structure is fragmented and the sound micro-structure is split in random particles. In the second (the only piece Di Scipio made with digital additive synthesis methods) both sound and the overall musical structure are worked out in a deeply deterministic way. This dualism returns frequently in Di Scipio's early career: the qualitative exploration of infinitesimal sonic units with related concepts of ‘granular’ sound, and a formalized approach to the musical macrostructure (algorithmic composition) seem to complement each other. In the winter of 1994–1995, Di Scipio started working with real-time signal processing and live electronics. He started investigating space-related phenomena, and to address himself to composing the instruments (i.e. designing the overall performance infrastructure) as a task different from composing for existing instruments, whether these are usual musical instruments or computational tools. In the new orientation, a more comprehensive view of the ‘performance ecosystem’ turned out to be crucial, and it led to important later developments (the Audible Ecosystemics series of live-electronics works). The present paper investigates these early stages in Di Scipio's career. It builds on a variety of sources and archival documents, and emphasizes that the composer's early efforts did not follow a linear path but rather raised issues and implications spreading out fanwise from one specific conceptual knot: the one concerning ‘emergence’ (‘sonological’ and ‘formal’ emergence).
    Contemporary Music Review 05/2014; 33(1).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This paper discusses the possibility of analysing (in the musical sense of the word) Agostino Di Scipio's ‘audible ecosystems’. The first part is focused on the notion of the audible ecosystem and its theoretical counterpart, the idea of emergent sound structures. With this last idea, higher levels of a musical work (for instance, the macroform itself) appear as an emergence from lower levels. As for the notion of the audible ecosystem—analyzed here through the live electronics solos named Audible Ecosystemics—this is achieved through interaction between the performer, the electronics and the environment. In its second part, the paper tries to define an analytic image of the resultant sounds of the audible ecosystems. To do so, we use the concept of imprint (empreinte in French) as it is analyzed by Georges Didi-Huberman. Then, we go back to musical analysis and argue that a musical analysis of Agostino Di Scipio's audible ecosystems involves an analysis of the relationships between what we have listened to, what we can only imagine and the compositional techniques themselves. Before concluding, the article shows an example of this way of analyzing by taking a sample at random from the piece Audible Ecosystemics 3b.
    Contemporary Music Review 05/2014; 33(1).
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    ABSTRACT: Intertextuality is pervasive in multiple forms of popular music, but is arguably most overtly presented in hip-hop music and culture. While much academic work has focused on linking practices of quotation, reference, allusion and Signifyin(g) in hip-hop to earlier forms of African-American music, the main purpose of this article is to outline and illustrate the variety of ways that one can borrow from a source text or trope and ways that audiences identify and respond to them. Distinctions between allosonic and autosonic quotations (Lacasse), ‘intention’ versus sociohistorically situated interpretations (Nattiez), as well as ‘textually signalled’ and ‘textually unsignalled’ intertextuality (Dyer), help create a more detailed taxonomy within the genre. These and other distinctions, which transcend narrow discourses that only focus on ‘sampling’ (digital sampling), provide a toolkit that sets a context for more nuanced discussions of borrowing practices and offers broader implications for intertextuality within and outside of hip-hop culture. By drawing from a range of examples (e.g. The Pharcyde, Dr Dre, Xzibit), this article demonstrates that a thorough investigation of musical borrowing in hip-hop requires attention to the texts (hip-hop recordings), their reception and wider cultural contexts.
    Contemporary Music Review 03/2014; 33(2).
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    ABSTRACT: This article explores the practice of altering familiar music for use on television, whereby producers dodge copyright law by hiring a composer to craft a new piece that evokes the work they wanted to use. This article will examine how composers navigate the delicate process of creating new pieces that unmistakably call to mind familiar tunes by providing a detailed overview of this practice in relation to two long-running animated sitcoms: The Simpsons and Family Guy.
    Contemporary Music Review 03/2014; 33(2).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This article examines philosophical and creative aspects of digital musical culture in the context of the Berlin Philharmonic's 2011 open competition to create remixes of Mahler's First Symphony. Issues of social mediation, hybridity, history, textuality, sampling and borrowing raised by the submitted entries are investigated with reference to theories of Bourriaud, Deleuze, Genette and Goodman.
    Contemporary Music Review 03/2014; 33(2).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Agostino Di Scipio refers often to system theory and transfers some of its models into his concert pieces, as well as into his installations and, recently, sounding objects. Some of these references are discussed in this paper, along with their musical implementations. In Di Scipio's Audible Ecosystemics series (2002–2005), the concept of emergence is central, meaning the unforeseen arising of higher level properties of a system from lower level processes. In the interactions between the system parts, however, sometimes lack of control creates emergency situations: to cope with the latter, Di Scipio includes self-regulating protection mechanisms in the compositional processes he designs.
    Contemporary Music Review 01/2014; 33(1).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This article deals with the idea of an emergent self, constituted through a process of self-reference or self-reflexion, in Agostino Di Scipio's series of works entitled Audible Ecosystemics. This paper is not an attempt to reconstruct the composer's intentions, but to formulate an idea of the emergence of subjectivity, and its connection to sound on the basis of the series of works in question. In doing so, the paper heavily relies on G. W. F. Hegel's concept of sound as developed in his Philosophy of nature (1970. London: George Allen and Unwin), which it tries to re-actualise as a resource for thinking contemporary music. Furthermore, the paper points towards the conceptual proximity of Hegel's concept of organic life and contemporary biological concepts of autopoiesis and emergence developed by Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela, which Di Scipio himself draws upon.
    Contemporary Music Review 01/2014; 33(1).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: By exploring Di Scipio's Audible Ecosystemics through the optic of a succession of practical student projects we see that the processes and forces involved in the making can in turn be viewed as an ecosystem. Some key aspects of this revolve around the ways in which technical and social matters interweave in practice—such as negotiating transitions between coding and practising—and how musical identities and design choices can interact. I draw from this the thought that the dynamics of the negotiation between the technical and social are a key aspect of electronic musical craft, but that this topic remains sparsely accounted for in our discourse. I suggest that devising better means of articulating about such negotiations—and about practice more generally—is a way in which practice-led research in this area can contribute usefully to the wider endeavour of musical research.
    Contemporary Music Review 01/2014; 33(1).
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    ABSTRACT: James Dillon's compositions usually invoke extra-musical stimuli from wide-ranging areas such as philosophy, mythology, science and literature. The key ‘genre’ of music which retains a traditional and prosaic title is the string quartet, which in his output has acted as a reflective and focussed diary often commenting on his other larger works. This article explores the first six quartets and their relation to his other music as well as their own internal logic(s) and structures.
    Contemporary Music Review 01/2014; 33(3).
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    ABSTRACT: This author outlines the approach taken in a series of live-electronics works whose title is Modes of Interference, and describes more particularly the third work in the series, a sound installation using three or more electric guitars, amplifiers and computer. This installation implements a feedback network of sonic interactions structurally coupled with the surrounding environment, developing a kind of autonomous (i.e. self-regulating) and dynamical sound-generating system. However, it also bears on the electric guitar as a cultural object of strong iconic status, and more particularly on the electric guitar sonorities and their role in the rhetorics of rock music. The work is thus described as bending a ‘constructivist’ perspective to a more conceptual task of ‘deconstruction’. The author elaborates on the idea that, as a medium of situated embodied cognition, sound allows us to experience the power relationships that lie behind its coming into existence and its articulation in time.
    Contemporary Music Review 01/2014; 33(1).
  • Contemporary Music Review 01/2014; 33(1).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The composition of new string quartets in Spain from the end of the 1950s undertook a path of renewal that strove toward modernity through the use of serial and aleatory techniques or new conceptions of timbre. This was in spite of the relatively scarce experience for Spanish composers of international examples of the genre. This essay offers a brief insight into the aesthetic diversity to be found in string quartets composed in Spain from 1950 up to the present, and stresses their openness toward newer hybrid perspectives of intertextuality and narrativity.
    Contemporary Music Review 01/2014; 33(3).
  • Contemporary Music Review 01/2014; 33(3).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This paper offers a survey of my musical collaboration (2010–2013) with Italian composer Agostino Di Scipio on Modes of Interference n.2 (2006), for audio feedback system with saxophone and live-electronics, and builds on my PhD research on participative musical performance on mixed music for saxophones. Di Scipio composes a network of interactions: he does not compose the sounding structure itself of the piece, but rather a set of possibilities for a performer to experiment in sound. All the elements of the piece (such as the live-electronics equipment, the saxophone, and the environment) are mutually connected and influence each other. They constitute a dynamical system, as implemented by the composer. The saxophone is not expected only to produce a variety of noise materials, but also to act both as a control device and as a filter inside an audio feedback loop. This systemic approach requires from the player a new attitude towards the instrument, as well as new manners of listening to and reacting to the sound events emerging in the performance.
    Contemporary Music Review 01/2014; 33(1).
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    ABSTRACT: While Morton Feldman acknowledged his Jewish faith as an important part of his identity, his religion has received relatively little attention as a source of his artistic sensibilities. The influence of Judaism can be seen clearly in many of Feldman's works from 1963, including the series Vertical Thoughts and Rabbi Akiba. Sketches held at the Paul Sacher Foundation connect these pieces through the use of a common text originating in the Talmud. The idiosyncratic obscuring of the text in these pieces points to an intentional esotericism, while features of the instrumental writing in these works parallel the treatment of text and methods of questioning discussed by scholars of Jewish mysticism and Talmudic exegesis. The obsessive recasting of minute differences suggests a search for nuances of meaning and produces a timeless and meditative atmosphere, often mentioned in Feldman criticism, but rarely connected to Judaism explicitly.
    Contemporary Music Review 12/2013; 32(6).
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    ABSTRACT: Open instrumentation is a common feature of many indeterminate compositions, whether they use stave, graphic, or verbal notation. This article examines the strategies used in some of my recent work for obtaining and using materials and objects as instrumental resources, focusing on maximizing variety within carefully prescribed boundaries. In surfaces (2010–2011), the score provides instructions for specific actions, but leaves open the choice of materials to which they are applied, suggesting broad categories within which the sonic properties may be explored. The operations gradually transform and degrade the materials, emphasizing their impact on the nature of the specific realization. In things whole and not whole (2011), each orchestra member sources noise sounds using either a standard orchestral instrument or found materials. The resulting range of diverse—but clearly specified—sound types is a product of distributed choice. In imperfections on the surface are occasionally apparent (2009), the 10 performers each use the same means of eliciting sounds from surfaces; each performer must source five surfaces that are different to those of the other ensemble members. These exemplars are discussed, focusing on how carefully constrained individual decision-making when selecting sound resources by those realizing a score might be considered as a possible mechanism for generating sonic variety.
    Contemporary Music Review 10/2013; 32(5).
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    ABSTRACT: Trevor Wishart, York-based electroacoustic composer and sonic artist, discusses his most recent piece, Encounters in the Republic of Heaven, a piece in four acts created from manipulated recordings of the spoken word, after his keynote speech to the Symposium for the Performance of Electronic and Experimental Composition (SPEEC) on Friday 11 January 2012, at the Jacqueline du Pré Music Building, St Hilda's College, University of Oxford.
    Contemporary Music Review 10/2013; 32(5).
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    ABSTRACT: Schaeffer's analyses demonstrate unequivocally the intention to generalize his research originating from studio-based experiences and apply its principles to all music, instrumental or electroacoustic. Schaefferian theory acknowledges that the studio environment and its practices challenge the instrument's status. However, the materiality of sound still encourages (and perhaps even demands) an elaboration and assimilation of instrumental thought rather than its outright rejection. The three elements of Schaefferian ‘instrumental analysis’: ‘timbre’, ‘registers’ and ‘play’ can transcend physical source and action. This article uses Schaefferian ‘instrumental analysis’ to investigate the multi-instrumental potential of a solo instrument: the trombone in Luciano Berio's ‘Sequenza V’. The ‘genre’ for Schaeffer clarified the tension between the general ‘timbre’ displayed by an instrument and the particular ‘timbre’ of each individual sound. The ‘genre’ groups sounds together on the basis of common perceived characteristics. Thus, an instrumental ‘timbre’ can comprise many distinct ‘genres’ each with its own registers.
    Contemporary Music Review 10/2013; 32(5).
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    ABSTRACT: For many years now I have been working with the idea that violins were once trees. From naïve early electroacoustic experiments designed to find ‘naturalistic’ sounds in extended violin techniques, through a series of free improvisation projects, I have finally arrived at what I think of as the beginnings of a critical ecological practice with violins out in the natural environment. Dragging violins along paths, floating them in rivers, allowing rain to fall on them, and recording the results with small microphones hidden inside the bodies, I work in a participative way with the affordances of the environment, the instrument, and my own personal skills and memories. Conventional ‘soundscape’ compositions and theories of acoustic ecology can, I argue, be seen to be neither particularly acoustic, nor particularly ecosystemic. Much environmental sound art ends up being simply representation, albeit in a sonic form. Against this, I argue for participation, a refusal to hide the presence of the artist, and a resisting against the idea of merely imposing an artistic and/or aesthetic vision onto the surface of an ecosystem. The text is supported by audio and video clips which appear as supplementary material accessible online via the article's Supplementary tab on the Taylor & Francis website (http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/gcmr).
    Contemporary Music Review 06/2013; 32.
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    ABSTRACT: Resistance as a state or activity entwines discrete entities or forces in a given context (contexere, to weave together). Something or someone resists something or someone, making this with-standing (re-sistere) essentially relational or agential. Live performance gives this play of agency a dramatic frame and focus, involving resources ranging from ‘raw’ re-appropriated materials to sophisticated information technology type artefacts. These resources support interactions of human and non-human agency, and mix physical and virtual materials which generate different kinds of resistance and behavioural response. This paper looks at different contextual framings of resistance that arise in live performance, using generic instrumental and gestural taxonomies from cognitive science and ergonomics to set notions of ‘resistant materials’ in a broader transdisciplinary perspective. Emphasis is on the kinds of context sensitivity at work when materials are creatively (re-) appropriated, the role of art being to resist and scramble classificatory systems governing conventional notions of agency.
    Contemporary Music Review 06/2013; 32.