Welcome to EMS12 decorative dots

“The EMS Network has been organised to fill an important gap in terms of electroacoustic music, namely focusing on the better understanding of the various manifestations of electroacoustic music. Areas related to the study of electroacoustic music range from the musicological to more interdisciplinary approaches, from studies concerning the impact of technology on musical creativity to the investigation of the ubiquitous nature of electroacoustic sounds today. The choice of the word, ‘network’ is of fundamental importance as one of our goals is to make relevant initiatives more widely available.” (http://www.ems-network.org)


Call for Participation decorative dots

EMS12 Conference Theme:
Meaning and Meaningfulness in Electroacoustic Music

Keynote Address:
Lars-Gunnar Bodin

Meaning is essential to all human activity and the arts are special bearers of meaning relevant to all cultural communication. Whereas the term meaning suggests something that can be investigated and defined, meaningfulness introduces a quality of significance that seems at once more approachable, malleable and personal.

Meaning in music encompasses a vast area of inquiry, approachable from a multitude of intersecting avenues and, in electroacoustic music, the subject is distinguished by several unique features. Is meaning in music immanent within its structural and formal design? Is it emotional? Is it aesthetically embedded? Is it constructed by listeners both individually and collectively? Is its significance embodied?

Semiotic approaches and studies of intention-reception highlight the interdependence of composers and listeners. Meaning may be considered as an exchange and becomes less a kind of objective quantity and more a process related to qualitative meaningfulness. Composers, on the creative side of the communication chain, often focus on the job at hand; subjective and aesthetic intentions intermingle with both compositional and technical concerns. For electroacoustic music, as a sound-based art, listening is a primary mode of action and often the sole means of reception. Listeners focus initially on experiencing, on making sense of and on understanding the sounds and their relationships. These may be musical or other types of extrinsic, referential sounds.

In all of its guises, electroacoustic music is, moreover, dependent upon a technical medium. Are the diverse technical media, which are employed for electroacoustic music, meaning-neutral, or do they condition – from the perspectives of the composers, performers or listeners – the meaning(s) of the music? What are the differences between delivery via large arrays of loudspeakers, iPod earplugs, internet, installations or live performance. Is the medium a message or a massage?

Electroacoustic music also integrates well with other art forms, in particular those that utilize digital media or are digitally mediated. How does the intermedial environment affect meaning in music and across media?

It is our hope that the conference theme - Meaning and Meaningfulness - will inspire broad interest among the electroacoustic music community, including composers, performers, musicologists as well as other related disciplines.

The call for papers is not limited to any particular type of practice within the diverse field of electroacoustic music. Rather an inclusive approach is advocated in order to bring together a wide variety of theories and practices including acousmatics, live electronics, intermedia and more.

Papers should address specific topics in the call. While some references to works by the presenting author(s) may be cited, these should not be the main focus of the paper.

Conference Co-Chairs
Bill Brunson
Mats Lindström
Steering Committee
Marc Battier
Leigh Landy
Daniel Teruggi
Organizing Committee
Henrik Frisk (KMH, The Royal College of Music, Sweden)
Fredrik Hedelin (KMH, The Royal College of Music, Sweden)
Kim Hedås (KMH, The Royal College of Music, Sweden)
Mattias Petersson (KMH, The Royal College of Music, Sweden)
Mattias Sköld (KMH, The Royal College of Music, Sweden)
Mats Lindström (EMS, Elektronmusikstudion, Sweden)


The conference is also open to other topics relevant to the history and/or contemporary practice of electroacoustic music. We encourage the submission of papers relating to any aspect of the field, including but not limited to analysis, perception, listening, terminology, composition, performance, cultural issues and education.

- What types of discourse are relevant to electroacoustic works?
- Which analytical methods are currently being developed?
- Can one adapt existent analytical methods of music to electroacoustic works, many of which involve no prescriptive notation?
- How can we further develop the field of study of electroacoustic musics?

Transcription and representation of sound, new audio-visual tools:
- How are analytical tools being produced and disseminated in the community?
- Which means are available for communicating this sonic art form through symbolic and graphic representations?
- Does the study of electroacoustic musics require specifically designed tools or can it take advantage of methods conceived for other musics?

Taxonomy, terminology - 'meaningful' units of music description:
- Which systems of classification are in use or should be developed?
- How can we become more consistent in our use of terminology in a field as dynamic as electroacoustic music?

Real-time music making:
- How can live performance/composition strategies be analysed?
- What is 'live' electronic music?

Performance, presentation, dissemination:
- What is the 'work'?
- New presentation spaces, technologies.
- Aesthetical and musical issues raised by Internet communities, group compositions, telematics and performances.

Listening, Intention-Reception
- Issues of perception and interpretation.
- How do the composer's intentions relate to what is perceived?

Semiotics/semiology, 'meaning':
- What (and how) do different electroacoustic music genres express?

Soundscape, sound ecology:
- Analytical tools for the understanding of soundscapes.
- New approaches to sound ecology, sonification, sound environment.

Genres/styles, 'languages':
- Questions of unity, diversity, plurality, multicultural resources, polystyle, hybridisation, 'local music

Gender issues:
- Have gender balances shifted since the early days?
- The relationship between technology/electroacoustic music and gender.
- Unrecognised contributions: revising history.

Research on history of electroacoustic music:
- Research on historical documentation.
- Studies on the genesis, development and activities of private and public studios.
- How can and should we revise history?

Socio-cultural issues:
- What are the socio-cultural ramifications of electroacoustic music?

- Curriculum design.
- Balance between theory and practice, general and specific approaches.
- Real-time and interaction versus fixed medium and studio techniques.
- Teaching material: how to select it, and language issues.

Guidelines for Submission decorative dots


NEW EXTENDED DEADLINE for receipt of submissions:
Monday 30 January 2012, 12.00 CET (GMT+1).
Submissions are to be made directly by email to ems12@ems-network.org.

Reply Date:
Notification of acceptance will be emailed to applicants by mid-February.

Abstract submission guidelines:
A submission should consist of a zipped folder containing:
- The paper abstract in English or French (minimum 1,000 – maximum 1,500 words), headed with author name(s), organization affiliation (if any), contact address, telephone, and email address in PDF:
- A curriculum vitae (2 pages maximum) in PDF;
- A list of publications (2 pages maximum) in PDF;
- A brief bio (150 words) in PDF.

The abstract should be ready for publication if the paper is accepted. A program containing the paper abstracts will be made available on the EMS website (www.ems- network.org) and distributed at the conference.

Submissions from students and early-career postdoctoral researchers are particularly encouraged.

Paper presentation guidelines:
Each paper presentation will be 30 minutes (including a 5 minute question period). (Changes between speakers will be made at a parallel station.)

Papers can be given in English or French.

Standard presentation equipment will be provided including a video projector, CD/DVD player and stereo sound system.