EMS Proceedings and Other Publications

Communicating EAM: Aesthetics vs. rhetoric

Sanne Krogh Groth

Sanne Krogh Groth, Department of Arts and Culture, Musicology Section, University of Copenhagen, Denmark


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Since the early years of electro acoustic music great self-awareness is found among the field’s composers who often and willingly have communicated historical chronology, thoughts about analysis, aesthetic directions and rivalries. This we find both in relation to the historical studios (Schaeffer’s work in Paris, the studio in Cologne and in the studio EMS in Stockholm) and in relation to today’s discussions of EAM and Sound Art. The extended rhetoric about the music and the production of it is a useful tool in our discussions of musical development and analysis, but can in some cases lead to the disappearing of the aesthetic work and contemplation.
In the paper I will illustrate this by presenting an analysis of the rhetoric at the electronic music studio EMS, Stockholm: It’s aesthetic and scientific context and its function in a political context. I will discuss what impact this displacement of focus from the sounding work to the contextualization of the work has had on the production, comprehension and reception of aesthetic works produced in the hybrid-studio at EMS. This discussion, I believe, is not only of relevance to historical issues, but is also to be considered in the discussions of today’s communication of EAM and Sound Art.

EMS10 Proceedings