From: Bill Brunson
Subject: CALL FOR PAPERS – Electroacoustic Music Studies Network
Date: 2011 December 1 9:02:04 AM EST
CALL FOR PAPERS
Electroacoustic Music Studies Network Conference 2012
11-15 June 2012
The Royal College of Music & Elektronmusikstudion
EMS12 Conference Theme:
Meaning and Meaningfulness in Electroacoustic Music
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
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,
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
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.
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.
See website for additional details.
Guidelines for Submission
Deadline for receipt of submissions:
Tuesday 17 January 2012, 09.00 CET (GMT+1).
Notification of acceptance will be emailed to applicants by mid-
Abstract submission guidelines:
Submissions will be made directly by email to ems12 [at] ems-
Papers can be given in English or French.