The significance of individual sounds – their origins, their development, and their future – has until now rarely been an object of research in popular music. This symposium will discuss how the sound aesthetic of popular music has changed over the past decades. It will debate how sounds have been created, how they are employed, and how they are constantly being renewed and replaced by new sounds. The symposium will take place in Bern, Switzerland from November 30 to December 2, 2017. See conference homepage for more details here.
The symposium will discuss the future of sounds in pop music by addressing the following questions:
– How are sounds modified, manipulated and transformed today?
– How will this be done in the future?
– What role do new interfaces and controllers play in the development of new sounds?
– What do current sound generators offer?
– What new sound generators might we expect in the future?
– How will pop music sound, 10 or 20 years from now?
John Chowning (San Francisco)
Lippold Haken (Illinois)
Edmund Eagan (Ottawa)
Wayne Marshall (Boston)
Bruno Spoerri (Zurich)
Annie Goh (London)
Marie Thompson (Lincoln)
Katia Isakoff (London)
See abstracts and bios here and follow most of the keynotes on YouTube.
Further papers have been chosen from call for abstracts in the following subject fields:
1. Technological Aspects
The development of new synthesis procedures, editors, controllers and management software for auditory events seems to have reached a point at which the possible fields of application in music have been optimised and are both highly developed and user-friendly. Music technologies are future-oriented, but also process and transform past accomplishments. We wish to determine what virtual settings can offer, both within DAW systems and outside them. More and more developers and users are turning to physical systems (especially modular systems) that offer a great degree of openness and haptic characteristics. We aim to discuss this field of development.
2. Socio-cultural Aspects
Innovations in music technology and the renewal and expansion of sounds have often taken place in experimental settings or through unconventional approaches adopted by those involved. We can often observe that new sounds develop in subcultures and are later adopted by the mainstream. What is the approach of those who develop, use and consume these sounds? What networks exist and emerge around the idea of a new sound? Do small teams of developers determine what happens? In what environments do sonic innovations occur? And what are the impact and significance of specific sounds in different social and cultural contexts?
3. Sound aesthetic Aspects
Innovative sounds that are used excessively in the mainstream for aesthetic or commercial reasons can divide the production and listening communities. Current preferences such as auto-tune, filtering, sidechain compression, stutter effects and bandstop effects are omnipresent but are not necessarily new, nor even genuine pop sounds. How are «new» sounds perceived and evaluated? How do individual sounds change the overall aesthetic of pop songs?
Thursday, November 30, 2017
Panel 1 – Sounds I (Chair: Immanuel Brockhaus/Thomas Burkhalter)
13.15 Bruno Spoerri (Zurich)
Keynote: The Promised Land of New Sounds – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
14.00 Peter Kraut (Bern)
Sounds und Standards – ein schwieriges Verhältnis
14.30 Michael Harenberg/Daniel Weissberg (Bern)
Are sounds just sounds or are they Beethoven?
Panel 2 – Sounds II (Chair: Immanuel Brockhaus/Thomas Burkhalter)
15.30 Katia Isakoff (London)
Keynote: Creating a Musical Use for Electricity (A Romance Novel)
16.30 Robert Michler (Bern)
Erweiterte Soundästhetik der rhythmischen Elemente im Groove der Popmusik
17.00 Benoît Piccand/Jürgen Strauss/Gaël Martinet (Bern)
3D audio. Pop und Raum – vom Tonstudio bis in die Hosentasche
Friday, December 1, 2017
Panel 3 – Aesthetics (Chair: Anja Brunner)
9.30 John Chowning (San Francisco)
Keynote: FM Synthesis – Fifty Years
10.30 Heiko Wandler (Karlsruhe)
Der Einfluss der Synthesizer auf die Ästhetik der elektronischen Klubmusik
11.30 Christofer Jost (Freiburg/Basel)
Weite, Fülle, Präzision. Über die Klangästhetik des Gitarren-Delays und dessen Bedeutung in gegenwärtiger Popmusik
12.00 Christina M. Heinen (Oldenburg)
«Music of Black Holes and Sounds from Space». LIGO sonification and their Creative Side-Effects
12.30 Christophe Fellay (Sion/London)
Rhythm and Noise
Panel 4 – Technology (Chair: Immanuel Brockhaus/Thomas Burkhalter)
14:30 Jan Herbst (Bielefeld)
Old sounds with new technologies? Examining the creative potential of guitar «profiling» technology from a production perspective
15.00 Jack Davenport (Lancashire)
Playful Musical Interfaces. Introducing the «Sound of Colour»
15.30 Werner Jauk (Graz)
Forward Back … Sound-Gesture-Technologies. The Im-Mediate Bodily Shaping of Immaterial Sound & Sonic Pop-Culture
16.30 Fereydoun Pelarek (Sydney)
Sound Design Techniques of the Live Looping Performance Artist
17.00 Lippold Haken (Illinois) / Edmund Eagan (Ottawa)
Keynote: Finger Control of Timbre throughout Each Note. Challenges for New Controllers and New Sound Generators
20.00 Haken Continuum – Workshop Lippold Haken/Edmund Eagan
A New Paradigm for Timbre Control. Finger-Influenced Patching in the EaganMatrix
Saturday, December 2, 2017
Panel 5 – Philosophy & Sociology (Chair: Britta Sweers)
9.30 Wayne Marshall (Boston)
Keynote: From Breakbeats to Fruity Loops. Small Sounds and Scenes in the Age of the DAW
10.30 Robin James (Charlotte)
Novelty, Speculation, Wake. How Pop Music Conceives of «the Future» (1983–2017)
11.30 Georgi Georgiev (Berlin)
The Future of Techno
12.00 Marie Thompson (Lincoln)
Keynote: The (Feminized) Noise of Pop
Panel 6 – Reception & Sociology (Chair: Britta Sweers)
14.30 Hannes Liechti (Bern)
Rattling Chains and Cackling Chickens. Non-Musical Sampling in Experimental Electronic Pop
15.00 Holger Lund (Ravensburg)
The Master’s Master? Neue Soundästhetiken durch post-produktives Mastering und Vinylcut
Panel 7 – Virtuality (Chair: Immanuel Brockhaus/Thomas Burkhalter)
16.00 Annie Goh (London)
Keynote: Sounding Cyber*feminist Futures. Speculations on Sonic Unknowns
17.00 Ruben Brockhaus/Studygroup HTW Berlin (Berlin)
V-Age, Alterungsprozesse bei virtuellen Instrumenten
17.30 Marie-Kristin Meier (Berlin)
Immersion als ästhetische Strategie in Virtual Reality Experiences und elektronischer Musik
Immanuel Brockhaus and Thomas Burkhalter, HKB (lead)
Assistants: Sabine Jud and Daniel Allenbach
This symposium is part of the HKB research project Cult Sounds (see Norient dossier here) of Immanuel Brockhaus and Thomas Burkhalter (Norient), which is supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation.