well-established connections to specific commercial
recording formats in terms of:
Electroacoustic Music (here we
are only considering fixed media works) traditionally works within
professional audio formats for composition and performance, and makes
appropriate compromises for distribution
on commercial formats
How does fixed medium documentation change artistic
Does the creation of an LP/CD
involve an arbitrary grouping of works designed for individual
performance or broadcast, or is it a compositional format for creating
works of extended duration? The Cambridge
Street Publishing experience.
Reference: "Sequence of Earlier Heaven: The
Record as a Medium for the Electroacoustic Composer," Leonardo, 20(1), 1988, 25-28.
Should we (or will we) continue
to value the large-scale work in the manner of the 19th century's
privileging of the symphony and opera? Is that value related to the
increased compositional demands, the deeper engagement with materials,
and the reflective listening stance it encourages?
In terms of Jonathan Sterne's
format theory as a cultural analysis of the mp3 format:
"Format theory ... invites us
to ask after the changing formations of media, the contexts of their
reception, the conjectures that shaped their sensual characteristics,
and the institutional politics in which they were embedded." (p.11)
Reference: J. Sterne, MP3: The Meaning of a Format, Duke University Press, 2012.
If the individual downloadable
soundfile has succeeded the CD as the format of choice for a younger
generation, with the 5.1 format for commercial entertainment, will
these developments further marginalize electroacoustic music,
particularly in terms of works of extended duration and multi-channel
But what if the soundfile/mp3
addicted generation produces listeners with short attention spans?
Soundscape composition often
benefits from both extended duration and multi-channel formats, and
therefore will seek out opportunities for performance and dissemination
that bypass the commercial format, e.g. multi-channel installations and
concerts; websites; webradio; podcasts