connections to specific commercial recording formats in
(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 practices?
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,
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 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 formats?
But what if the
soundfile/mp3 addicted generation produces listeners with
short attention spans?
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