Conference 2014

Bone Flute to Auto-Tune: A Conference on Music & Technology in History, Theory and Practice

University of California, Berkeley

April 24-26, 2014

Register Here to attend the conference

Events in the Elkus Room (125), Morrison Hall, except where otherwise noted


Thursday, April 24

1-1:30 Welcome and Opening Remarks (Elkus Room, Morrison Hall)

1:30-3 Lifecycles of Musical Instruments

chair: Adrian Freed (UC Berkeley/CNMAT)

Kurt Werner (Stanford/CCRMA), “The TR-808 Drum Machine and its Emulations” abstract

Thomas Patteson (Curtis Institute) and Deirdre Loughridge (UC Berkeley) “The Museum of Imaginary Musical Instruments” abstract

Aaron Allen (UNC Greensboro) “In the Palms of Our Hands: Lifecycles of Portable Media Players” abstract

3:30-4:30 Organ-ic Electronics

Chair: Holly Watkins (University of Rochester/Eastman School of Music)

Carmel Raz (Yale University), “Nerves, Reeds and Organs: The Harmonium as a Case Study in Early Romantic Ideas about Sound and the Body” abstract

Tiffany Ng (UC Berkeley), “Electric Organology: Hammond and the Federal Trade Commission, 1936-1938” abstract

5:00-6:30 Roger Moseley (Cornell University), “Digital Analogies” (Room 128, Morrison Hall)

Friday, April 25

9-10:30 “Artificial” Memory (Elkus Room)

chair: Sean Curran (UC Berkeley)

Anna Maria Busse Berger (UC Davis), “Memorization Techniques in the Middle Ages” abstract

Mackenzie Pierce (Cornell University) “Music Stenography and Textual Recording Technologies, 1830-1850” abstract

Margaret Schedel (SUNY Stony Brook) “Documentation vs. Notation in Computer Music” abstract

11-12:30 Ages of Technological Reproducibility

chair: Nicholas Mathew (UC Berkeley)

Margaret Jones (UC Berkeley) “Technologies of Print and Tablature in Early Modern Europe” abstract

Roger Grant (University of Oregon), “The Numerical Mediation of Tempo” abstract

Melle Kromhout (Universiteit van Amsterdam), “Dithering: Hiding Noise with Noise in Digital Sound” abstract

2-3 Space

chair: Deirdre Loughridge (UC Berkeley)

Joon Park (University of Oregon), “The Monochord = (Motion + Space) = Musical Motion” abstract

Zachary Seldess (UC San Diego) and Steve Ellison (Meyer Sound), “A History and New Implementation of SpaceMap” abstract

3:30-5 Programming the Performer

chair: Greg Niemeyer (UC Berkeley)

David Wells (Denver, CO), “The Musical Box: Origins and Development of Mechanical Music” abstract

Lucie Vágnerová (Columbia University) “On Liveness and Labor in the Era of Hologram Singers” abstract

Ritwik Banerji (UC Berkeley) “Setting the Machine Free: Virtual Improvisers, Artificial Intelligence and Decolonization of the Human-Machine Relationship” abstract

7:30 Concert (CNMAT)

John Granzow and Christopher Jette (Stanford/CCRMA), “LasuDax” abstract

Edmund Campion (UC Berkeley/CNMAT), CORAIL for tenor saxophone and live electronics, with Steve Adams of the ROVA Saxophone Quartet

Amanda Chaudhary, CatSynth

Perry Cook, “Elaine and D’joan” for voice and electronics (world premiere)

Saturday, April 26

9-10:30 Vocal Technologies (Elkus Room)

chair: James Davies (UC Berkeley)

Owen Marshall (Cornell), “The Birth of Auto-Tune: A Genealogical Praxiography of Pitch Correction” abstract

Peter McMurray (Harvard), “A Media Archaeology of Angels: Sound, Documentary and Islam” abstract

Perry Cook (Princeton), “Choirs of the Future? Past, Present, and Future of Technology and Singing” abstract

11-12:30 “New” Instruments

Emily Dolan (University of Pennsylvania), “The Invention of Newly Invented Instruments” abstract

You Nakai (NYU), “David Tudor’s Neural Synthesis and the Neural-Network Synthesizer” abstract

David Wessel (UC Berkeley/CNMAT), “Expressive Shaping of Generative Musical Processes in Live Performance” abstract

2-3 Roundtable: History, Theory, Practice

Georgina Born, Deirdre Loughridge, Adrian Freed

3:30-5 Future Effects

Heather Hadlock (Stanford), “Liveness and Community in Robert Lepage’s La Damnation de Faust (2008) and the Metropolitan Opera: Live in HD Simulcasts” abstract

Darien Lamen (UW Madison), “Futurity and Sound System Technology in the Brazilian Amazon” abstract

Martin Scherzinger, Jessica Feldman, Stephan-Eloïse Gras (NYU), “The MIDI Effect” abstract

Conference Description:

What shapes our music technologies? How do our technologies shape our musical practices and thought? An exciting body of scholarship has addressed such questions for sound recording, electronic instruments and digital media, illuminating the development and adoption of new technologies and their consequences for the creation, circulation, consumption and conception of music. Yet older technologies too were once new – and new technologies often revive or perpetuate old values, compromises and assumptions in unrecognized ways. This conference aims to question and illuminate the acoustic/electronic and analog/digital divides by addressing “new” music technologies from across history, from notation systems to sound recording, string instruments to synthesizers, carillons to computers, metronomes to MIDI – from bone flute to auto-tune. The conference also aims to open up dialogues between past and current practice by bringing together scholars, musicians and inventors from the Bay/Silicon Valley Area and beyond.

This conference is sponsored by the University of California, Berkeley Department of Music, Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (CNMAT), Townsend Center for the Humanities, Center for Science, Technology, Medicine and Society (CSTMS), Berkeley Center for New Media (BCNM) and Meyer Sound.

contact: dloughridge at berkeley dot edu