Improvising Tape Music

Talk delivered at Spark 2006: festival of electronic music and art, University of Minnesota, Friday, Feb. 24, 2006. The attached version is reproduced from the conference proceedings.

Abstract: The development and refinement of real-time sound processing has important consequences for the aesthetic relevance of improvisation in the creation of “tape music.” While Andy Hamilton’s essay on improvisation introduces the terms for discussing the aesthetic relevance of improvisation, his dismissal “spontaneity at the level of composition” in fixed electronic works falls behind the perfectionist/imperfectionist dichotomy he seeks to overcome. By redeploying the notions of “instrumental impulse” and an “improvised feel” into the context of tape music, one begins, in a small but significant way, to overcome the acousmatic thesis and the idea of reduced listening.

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