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Interactivity in the Performance of Electroacoustic Music

A seminar organized by Adrian Moore, University of Sheffield (13 December 2007)

(pdf) (html) Programme
(html) Participants
(pdf) (html) Seminar Report
(html) University of Sheffield Sound Studios website

Recent changes in both hardware and software have opened up an undefined middle ground, between the fully fixed work (often existing on Compact Disc and often requiring diffusion) and a 'laptop generation/IRCAM school' work based around instruction sets triggered by intelligent computer listening or performers working with new interfaces, that affords an unprecedented opportunity for the electroacoustic composer. These developments have enabled the composer/performer of electroacoustic music to take a much more active role in the presentation/construction of their works in live contexts.

This seminar spotlit this trend, focusing upon: the composer as performer; performance interfaces; notation; sound diffusion; logistics of performance and publication.

There are two overriding reasons behind this change in direction:

  • the computing power of the laptop and cost-effectiveness of controllers has enabled composers to take real-time control of their works, whether the work is with or without additional performers;
  • shared, object-oriented software environments have enabled the compartmentalisation of process and extensibility of materials: the electroacoustic work can have performance elements added in real-time and can be sent to others as soundfiles, patches, scores and instructions.

The current state-of-the-art is however nebulous at best with a composer's work often having its own idiosyncratic working environment. This seminar offered a roundup of activity including a number of examples by key practitioners leading to an open and highly speculative discussion featuring a real-time presentation of an improvisation and performance tool as part of a small and informal concert.

AHDS Methods Taxonomy Terms

This item has been catalogued using a discipline and methods taxonomy. Learn more here.


  • Music


  • Communication and collaboration - Audio interaction - synchronous
  • Communication and collaboration - Audio resource sharing
  • Communication and collaboration - Audio-based collaborative publishing
  • Data Capture - Digital sound generation
  • Data Capture - Digital sound recording
  • Practice-led Research - Audio dubbing
  • Practice-led Research - Audio mixing
  • Practice-led Research - Digital sound generation
  • Practice-led Research - Digital sound recording
  • Practice-led Research - Sound editing