Funding for the Methods Network ended March 31st 2008. The website will be preserved in its current state.

Interactivity in the Performance of Electroacoustic Music Seminar Report

Report by Adrian Moore


On 13 December 2007, the Humanities Research Institute at The University of Sheffield hosted a Methods Network sponsored seminar on interactivity in the performance of electroacoustic music. 45 attendees contributed to a number of very spirited discussions on interactivity and the nature of the ‘live’ electroacoustic performance. At the heart of discussion was the relationship between the composer / performer and the laptop computer and the relationship between the listener and the audio / visual experience. The day was organized around a series of papers and presentations, and the morning and afternoon sessions concluded with discussions. Simon Emmerson – an active participant, leading the final discussion of the day – in the preface and introduction to his book ‘Living Electronic Music’ (Emmerson, 2007) had already set out some of the questions that were clearly on participants’ minds during the day:

  • Exactly what does ‘live’ mean anymore? How do I know you’re not just miming on stage? What clues are there? It’s only a laptop and a mouse. You claim you are taking decisions and acting on the result – even based on how I (a listener) am ‘responding’ to you. Can I hear that?
  • Does it matter how you get there or how the music got there? Did you make it? Or did the machine? Based on what? Are you just another icon? What do you and I take away from the performance and bring to the next one?

(Emmerson, 2007, p. xv-xvi.)

Read the report...

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