Research Data Leeds Repository

Collaboration and Musical Assistants at IRCAM, CCRMA, and CSC

Zattra, Laura (2016) Collaboration and Musical Assistants at IRCAM, CCRMA, and CSC. University of Leeds. [Dataset]

This item is part of the Alternative Histories of Electronic Music collection.

Dataset description

The revolution of sound recording, synthesis and transformation (commenced in 1948 with concrete music and in 1950 with electronic music), followed by the birth of computer music (since 1957), caused the natural emergence of a new professional profile – someone who can work in the phase of researching, writing, creating new instruments, recording and/or performing live during concerts. From the early days, laboratories and electronic music studios have involved the presence of different individuals with diverse but intertwined competencies. This is true for the Milan, Cologne, Paris and San Francisco centres during the first analogue generation; this has continued with the digital revolution (at CCRMA in Stanford and other centres in the United States, in France, Italy, Great Britain, Germany, East Asia, to name a few). Although books and essays dedicated to the history of Computer Music do agree, in principle, on the interdisciplinary nature of this music and the importance of collaboration,3 and the field of music collaboration starts at last being investigated,4 the existence of the musical assitant has been often unreasonably neglected. In both the musical score and the program notes, or in written sources (a least in the published ones), his/her presence remains hidden most of the time, and literature on the collaboration composer/musical assistant is scattered. I’ve been studying collaboration in computer music for a few years.5 Previous results have allowed me to trace the history of the name of this profession as it developed at IRCAM (Musical Assistant and RIM, Réalisateur en Informatique Musicale) [Zattra 2013a], to outline the analysis of an anonymous survey submitted to different musical assistants all over the world [Zattra 2013b] and to report findings from semi-structured interviews (Musical Assistants’ self-knowledge, role and visibility: Zattra 2015). In this communication I will report findings from a study based on primary and secondary sources and administrative documents, conserved at three computer music centres: the IRCAM (Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique) in Paris, the CCRMA (Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics) at Stanford University and the CSC (Centro di Sonologia Computazionale) in Padova. The analysis will examine two points: 1) institutionalisation and recognition: I would investigate the presence (or absence or understatement, as the case may be) of an express concern for the theme of collaboration and the role of the musical assistant; 2) the presence of passages inside the sources, describing the ways in which this collaboration was undertaken between musical assistants and composers. My study covers the technological historical period which runs from the early computer programs until the first real time experiments. It is intended to enlighen the hidden art-science collaboration, the emergence of a profession, the traces remaining from the habitually wordless communication between a composer and an assistant, in the early era of computer music. It introduces questions about cooperation and the way it could induce dilemmas when considering authorship. The choice of these three centres is motivated by the close historical, musical, organisational, scientific and technological connections, and by the numerous technical, cultural and scientific exchanges between the three.

Subjects: W000 - Creative arts & design > W300 - Music
W000 - Creative arts & design > W300 - Music > W310 - Musicianship/performance studies > W316 - Electronic/electro-acoustic music performance
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures > School of Music
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Date deposited: 27 Jul 2017 19:14



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