Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Music and Machines IX: Resistant Material (Upcoming conference, Newcastle)

15 -1 6 JANUARY 2009

The "International Centre for Music Studies" (ICMuS) and "Culture Lab" at Newcastle University announce a two-day symposium on resistant materials in musical creativity as part of the "Music and Machines" research series.

Musical practices encounter many sites of resistance/resistivity
- the engagement with or overcoming of physiological restrictions
- the technological limitations of instruments, voices, computer systems, and other performance media
- constraints imposed by musico-theoretical systems such as "common practice" tonality and other formalistic issues
- the unpredictability and/or ambiguity of some of the newer creative tools such as interactive software, circuit-bending or distributed performance systems
- the critical dissonances that must be negotiated in much interdisciplinary collaboration

Developing out of a series of research events that began in 2004, "Music and Machines IX: Resistant Material" pulls together some of the different ways that contemporary musicians and theorists have thematized or had to work through the issue of resistant materials.
As well as core members of the CETL-funded ICMuS research grouping in Postvernacular Music, the symposium will include guest presenters from Glasgow Caledonian University, Royal Conservatory in The Hague, University of East Anglia, Edinburgh University, Culture Lab
Newcastle, and the Psychology and Philosophy departments at Newcastle University.

Sessions will take the form of short presentations by invited presenters, followed by round table discussions, with members of "the audience" actively encouraged to become involved. Session
presentations will include position statements, project reports, theoretical perspectives, and live performances. There are also live concerts each evening held in Culture Lab.

Participants will include
Paul Bell (ICMuS - Culture Lab)
David Clarke (ICMuS)
John Ferguson (ICMuS - Culture Lab)
Bennett Hogg (ICMuS)
Lars Iyer (Philosophy, Newcastle)
Raymond MacDonald (Psychology, Glasgow)
Peter Nelson (Music, Edinburgh University)
Sally Jane Norman (Culture Lab, Newcastle)
Joel Ryan (Royal Conservatory in The Hague)
Simon Waters (UEA)
Nick Williams (ICMuS - Culture Lab)
Graeme Wilson (Psychology, Newcastle)

Topics covered will include turntablism in free improvisation, learning Indian Classical Music, ambiguity and indeterminacy in bent circuits, modelling resistivity in virtual environments, formalism and subjectivity, the instrument in free improvisation, philosophical and cultural-theoretical perspectives on ideas of resistance in musical materials, and issues raised by the development of interfaces between musical performers and digital technologies.

A conference fee of £10 to cover coffee and tea is payable to Culture Lab, Newcastle. For registration please contact Carine Aguet at

For further information please contact Dr. Bennett Hogg at

Details of registration procedures and a more detailed outline of the event will be posted on the "Culture Lab, Newcastle" website in due course.

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