Seminar by Miguel Álvarez-Fernández
miguelalvarezfernandez79 at hotmail.com
for Klanganalyse- und Synthese 6.11. & 13.11.2007
The main goal of this course is the creative reflection and experimentation on different possible roles of musical technology in the manipulation of speech sounds. In the first session of the course, different aesthetical approaches to the manipulation of vocal sounds will be presented and discussed inside a theoretical framework that will serve as a guide for the rest of the course. Examples of these different approaches will be drawn not only from the field of ‘electroacoustic music’, but also from other practices such as sound poetry and other forms of experimental literature, in a period that spans from the beginning of 20th Century to our days. The analysis and discussion of these examples should serve as a guide to the examination of what conceptions about language lie behind the creative manipulation of voice and speech in each work, and which particular aspects or dimensions of language receive a particular attention from a compositional perspective.
After this theoretical session, a number of groups will be created among the students, joining different backgrounds and profiles in each of these workgroups. After a period of discussion, each group will propose a project which will connect music technology and voice sounds in a way somehow related to the artistic examples or the theoretical framework previously discussed in the course. These projects can adopt very diverse approaches to this subject, from technical applications that actually work (for example, as a patch for MAX-MSP or a SuperCollider application), to utopian proposals for any kind of artwork (like a sketch or outline for a whole musical composition or a set of ideas for a radio show), passing through plans for any kind of perspective (theoretical, curatorial, etc.) on the issues presented in the course. If needed, and as far as possibilities allow, the groups will receive the guidance of Miguel Álvarez-Fernández and other professionals connected with each project’s area of expertise during this stage.
The final part of the course will consist on the presentation of the different projects developed by each of the groups, and an open discussion among the participants in the course. These debates could focus, among other aspects, on the aesthetical implications of each project, the collaborative aspects of the team working process, the relationship between the projects and the works analysed in the course, the critical evaluation of the methodological or technical decisions assumed in each proposal, possible ways of further development.
Here you can find a bibliography in an industrial location.
The Sound of Meaning:
Aesthetical Approaches to the Manipulation of Speech Sounds
Description of the assignments for the seminar:
The participants in the seminar are expected to present, and develop as far as possible, a project based on the concepts and ideas discussed in the sessions of the 6th and the 13th November 2007 at the TU. These projects will preferably be the result of teamwork, though in particular cases individual proposals can also be admitted.
The possible contents of the proposals remains very open, so the different backgrounds, experiences and expectations of the students can be easily channelled through the theoretical framework presented during the seminar. The methodological perspectives that emerge from that framework can be projected, as it has been shown throughout the seminar, on very different creative manifestations. The results of this projection can also adopt varied shapes: theoretical, analytical, artistic, technical, political, etc... As it was mentioned in the original description of the seminar,
“These projects can adopt very diverse approaches to this subject, from technical applications that actually ‘work’ (for example, as a patch for MAX-MSP or a SuperCollider application), to utopian proposals for any kind of artwork (like a sketch or outline for a whole musical composition or a set of ideas for a radio show), passing through plans for any kind of perspective (theoretical, curatorial, etc.) on the issues presented in the course.”
By the second session of the seminar (13th November), each group should have started developing the ideas for their project. These initial ideas or sketches, however abstract and open, will be discussed and commented by the participants at the end of that session.
Further development of these ideas by each group will take place during the following weeks. In this period, the assistance of Miguel Álvarez-Fernández can be articulated either through e-mail or by new meetings at the Electroacoustic Music Studio (previously arranged by e-mail).
The ‘final’ version of the projects will be presented and discussed by each group on the 18th December. Having ‘finished’ a particular project by that time is not as important as presenting the results, up to that point, of the collaboration and discussions carried out inside each team.
The participants should contact Mr. Hein to book one of the studios for practical work; also there is a workstation in room EN 327 for easy works.