Course detail

Sound Art and Experimental Music

FaVU-1ZT-ZAcad. year: 2020/2021

The course will present selected chapters from the history of sound art and experimental music in the form of lectures and active listening (combined with analysis and discussions). Sound-art as a border area between object, composition, installation, interactive system, performance represents an interdisciplinary lively field connecting fine arts, musical composition, technology and thus brings a number of questions that will be reflected in the lectures. Lectures are focused on important works and figures of sound art as well as on theories and aesthetic concepts that have changed and keep on changing the form of music of the 20th and 21st century. Topics to be discussed: noise, concrete music, electroacoustic music, sound and space, sound ecology, sound landscapes, field-recording, algorithmic and generated music, sonification, sound installations, artificial intelligence. Attention will also be paid to the current audio scene in the Czech Republic and in the world (performers, festivals, exhibitions, concerts).

Learning outcomes of the course unit

Students will gain an overview of the history and aspects of sound art, electroacoustic music, sound ecology, field recording and experimental music. The acquired knowledge will enable them to decode and analyze aesthetic models of contemporary music, sound art and general sound components of audiovisual works.

Prerequisites

None.

Co-requisites

Not applicable.

Recommended optional programme components

Not applicable.

Recommended or required reading

Peter Weibel, Sound Art – sound as medium of art, The MIT Press, 2019
Adrian Moore, Sonic Art – An introduction to Electroacoustic Music Composition, Routledge, 2016
Christpher Cox, Beyond Representation and Signification: Toward a Sonic Materialism, Journal of Visual Culture, 2011, https://doi.org/10.1177/1470412911402880
Salome Voegelin, Listening to Noise and Silence: Towards a Philosophy of Sound Art, Continuum, 2010
Alan Licht, Jim O' Rourke, Sound Art: Beyon Music, Between Categories, Rizzoli; Har/Com edition, 2007
Alex McLean, Roger T. Dean, The Oxford Handbook of Algorithmmic Music, Oxford University Press, 2018
Raymond Murray Schaffer, The tuning of the world, Random House Inc, 1977
Pierre Schaeffer, Konkrétní hudba, Supraphon, 1977
Martin Flašar, Elektroakustická hudba, Masarykova univerzita, 2015
https://is.muni.cz/do/rect/el/estud/ff/ps15/eah/web/media/Elektroakusticka_hudba.pdf
Michal Rataj, Elektroakustická hudba a vybrané koncepty radioartu, KANT Akademie múzických umění, 2007
Lenka Dohnalová, Estetické modely evropské elektroakustické hudby a elektroakustická hudba v ČR, Univerzita Karlova, 2001
Jozef Cseres, Michal Murin, Od analogového k digitálnímu... Nové pohlady na nové umenia v audiovizuálnom veku, Fakulta výtvarných umení, Akadémia umení, 2010
Trevor Wishart, On Sonic Art, Routledge, 1997
John Cage, Composition In Retrospect, Exact Change, 2008
Brandon LaBelle , Background Noise: Perspectives on Sound Art, Bloomsbury Academic, 2006

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Lectures accompanied with active listening and discussions.

Assesment methods and criteria linked to learning outcomes

Credit is awarded on the basis of attendance and active participation, as well as on the basis of a test verifying the covered topics and acquired knowledge.

Language of instruction

Czech

Work placements

Not applicable.

Course curriculum

1) Liberation of sound – an introduction to concepts, manifestos, works and representatives of futurism and the influence of "Art of Noises" on the music of the 20th century. Musique concréte – work with recordings, collage of specific sounds as a compositional method, Pierre Schaeffere, Piere Henry. Listening and discussion.
2) Electronic music – Karlheinz Stockhausen, Iannis Xenakis, Edgar Varese, Piere Boulez, Francois Bayle, EMS, Curtis Roads, Horracio Vaggione, Bjarni Gunnarson, Elian Radigue, Bernard Parmegiani... From the pioneers of electronic music in the 1950s to contemporary composers and creators of radical music aesthetics. Listening, analysis, discussion.
3) Cybernetics, quantum physics, relativity, information theory – the influence of scientific discoveries on the aesthetics of new music: stochastic music, aleatory music, microtonal, atonal and spectral music.
4) Utopia? New musical instruments and technologies (L. Theremin, E. Sholpo, E. Murzin, EMS, Don Buchla ...); hi-tech vs. DIY scene of the present.
5) Minimalism – return to simplicity, conception, listening to key works (Terry Rilley, Steve Reich, La Monte Young, Phil Nibblock, Ryoji Ikeda...). Influence of minimalism on pop music and techno.
6) Ambient and drone – concepts, background, attention, gestalt psychology (listening: Brian Eno, Erik Satie, Orb, Biosphere, Aphex Twin, Tim Hecker, Sunn o))))
7) Soundscapes – acquaintance with the concept of sound landscapes and the issue of sound ecology. The work of R. M. Schafer. Field-recording and listening exercises.
8) Sound and space – use of space as a means of expression: Poem Electronique, acoustic music, multichannel concert presentations, acoustic, sound installations, VR.
9) Music or object? Sound installations and emergence of sound art in galleries of fine arts (Ch. Cox), contemporary festivals, institutions, galleries, labels dedicated to sound art.
10) Algorithmic composition and generative music, algorithmic sound installations, autonomous systems and objects.
11) Error – fluxus, glitch, click’n’cuts, noise.
12) Experimental club electronic music from the 90's to the present.
13) Artificial intelligence, online shared compositions, creative databases, VR.

Aims

The aim of the course is to acquaint students with the span of sound creation, which they can include as artists in their future work. This goal is achieved through the presentation of historically important works of sound art and experimental music in the form of listening and subsequent collective discussion / analysis of what is heard and seen.

Specification of controlled education, way of implementation and compensation for absences

Classes are mandatory (minimal participation 70%).

Classification of course in study plans

  • Programme VUB Bachelor's

    branch VU-D , 1. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-D , 1. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-D , 1. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-VT , 1. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-VT , 1. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-VT , 1. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-VT , 1. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-VT , 1. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-VT , 1. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 1. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 1. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 1. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 1. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 1. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 1. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 1. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-D , 2. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-D , 2. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-D , 2. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-VT , 2. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-VT , 2. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-VT , 2. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-VT , 2. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-VT , 2. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-VT , 2. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 2. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 2. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 2. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 2. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 2. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 2. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 2. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-D , 3. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-D , 3. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-D , 3. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-VT , 3. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-VT , 3. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-VT , 3. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-VT , 3. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-VT , 3. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-VT , 3. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 3. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 3. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 3. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 3. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 3. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 3. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 3. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-D , 4. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-D , 4. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-D , 4. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-VT , 4. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-VT , 4. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-VT , 4. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-VT , 4. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-VT , 4. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-VT , 4. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 4. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 4. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 4. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 4. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 4. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 4. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 4. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective

  • Programme VUM Master's

    branch VU-D , 1. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-D , 1. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-D , 1. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-VT , 1. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-VT , 1. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-VT , 1. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-VT , 1. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-VT , 1. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-VT , 1. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 1. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 1. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 1. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 1. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 1. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 1. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 1. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-D , 2. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-D , 2. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-D , 2. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-VT , 2. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-VT , 2. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-VT , 2. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-VT , 2. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-VT , 2. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-VT , 2. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 2. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 2. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 2. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 2. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 2. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 2. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 2. year of study, winter semester, 2 credits, elective

Type of course unit

 

Lecture

13 hours, compulsory

Teacher / Lecturer

Creative seminar

13 hours, compulsory

Teacher / Lecturer