In This Chapter

Where are we?

Extended music practice on the internet

Authored by: Simon Emmerson , Kenneth Fields

The Routledge Research Companion to Electronic Music

Print publication date:  May  2018
Online publication date:  May  2018

Print ISBN: 9781472472915
eBook ISBN: 9781315612911
Adobe ISBN:


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At the time of writing, at least 20 years of extended sound-based performance via the internet is now behind us. Already in 2003 Àlvaro Barbosa summarised the elements that had emerged in the first generation of networked performances. It is interesting to see how the emphasis has been further refined or changed since. This chapter starts by examining the effects of ‘space-time relativity’ in internet performance: the lack of a central clock time, the impossibility of absolute synchronisation. What does this afford the composer/performer? Furthermore, more global concerns emerge – from different time zones to different seasons, all directly effecting musical relationships. Some ancient musical techniques (of layering, rhythmic exchange and complexity) may remain totally appropriate to this new world, while others will emerge slowly through practice. The ability of the internet to make global connections allows new kinds of site and location sensitivity which have rarely been explored. New forms of perceiving space and time are slowly emerging. The chapter’s concluding section looks at examples of developing performance practice through the lens of the Syneme group’s playlist as it has developed since 2009. Rather than focus on the technology, an attempt has been made to see (and hear) some of these relationship possibilities through the music

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