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Call for Participation EMS11

The Electroacoustic Music Studies Network and Electronic Music Foundation are pleased to announce the EMS Conference 2011 and to invite music and paper submissions.

Date and place: June 14 – 18, 2011, New York City
Deadline for submissions: January 15, 2010

Conference Co-Chairs
Margaret Schedel
Joel Chadabe

Conference Committee
Marc Battier (MINT-OMF, Université de Paris-Sorbonne, France)
Joel Chadabe (Electronic Music Foundation, US)
Leigh Landy (MTI, De Montfort University, UK)
Margaret Schedel (Stony Brook University, US)
Daniel Teruggi (INA/GRM, France)

Organizing Committee
Mark Ballora (Penn State University, US)
Elizabeth Hoffman (New York University, US)
Elliott Sharp (Composer, performer, US)
Suzanne Thorpe (Electronic Music Foundation, US)

The EMS Network has been organised to fill an important gap in terms of electroacoustic music, namely focusing on better understanding its various manifestations. Areas related to the study of electroacoustic music range from the musicological to more interdisciplinary approaches, and from studies concerning the impact of technology on musical creativity to the investigation of the ubiquitous nature of electroacoustic sounds today.

Sfz / Sforzando
The world is changing in a multitude of complex ways and challenging our traditional attitudes towards the cultural role of art music. We, as the organizers of this conference, believe that this EMS conference offers an opportunity for musicologists, composers, and sound artists to address urgent questions that are germane to music and the world today. The musical meaning of the word sforzando is a sudden, forceful emphasis. We believe that the following questions need sudden, forceful answers.

Each day of the conference will include a round table discussion focused on the following questions. We are specifically but non-exclusively looking for papers and musical works addressing the following topics related to the general theme of Sforzando.

Sonosphere: Can we use sound to further our understanding of real-world issues? Can we use creative networks based on music technology to lead us towards world peace?

Sensorium: How do we experience the sounds of the world? What are the aesthetics in recording the sounds of the world? Is this music? Does electronic music project the physical aspects of music in a visceral sense?

Socio-Acoustics: Given the democratization of art, what is the changing role of artists, virtuosity, expertise, creative excellence? To what extent is electro-acoustic music as a field becoming self-referential? Are we ion any way deviant from a purity found in the early canon, or does the link between creator and constituency bring us closer to a kind of creative purity?

Other EMS11 Themes
The conference will also focus on any other topic relevant to the history and/or contemporary practice of electronic music. We encourage papers relating to any aspect of the field, including but not limited to education, perception, terminology, analysis, listening, composition, performance, and cultural issues.

- What types of discourse are relevant to electroacoustic works?
- Which analytical methods are currently being developed?
- Can one adapt existent analytical methods of music to electroacoustic works, many of which involve no prescriptive notation?
- How can we further develop the field of study of electroacoustic musics?

Transcription and representation of sound, new audio-visual tools:
- How are analytical tools being produced and disseminated in the community?
- Which means are available for communicating this sonic art form through symbolic and graphic representations?
- Does the study of electroacoustic musics require specifically designed tools or can it take advantage of methods conceived for other musics?

Taxonomy, terminology – ‘meaningful’ units of music description:
- Which systems of classification are in use or should be developed?
- How can we become more consistent in our use of terminology in a field as dynamic as electroacoustic music?

Real-time music making:
- How can live performance/composition strategies be analysed?
- What is ‘live’ electronic music?

Performance, presentation, dissemination:
- What is the ‘work’?
- New presentation spaces, technologies.
- Aesthetical and musical issues raised by Internet communities, group compositions, telematics and performances.

Listening, Intention-Reception:
- Issues of perception and interpretation.
- How do the composer’s intentions relate to what is perceived?

Semiotics/semiology, ‘meaning’:
- What (and how) do different electroacoustic music genres express?

Soundscape, sound ecology:
- Analytical tools for the understanding of soundscapes.
- New approaches to sound ecology, sonification, sound environment.

Genres/styles, ‘languages’:
- Questions of unity, diversity, plurality, multicultural resources, polystyle, hybridisation, ‘local music.’

Gender issues:
- Have gender balances shifted since the early days?
- The relationship between technology/electroacoustic music and gender.

Research on history of electroacoustic music:
- Research on historical documentation.
- Studies on the genesis, development and activities of private and public studios.
- How can and should we revise history?

Guidelines for Submission

The deadline for receipt of proposals for papers is Saturday, January 15, 2011 midnight EST. Notification of acceptance will be emailed to applicants by the beginning of March.

The duration of a paper presentation should be 20 minutes followed by a question period of 5 minutes. Papers can be submitted in English and French. Multimedia support will be provided in the form of a data projector, CD and DVD player, and stereo sound system.


Submissions can be made by uploading a zipped folder and providing the download link, or by direct email to ems2011 at

A submission should consist of a zipped folder containing

• The paper abstract in English or French (1,000 word maximum), headed with name(s), organization affiliation (if any), contact address, telephone, and email address in PDF

• A curriculum vitae (2 pages maximum) in PDF

• A list of publications (2 pages maximum) in PDF

• A brief bio (150 words) in PDF

The abstract should be ready for publication if the paper is accepted. A program containing the paper abstracts will be made available on the EMS website and distributed at the conference. Submissions from students and early-career postdoctoral researchers are particularly encouraged.


We are looking for musical works that specifically fit the theme for each day. Please indicate to which category your work belongs.

Submissions can be made by uploading a zipped folder and providing the download link, or by direct email to ems2011 at

A submission must consist of a zipped file including

• A link to your work on Vimeo, Youtube, or privately hosted site with an indication of category

• Any documentation and/or performance descriptions and technical requirements in PDF

• Curriculum vitae(s) (2 pages maximum) in PDF

• List of recently performed works (2 pages maximum) in PDF

• Brief biography (150 words maximum) in PDF

• Program note (200 words maximum) in PDF
ems2011 at