Activity: Talk or presentation types › Oral presentation
The analysis of the creative processes involved in electroacoustic music may to a large extent rely on the thorough study of the technological tools used for the realisation of a musical work, both on the composition and on the performance sides. Understanding the behaviour and potential range of aesthetic results of such tools enables the musicologist to approach the studied work much beyond its final form, as presented on tape or as performed on a particular occasion: gaining knowledge on a wider technological context leads to considering the actual artistic decisions in the perspective of the potential outcomes that the composer and performer could face but not necessarily adopt. Hence, analysing an electroacoustic work on the basis of the study of its creative context, technological tools and compositional methods may constitute a useful approach to a better understanding of its related creative processes. However, the implementation of such an approach, mainly based on the hardware or software elements used during the creation of a given work, is not straightforward. First, it implies that the considered technologies are still in use and have not be come irreversibly obsolete. In this matter, new performances of a work are good opportunities for such investigations, as they often provide a technical update and require a deep understanding of the composer’s intentions. The musicologist also needs to have access to the resources, which may not be available without a direct contact with the composer. Assuming these conditions are reached,the musicological and organological studies can encounter another issue, particularly in the digital domain: the sources are not always presented under forms that are directly readable by the analyst, for instance with a specific programming language. Despite all these possible difficulties, many cases of technological tools lean themselves to an in-depth investigation, leading to relevant conclusions on some of the creative processes appearing in the field of electroacoustic music. In the context of a common session of several analytical approaches to a same electroacoustic piece, Hans Tutschku’s Entwurzelt for six singers and electronics (2012), this article focuses on the investigation and modelling of tools and methods of the compositional stage of the realisation of the work. During a performance of Entwurzelt, the electronic materials are simply triggered as events by one of the singers, without further interactivity–thus, the essential part of the research on the electroacoustic realisation aims at exploring the processes used during the compositional stage itself. As the electronics are used as an extension of the live vocal expression by the means of harmonic amplification and complex texturing, the tools for generation and processing of both symbolic representations and audio explored. Since the software tools that constitute the primary sources for our research were not directly designed to be used beyond their creative purposes, this talk presents software modelling implemented by the two authors to demonstrate the technological context in which Tutschku could compose Entwurzelt, emphasizing his creative methods and the decisions he could make upon a wider range of possible materials and processing techniques.