Remediating Modernism: On the Digital Ends of Montreal's Electroacoustic Tradition

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines ongoing efforts to associate the decline of the modernist electroacoustic music tradition with the rise of digital technologies. Illustrative material is drawn from ethnographic and archival fieldwork conducted in 2011 and 2012 in the Canadian city of Montreal. The author surveys examples of institutions, careers, performances and works showing how the digital is brought into the ideological service of existing musical orders and power structures by musicians, policy-makers and other intermediaries. Drawing upon the social theories of Pierre Bourdieu and Georgina Born, as well as on contemporary media theory, the author argues that accounts of the disruptive agency of digital mediation are incomplete without a corresponding attention to the complex cultural mechanisms by which it is kept under control. What is at stake in the transformation of Montreal’s electroacoustic tradition is not a collapse so much as a further remediation of modernist social and aesthetic principles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-189
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of the Royal Musical Association
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes

Cite this