Minds and machines: Creativity, technology, and the posthuman in electronic musical idioms

By Thomas Brett

This dissertation is a research of creativity, expertise, and the posthuman in modern digital music-making. The posthuman is known because the assembly aspect of people and machines that reconfigures humanistic conceptions of the self sustaining, artistic self. From a posthuman point of view, the discourses of technoculture (comprising the innovations of regulate, transcendence, virtuality, mutation, and allotted cognition) recommend a way of examining more than a few digital musical practices, aesthetics and applied sciences. The dissertation proposes the posthuman either as a idea of musical technoculture and a framework in which to appreciate the activities and concepts of musicians who paintings inside it. Over a variety of historic, musico-analytical, theoretical and ethnographic case reports, I loosely draw at the discourses of technoculture to interpret the musical and social meanings of the mind-machine nexus in digital musical practices during the last half-century. My findings recommend that the ever present instruments of the digital musicians---notably, the electronic applied sciences of desktops and software program, but in addition together with older applied sciences equivalent to tape recorders and the chinese language I-Ching ---impact how musicians take into consideration and actualize creativity and the belief of what's human. In sum, the mind-machine nexus foregrounded in digital musical idioms is a efficient web site for realizing the contours of an rising techno-musical cultural imaginary the place the human turns into posthuman via its reconfiguration in desktop phrases.

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Taylor’s unusual Sounds (2001) presents a social heritage of digital tune over a vast diversity of topics, together with the connection among postwar tune and the “technoscientific imaginary” (Taylor 2001:41-71) and the belief of “technostalgia” (ibid. :96-l 14). extra centred histories of unmarried digital tools have additionally arrived. for instance, Trevor Pinch and Frank Trocco’s Analog Days (2002) lines the historical past of the Moog synthesizer. The edited quantity tune and forty Reproduced with permission of the copyright proprietor. additional replica prohibited with out permission. know-how within the 20th Century (2002) surveys the impression of number of musical tool and sound copy applied sciences, from the theremin to the sampler. Mark Katz’s shooting Sound: How expertise replaced track (2004) examines the influence of what the writer calls “the phonograph influence” on musical practices starting from vibrato in violin taking part in, to DJ battles, and the politics of electronic sampling. 17 eventually, Georgina’s Bom’s Rationalizing tradition (1995), a masterful ethnography of IRCAM and the tradition of western avant-garde tune, touches on expertise through contextualizing the constructions of keep an eye on and transcendence which are key to figuring out the posthuman in tune. Bom illustrates how know-how informs wondering musical perform via ethnographic vignettes that convey the constmcted-ness of techno-aesthetics in the elite IRCAM tradition. one in every of her insights issues the character of computing device tune, querying its “texts and codes” in an effort to comprehend its “great density of lateral and vertical, conceptual, technical, and technological mediation” (Bom 1995:228). via an engagement with the fabric tradition with which digital musicians have interaction, Bom examines their music-making as a rarefied kind of social perform. 17 different histories o f sound recording comprise Steme (2003), Eisenberg (2005), and Zak (2001). forty-one Reproduced with permission of the copyright proprietor. additional copy prohibited with no permission. end during this bankruptcy i've got surveyed writings at the posthuman, creativity, and expertise in and out of doors of the area of musical adventure. Posthumanism is an rising paradigm for making experience of musical adventure, pointing because it does in the direction of new understandings and social buildings of the human via sound. The posthuman has encoded and embedded itself right into a variety of up to date musical practices and hence is an invaluable notion for theorizing how the intersection of creativity and expertise affects music-making. The chapters that persist with usually are not meant to be in any experience a entire heritage of digital tune, thorough musical ethnography, or the ultimate theoretical observe at the posthuman in track. fairly, they're explorations into the interconnected tales approximately track, creativity and expertise in modern cultural construction, “a type of experience narrative interspersed with forays into idea” (Stone 1995:21). forty two Reproduced with permission of the copyright proprietor.

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