Event Title

Experiential Composition: An Exploration of Virtual-Environmental Music

Presenter Information

Isaac Pearl, Oberlin CollegeFollow

Location

King Building 341

Document Type

Presentation

Start Date

4-28-2017 3:00 PM

End Date

4-28-2017 4:20 PM

Abstract

In the liner notes from the 1982 record series Wave Notation, Satoshi Ashikawa defined environmental music as “an object or sound scenery to be listened to casually. Not being music which excites or leads the listener into another world, it should drift like smoke and become part of the environment surround the listener’s activity.” This paper aims to expand upon his vision for environmental music by defining empirical parameters for its relationships between composer, listener, and location. By examining the culture, history, and compositional methods of ambient, furniture, installation, and video game music, this paper will argue that in many cases, these musical traditions can be categorized as environmental music. Further analysis of material from studio, interactive, and performance contexts will provide explicit examples of what defines an environmental musical practice. Finally, this paper will examine and reflect on how environmental music fits into the context of the larger art world, and suggest ways in which composers can integrate its philosophy and methodology into their own work, whether environmental or not.

Keywords:

electronic music, ambient, video games as art, environment, sound object

Notes

Musical Studies Capstone Panel
Session II, Panel 9 - Musical | Genres
Moderator: Ben Geyer, Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Theory

Major

Musical Studies

Advisor(s)

Jan Miyake, Music Theory

Project Mentor(s)

Ben Geyer, Music Theory

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Apr 28th, 3:00 PM Apr 28th, 4:20 PM

Experiential Composition: An Exploration of Virtual-Environmental Music

King Building 341

In the liner notes from the 1982 record series Wave Notation, Satoshi Ashikawa defined environmental music as “an object or sound scenery to be listened to casually. Not being music which excites or leads the listener into another world, it should drift like smoke and become part of the environment surround the listener’s activity.” This paper aims to expand upon his vision for environmental music by defining empirical parameters for its relationships between composer, listener, and location. By examining the culture, history, and compositional methods of ambient, furniture, installation, and video game music, this paper will argue that in many cases, these musical traditions can be categorized as environmental music. Further analysis of material from studio, interactive, and performance contexts will provide explicit examples of what defines an environmental musical practice. Finally, this paper will examine and reflect on how environmental music fits into the context of the larger art world, and suggest ways in which composers can integrate its philosophy and methodology into their own work, whether environmental or not.