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As the second millennium came to a close, the pen and paper of Beethoven gave way to the mouse and computer screen of composers such as Char Davies, Sylvia Pengilly, and Laurie Anderson. Innovation changed the way in which many composers created and notated music. With advances in technology, techniques evolved which incorporated the latest gadgetry with traditional music as interdisciplinary artists added elements of visual art to their orchestration palette and explored virtual worlds. Multimedia composition, with its roots plunged deep into the early part of the 20th century, emerged as the new avant-garde. Current historical resources have not succeeded in accurately documenting the transforming field of intermedia. In a constant state of redefinition, multimedia composition prohibits classification. For this reason, literature about the medium is antiquated by the time of publication. Despite this daunting reality, the annals of history still require an accurate picture of composition at the turn of the millennium. Certainly, in several decades, musicologists will have compartmentalized this time period into oblivion. The following research delves into this ever-mutating branch of music. The author outlines a brief survey of music technology in the interdisciplinary arts I the United States from the mid-20th century to 2004. Creating interdisciplinary works, from a musical context, requires a set of techniques that only a handful of publications have addressed. Referring to these sources, and using the researcher's own compositions as examples, a section devoted to the
the contributions of women take the forefront in this particular work. women such as Laurie Anderson and Char Davies have pioneered discovery in their chosen medium. proper rehearsal techniques. and effective ways to document the final product. The inclusion of a technical guide to multimedia writing contributes only an iota of knowledge to the expansive field. As such.writing of multimedia music serves to provide another technical resource for those interested in pursuing the interdisciplinary arts. Other subjects addressed include the importance of a clearly notated score. As the title intimates. defining digital multimedia through the works of contemporary women artists does not sacrifice knowledge. 2 . With greater economic and social freedom to sustain themselves as artists. a comprehensive multimedia scoring guide has not entered the musical canon. The Feminine Musique : Women and Multimedia Today. These composers involved themselves in each stage of media development from the postCivil Rights years to today. actively engaging in interdisciplinary work. Issues related to logistics and execution of a work inform the novice of nonmusical difficulties that could make even the most carefully planned performance result in disaster. more women explored music technology. Acknowledging these artists' achievements as stepping stones into the music of the next millennium demonstrates both the technological and sociological advances our society has made these last few decades. To date. In several cases. With its toots in the 19th century electronic media truly came of age after the turmoil of the Civil Rights movement.
and compositional techniques of interdisciplinary works. Acknowledging the illegitimacy of online sources. little had been written about more than a select few. For recent information. Thames & Hudson's World of Art series. provides exhaustive information on specific art-related topics. the role of women in music technology. and detailed captions provide additional pertinent facts. Frequently published new editions keep the series abreast of recent events. a few works proved invaluable to the research. Pages full of colorful photos provide visual examples of the pieces discussed. The format style differs slightly between volumes but generally have the 3 . in existence for over 45 years. Each handpicked editor specializes in the subject of their chosen book. Sources addressed the history of multimedia.CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE Researching the topic of new media in regard to composition proved to be a difficult task. Each book comprehensively covers a select movement or genre. the older publications proved themselves useful. websites provided the bulk of information. Much information exists that details the events leading up to the digital revolution. the search was largely limited to artists' homepages and sites run by professional organizations. Though the information gleaned came from a number of resources. Nevertheless. sequentially outlining the information from inception to present day. listing hundreds of works and artists. however. The books follow a basic timeline. but the literature dwindles in regard to works from the 1980s to present day. Despite the great number of artists involved in the medium in the last decade of the 20th century.
the Guggenheim Museum. guides the reader through the developments of new media. Editor Christiane Paul. Overall. which remains the general format for much of the text. Each paragraph introduces the reader to an artist and their respective work. With an intent focus on interactive media. heads the digital art resource group. New Media in Late 20th-Century (1999). Adjunct Curator of New Media Arts at the Whitney Museum and lecturer. The writing style intertwines artist statements and facts. Ars Electronica. For outside research Rush lists major bibliographic resources at the end of the book. In addition. New Media in the Late 20th Century comprehensively analyzes electronic media in an informative and interesting manner. Glossy and compact. divided by the corresponding chapter. Intelligent Agent. The chapters delineate the change in topic by italicizing each segment. Paul begins the book with a brief introduction to the arts and 4 . He includes an "Institutional sites of interest" section which names related organizations and their Internet addresses. edited by filmmaker and critic Michael Rush. The helpful Table of Contents separates each chapter into smaller subheadings. the World of Art series visually attracts the reader and lacks the pedantic style of many unwieldy authoritative works without sacrificing knowledge. Digital Art (2003) explores traces the transformation of visual art from paint to pixels. he includes a few related links not associated with a particular organization. such as an index and selected bibliography. beginning with early works like Eadweard Muybridge's photographic series Descending the Stairs and Turning Around (1884-1885) and finishing with Diana Gromola's 1996 Virtual reality experience. The Virtual Dervish: Virtual Bodies.same components. and New York's Museum of Modern Art are among the prestigious institutions listed.
idle musings of the author. along with wife Alison Knowles. 5 . In Chapter 2. A select bibliography finishes the supplemental resources. provides the historical background for the concept of intermedia. An excellent listing of online art projects at the end of Digital Art gives the reader the information needed to experience the work of each artist personally. captivating graphics. Chapter 9. such as Pauline Oliveros and Charlie Morrow. Though dated. provides a fascinating look into the mind behind the contemporary concept of intermedia and paints an introspective picture of the interdisciplinary arts from the 1960s to 1984. Horizons. the book includes articles from the 1960s followed by commentary by Higgins two decades later.” provides biting insight into the Fluxus movement in the guise of a delightful children’s tale. helped found the artistically jarring Fluxus movement. “A Child’s History of Fluxus.” he clarifies his original definition of intermedia within the context of the 1980s artistic atmosphere. Digital Art is as much a commentary on the social implications of digital culture as it is a thorough chronological record of computer experimentation. Horizons provides an unique retrospective look at Higgins’ work from the 1960s.technology. Horizons: The Poetics and Theory of the Intermedia (1984). and philosophical analyzation of recent digital works. bringing the reader up to 2003 through a series of intriguing visual ventures. Higgins. Written in 1984. Other chapters includes reviews of other interdisciplinary artists. “Intermedia. and exhibitions follows the artists’ listing. Dick Higgins’ work. and intriguing anecdotal commentary. The embracing of interdisciplinary art which the Fluxists propagated led Higgins to lecture and write extensively on the subject. organizations. and the Internet addresses of related festivals.
edited by Kristine H. This twovolume set would prove invaluable to any library collection. provides hundreds of entries dealing with artists. The titillating illustrations and tongue-in-cheek candor deceives readers into forgetting that they are reading a historical survey. published works contain such a comprehensive look at women musicians of the 20th century. giving the reader a glimpse of the musicians and innovators within the context of the subject’s own period. Burns. Women and Music in America Since 1900: An Encyclopedia (2002). The two-volume work covers a broad spectrum of artists. Already a staple in many university music technology programs. Each entry includes sources for further reading. Performance Art: From Futurism to the Present recounts the lives and antics the artists who dared to redefine art in the context of their own bodies. from singer June Allison to Ellen Taffe Zwilich. if any. movements. Respected artists and members of academia contributed heavily to the encyclopedia. and a great variety of other subjects dealing with women in music. Electric Sound includes photographs running the gamut of 6 . and an index listing the information about each author. Chadabe incorporates quotes from many of the artists a composers into the text. scans nearly a century of performance art and mayhem. Few. Joel Chadabe’s Electric Sound: The Past and Promise of Electronic Music 91997) gives an overview of the evolution of electronic music from the Telharmonium to contemporary interactive installations. Burns includes an extensive bibliography to aid in further research. terms. Addressing the conception of Futurism to the cabaret Live Art of the late 1980s.Performance Art: From Futurism to the Present (1988). written by the former curator of the New York performance space Kitchen Roselee Goldberg. The text remains at a level for both the scholar and the layperson.
The book brims over with information. “Opera Composers and Conductors. and educators. Though the overall tone remains academic throughout. “Angels and Advocates. Though the majority of information was derived from the personal websites of the artists.” recounts the support. both as performers and conductors. In addition to traditional resources. the amount of knowledge gained throughout the work makes it a necessary component of both the introductory and more advanced music history curriculum. Unsung contains an in-depth bibliography. as well. the researcher examined a number of Internet sites related to the topic. Christine Ammer’s Unsung: A History of Women in American Music chronologically details the ever-changing place of women in the musical world. For this reason. 7 . research primarily came from articles and biographies posted directly by the artists. Aware of the invalidity of many websites. financial and social. Linking together music history and the role of women in Western music.electronic music history. the researcher tested the authenticity of each Internet article by crossing information against other sources and investigating the authority of the posting author. some sites offered invaluable knowledge and direction to other places of reference. which bring alive the people and events discussed in the text. women have given to the artists. Ammer includes an index of American women musicians involved in the top thirteen orchestras in the United States. The final chapter.” the focus shifts from past to present. women involved in the orchestral setting. Ammer divides the final chapters into the electroacoustic and multimedia arts. and each sentence seems saturated with information. As the book reaches Chapter 8.
Brightly colored buttons lead the user to articles about electronic media. A separate section lists electronic resources. of course. all Internet addresses are working. the bibliographies and educational links provide information useful for any age group. educational institutions. online links to gender-related issues. 8 . The researcher gauged the validity of websites by cross-referencing information with reputable sources and ascertaining the authority of an article’s author. For further information. Over time. the reader may refer to the bibliography at the end of the paper. designed for young women interested in pursuing careers in computer science or music technology. which includes Internet links and CDROM materials. The majority of links lead the reader to the main pages of the composers discussed. provides lengthy lists of informative references. Burns’ WOW/EM website. and a significant number of other subjects.Kristine H. this situation will change. Though WOW/EM’s preferred audience ranges from high school to college. personal testimonies by music professionals. At the time of this paper.
2001). composers use the terms "multimedia. New Directions in Music." and "mixed media. 115. sights. 4 Ibid. “No Bodies There: Absence and Presences in Acousmatic Performance."1 Clicking a mouse may make a computer user the active conductor of a sound synthesis ensemble. 9 ." "intermedia. (Prospect Heights: Waveland Press. A computer can generate algorithmic music by analyzing the color of an accompanying video. or any other venue.. theater. New Directions in Music. site-specific. eds.).. 2000. though marginalized by "classical" composers.” In Music and Gender. ". 3 David Cope. or a dancer can choreograph a duet in real-time with her own shadow. Inc.4 1 2 David Cope. Contemporary digital forms.. Linda Dusman. 7th ed. (Urbana: University of Illinois Press.CHAPTER 3 WHAT IS MULTIMEDIA? The exponential outgrowth of technological innovation has left digital multimedia without a cohesive sense of definition. For simplification.. music. 116. classification remains elusive. whether online. Lacking specific criteria for categorization. share a commonality with opera and ballet in that they all cross disciplines. and a digital gallery disguises itself as a CD-ROM cookbook."3 Multimedia works.2 are the "rational extensions of ballet and opera" and satisfy "the need for visual activity in connection with the electroacoustic music. 2001). Pirkko and Beverley Diamond. multimedia indiscriminately encompasses the visual arts.." synonymously when labeling interdisciplinary works. Moisala. Inc.all sounds. and. 7th ed. but because of additional components not encountered in previous centuries.. 336337. virtual environments. and other sensory experiences that occur in and around a performance situation. (Prospect Heights: Waveland Press. according to John Cage.
gramophones rolling by.). The early 20th–century New York “Happenings”. borrowed from theater and the visual arts. An item might exist as a work in its own right. Roselee Goldberg. (Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall. 1997. 327. 115. the libretto. Inc. Allan Kaprow's 18 Happenings in 6 Parts (1959) required that visitors move from one constructed room as another in between the "performances" of a woman pointing to the ceiling. Performance Art: From Futurism to the Present." although in a Happening. while subtracting from the final composition. Electric Sound: The Past and Promise of Electronic Music. 7 Joel Chadabe. Dick Higgins. co-founder of the Fluxus movement applies the concept of "mixed media" to the opera. 2001).David Cope. "where the music. the term "multimedia" continues to cover the broad spectrum of interdisciplinary works."7 Happenings. defines multimedia as a "loose" structure of media elements that do not "depend on each other for meaning.1988. In a mixed media composition. 7th ed. "The music doesn't have to be connected to the lights . 8 David Cope. a dependency exists between each media member of the work. (Prospect Heights: Waveland Press.we have ears and eyes. environmental works."5 Elimination of one media segment. each component exists independently within the larger composition. For example. 10 . Abrams. 115.8 Despite the rather exact definition provided by Cope. Inc. and a ukulele playing. in New Directions in Music. theater pieces.. and the mise-en-scene are quite separate: at no time is the operagoer in doubt as to whether he is seeing the mise-en5 6 Ibid.6 As Iannis Xenakis once stated. (New York: Harry N.). 130-132.. though some composers would disagree with this definition. New Directions in Music. consisted of several unrelated events occurring simultaneously. should not detract from the overall impact of the piece if one strictly follows Cope’s definition. and merged medium pieces add to the confusion when used in conjunction with the term "multimedia.
"intermedia. In an intermedia work. In 1812. (Prospect Heights: Waveland Press. New Directions in Music. Though clearly different entities. though a standalone object. and perhaps the operas of tomorrow will require nothing more than a set of headphones. Samuel Taylor Coolidge coined the word. 7th ed.scene. As such. a performance artist acts out a mental debate over suicide while a tape echoes her thoughts about an ex-love. 24. 11 . hearing the music. 11 Ibid. eliminating the libretto. Even the definition of an opera has changed. Contemporary examples may include video pieces accompanied by live performers or interactive CD-ROMs. In the author's work ETASL (2001). clearly exists as documentation of a live event. 2001).). an "equalization of elements" prohibits the removal of any one part for the sake of conserving the composition as a whole.. etc.."11 In 1965 Dick Higgins resurrected the idea of intermedia in a series of essays.P." The text and paint mesh together while retaining identifiable separateness. Despite the definite delineation between each feature of the work. 10 David Cope.10 An audio recording of an opera. (Carbondale: Southern Illionois U. the stage spectacle. 1984. Higgins also gives the example of a painting that incorporates written text in its "visual field. many historians credit him with the origin of the term in the modern sense."9 Yet. the actress and the electronic music both compliment and rely on each other to convey the overall feeling of anguish prevalent in the piece. Inc. however. or the vocalists leaves the opera bereft of its key characteristics. the orchestra. the elements fuse together in such a way that extraction of any one media member seems 9 Dick Higgins." to describe artworks that "fell conceptually between media that are already known. The removal of either component in this mixed media composition results in a somewhat sketchy and ineffectual conveyance of the situation. 115. Horizons: The Poetics and Theory of the Intermedia.
interactive CD-ROMs. The End of the Moon exists as a complex interweaving of music and text.impossible and incredibly destructive. 115. 2001).” "multimedia.” "mixed media. each element must be present. and basic human condition.13 A significant percentage of film soundtracks can survive as musical works without any association with the film. At designated pauses Anderson fills the hall with lush strings. For instance. 12 . Gusman Center for the Performing Arts. Inc. and Internet installations in the context of art forms? Throughout the text the author equates the terms "interdisciplinary. Cope considers film both an intermedia and mixed media art form.” and "multidisciplinary" in hopes of reducing evidentiary resultant confusion. and last.. war. Dozens of candles. In order to retain the overall cohesiveness of a composition. 12 Laurie Anderson. 7th ed. Laurie Anderson's The End of the Moon (2004) combines Anderson's reflections on being the first. and a projected image of the moon add to the spacious nature of the piece. a recliner.” 'intermedia. How does one systemize virtual reality. but the moving images may lose dramatic impact without the meticulously planned melodic accompaniment. The various facets of this piece crystallize into a solid intermedia art form. The End of the Moon. 13 David Cope. Banal underscores can gain import when coupled with riveting action on-screen. NASA artist-inresidence amidst an eerie drone processed in realtime and intermittent solos from her electronic violin. New Directions in Music.12 The majority of interdisciplinary compositions evade classification under a specific term. allowing the audience to reflect on her statements about space. 23 October 2004.” "mixed-medium. Miami. As an intermedia piece. (Prospect Heights: Waveland Press.
CHAPTER 4 Women Composers and Intermedia in the Pre-Digital Age
Outside the realms of traditional art forms, intermedia incorporates digital video, sound synthesis, virtual reality, interactive audiovisual installations, the Internet, and a limitless array of technological innovation. With such a broad range of technological possibility at the composer's fingertips, creativity reaches to the far ends of the imagination. Artists like Maryanne Amacher and Brenda Hutchinson create sound environments that evolve as participants interact with them. Carla Scarletti's Internet gallery, Public Organ, invites Internet users to participate by submitting original artwork. Kristine H. Burns uses video generation and sound synthesis to create fluid visual images that captivate the audience, and Laurie Anderson performs large-scale multimedia operas wearing a multi-sensory suit that emits percussive sounds with each movement she makes. With such diverse artistic output, multimedia crosses over disciplines indiscriminately. The history of mixed media stems from unique philosophical movements that mocked the establishment by an outrageousness and unorthodox approach to the craft. Futurism, Surrealism, and Dadaism birthed the idea of taking art outside of the gallery and into the streets. Though its beginnings reach far back into the early 20th century, experimental art did not openly accept women until the Fluxus movement in the 1958. Equality did not flourish, but a door opened for emerging female artists. The Fluxists acted against the materialistic art business. "Happenings" ranged from Charlotte Moorman's nude cello performance of Nam June Paik's Sextronique to Yoko Ono's
Cutting Piece, where she invited the audience to slowly cut apart the clothing she wore. Performance art pieces, besides shocking art connoisseurs, stole unabashedly from visual art, electroacoustic music, and theater. A handful of artists contributed to the birth of Fluxism, including Alison Knowles. Both she and her husband Dick Higgins conceptualized the idea of the simple over the extravagant, a major premise of this artistic phenomena.14 Knowles worked primarily in the visual arts, but soon her performances in the "Happenings" gained her notoriety among the unsuspecting American public. Aside from the Fluxus activities, Knowles, a meticulous artist, staged events that focused on the minute details of life. Identical Lunch, realized in 1961, required that different patrons eat a predetermined lunch at the same time each day. Partakers had limited choice in the menu. Their decisions to have soup instead of milk, for instance, constituted the art of the piece.15 Proposition, simply states "Make a salad.” Variation #1 on Proposition, written two years later, has the slight modification, "Make a soup."16 Yoko Ono, a dedicated performance artist, composed a variety of "instruction pieces" which were "texts that could be performed and might result in an action." 17In Tape Piece III, written in 1963, the participant must record sounds of snow and proceed to tape packages. Like many other women at this time, Yoko Ono's art reflected an upcoming generation of women who used the arts to explore gender issues. In Cut Piece (1964), Ono handed the audience members shears and cajoled them into methodically
Dick Higgins. Horizons: The Poetics and Theory of the Intermedia. (Carbondale: Southern Illionois U.P., 1984.), 87. 15 Jeffrey Byrd. “Alison Knowles.” In Women and Music in America Since 1900: An Encyclopedia. 16 Gallerie DeLuxxe. “Allison Knowles.” <http://www.nutscape.com-fluxus-homepage-aknowles.html> The Fluxus Homepage. 14 9 2004. 17 Jeffrey Byrd. “Yoko Ono.” In Women and Music in America Since 1900: An Encyclopedia.
In 1978 the newly created Meredith Monk Vocal Ensemble presented concerts using African and Asian techniques. Abrams. as she created out 18 19 Jeffrey Byrd. “Meredith Monk. with one section involving the spiraling staircase of the Guggenheim Museum. The "brutal act" that each person committed caused them to question his/her role in this symbolic attack.1988.19 The recorded Happenings offer an intimate look into their marriage and the art they shared.. and ululating. Incorporating her fascination with extended vocal techniques and her penchant for choreography. directing both Ellis Island and Book of Days. Inc. Juice (1969). Monk directed the company's interdisciplinary ensemble throughout the 1970s. At first the audience hesitated."20 Each of the three parts took place in a different location.cutting her clothing. 124. an independent film that outlines the 1960's "bag art" performances of Yoko Ono and her husband. using Ono's own body as the subject or subjugating the participant to become the object.21 Monk turned her talents toward film in the 1980s. In 1968 Monk founded "The House." a performance art group. (New York: Harry N.” In Women and Music in America Since 1900: An Encyclopedia. such as chanting. 7th ed. but by the end of the performance. David Cope. (Prospect Heights: Waveland Press. John Lennon. “Yoko Ono.” In Women and Music in America Since 1900: An Encyclopedia. Performance Art: From Futurism to the Present. 21 Jeffrey Byrd. Meredith Monk grew up under the shadow of Fluxism.). Inc. 15 . New Directions in Music. clucking. each person had lined up and had methodically sliced away her outfit. 2001). In 1984 Barbara Braustark directed Then and Now. The 1990s watched her return to her theatrical roots. 20 Roselee Goldberg. While a young dancer Monk performed in numerous "Happenings. 143-144.” She fully plunged herself into performance art with her work. The work showcased her unique choreography with the 85 performers and constantly played with "different spaces and changing sensibilities..18 Her works continued to employ the concept of objectification.
16 . Experimenting with electronic signal generators. Contemporary Composers on Contemporary Music. spent countless hours cutting and pasting film. Oliveros explained how she "felt like a witch capturing sounds from a nether realm. Atlas: An Opera in Three Parts in 1991. and in 1998 Monk completed Magic Frequencies. Barney Childs.operatic events. eds. composer and mixed media artist Pauline Oliveros proved to be a bastion in electronic music despite the disparaging environment. After retirement. she took on the job of Consulting Director of the Creative Music Foundation. a science fiction opera. however.). 420. like their musical counterparts. Oliveros worked with Morton Subotnick at the San Francisco Tape Center. Composers weaved sliced magnetic tape into complex sound collages. Visual artists. and in 1985 she founded the Pauline Oliveros Foundation. Linear editing involved tedious attention to detail. (New York: De Capo Press. two prominent digital editing programs. and Jim Fox. Working at the San Francisco Tape Music Center with Morton Subotnick. linear editing stood on the cutting edge of technological innovation. 22 Elliot Schwartz. While performance art came to its fruition. imagery and music existed solely in an analogue environment. Expanded Edition. Pauline Oliveros taught at the University of California at San Diego from 1967 to 1981. Visualizing the end result did not involve a simple click of the mouse. Though music technology remained male-dominated. 1998. The Houston Grand Opera premiered her full-length opera. During the mid-20th century. Contemporary electronic media artists have difficulty imagining life without Final Cut Pro or Avid. Oliveros utilized oscillators and tape loops to create "live" electronic performances."22 From 1961 to 1965. In 1966 she was director of the Mills Tape Center.
27 Gavin Borchert.25 Her work with inner energy led Oliveros to create music embodying a sensuous element she dubs "Deep Listening.jdkproductions. "American Women in Electronic Music. (1997)). Video History Archive. 14 9 2004. nature and your own thoughts.. and ritual. 17 .experimentaltvcenter. has found a revered place in Oliveros' work. often pigeon-holed as an instrumental relic."27 Oliveros not only explores the possibilities of spatial movement in regards to Deep Listening. (Prospect Heights: Waveland Press. 13 3 2004. <http://www. Resources@People.. It represents a higher way of awareness and links you to everything existing. Deep Listening is a way of life. and of course . “Pauline Oliveros. "creating an illusion that the acoustics in the performance space itself are being altered. 125." Oliveros describes Deep Listening as "an intense form of listening to the sounds of daily life."26 Oliveros work for the last several years has been in collaboration with David Gamper and Peter Warde. the Foundation provides opportunities for upcoming composers of electronic music.24 A turning point in her work came about when she studied T'ai Chi in the 1960s.." (Contemporary Music Review. improvisation.html>.” <http://www. She hopes that it will support the creative process for a "worldwide community of artists. JDK Releases. 25 Brian Duguld. using the Expanded Instrument System (EIS) to transform the acoustics of the concert space by detecting the slightest change in movements from the performers. 1984-1994. 16.org/history/people/bio. New Directions in Music.musical sounds. She utilizes the drones of the accordion to augment the 23 24 David Cope.experimentaltvcenter. 92. New York.org/history/index. Situated in Kingston.Inc.” <www.com-JDK03. EIS fills the hall with ambient sound by delaying each signal. Inc. 2001). Parts 1 & 2. 26 Ibid. “Review: Pauline Oliveros and David Gamper – At the Ijsbreker Jan 24 1999."23 Pauline Oliveros' electronic works encompass her passion for meditation. The Wire. The accordion.html>. vol. 7th ed.php3?id=75>.
and then to the rich qualities of the metal tongues. Occupying a smaller space in early electronic music history. Oliveros retunes her accordion to further alter the timbre of the instrument. Sound and the Visual Arts: Intersections Between Music and Plastic Arts Today. created music that seemed as if it was "oozing from the walls. Radigue experimented with sound design and directionality. 847 at The Kitchen."29 By incorporating the accordion in many of her works. 1973. 30 Joel Chadabe. I realized what an interesting kind of 'sender' I was holding in my hands. JDK Releases. 1993. 18 . Her work. 32 Jean-Iyves Bosseur. she states that after studying T'ai Chi and Chi K'ung she “…began understanding something about the energy that streams through the body. she created a "soundbox" with subaudio sounds that pervaded the entire body in vibration. consisted of three tape loops of different durations playing simultaneously. “Review: Pauline Oliveros and David Gamper – At the Ijsbreker Jan 24 1999. 14 9 2004. 1997. (Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall. In a 1997 interview with Richard Henderson of The Wire. Paris: Dis Voir. 76-77. Electric Sound: The Past and Promise of Electronic Music. 29 Ibid."31 In other works. Purposely. she has added extensively to the repertoire.32 28 Brian Duguld.”30 Tom Johnson of the Village Voice wrote. Elaine Radigue contributed to the burgeoning field in 1968 by discovering audio feedback as a means to control sound.jdkproductions. 31 Ibid.28 She attributes her change in playing to her study of Tao and T'ai Chi. "The audience was bathed in sound without knowing where the sound came from. and connecting the breathing and the energy stream to the instrument in such a way that it reinforces them.).” <www. The Wire.soundscape. In later works. Usral.html>.com-JDK03. with Mac Halpern at the Salon de Artistes Decorateurs a Paris.
Artists such as Joan Jonas and Steina Vasulka experimented with moving imagery and mixed media.html>. Funnel.Resources@People. a reportedly $30. 37 Roselee Goldberg.org/history/index. established both as a performance artist and video artist.Wendy Carlos gained recognition during the late 1960s and early 1970s with her work in analogue synthesis.” <http://www. Inc. 1997. Visual imagery.37 Steina Vasulka. At Bell Labs she developed the General Development System (GDS).php3?id=413>.experimentaltvcenter. creating video works that meshed together sound and video. theater.). Electric Sound: The Past and Promise of Electronic Music. (New York: Harry N. 166. “Selected Discography of Women's Electro-acoustic Music (Current Through Spring 2001). and her husband Woody Vasulka. 19 . convinced record producers that ". They felt the electronic arts were simply "different ways to display the same core 33 Joel Chadabe.with a Moog synthesizer."35 Carlos' creative output includes the film scores for Disney's Tron.experimentaltvcenter.000 system.edu/~aeh0018/womtechdisc. (Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall.. <http://www. and Warner Brothers' The Shining.. “Carolee Schneemann. and conceptual. Clockwork Orange. Electric Sound: The Past and Promise of Electronic Music. 144. (Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall. The audience experiences her performance both live and through a monitor situated close by.org/history/people/bio. 1997." as its presence in The New York Times and Newsweek. contributed to performance. collaborated as early as the 1970s. video.” <http://people. Jonas.34 Robert Moog attributed the commercial success of the synthesizer to "Hooked on Bach. Compiler.. a record she produced using a Moog synthesizer. further drew together the arts. Performance Art: From Futurism to the Present. 36 Video History Archive. Jonas interacts with various objects. 1988. 13 3 2004. 34 Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner. accompanied by electronic music.36 In her work.unt. Her discography outlines a successful career centering on electronic music and synthesizers.33 Carlos' fame came with her release of Switched on Bach in 1969. 6 11 2003. 187.).).html>. they could make their hit record. Abrams. 35 Joel Chadabe.
(Portland: Amadeus Press.products." a cornucopia of music performed or composed by women. 40 Joel Chadabe. “Liz Phillips. computers did not turn down performance because of biased attitudes.40 Other works involved sensors that directed sonic events towards detected body movement. " and that the video and the synthesizer were close cousins. as orchestral ensemble subtly favored works by male composers.).” In Women and Music in America Since 1900: An Encyclopedia. 43 Christine Ammer. Second. 2001). 1997."39 Sunspots I and Sunspots II (1979–1981). or a work decidedly "women-identified.43 Having found a way to usurp male authority.41 As the 1970s progressed. purely electronic works gave "instant gratification" to the composer. 327. 42 Boden Sandstrom. Her combination of the visual and audio resulted in a "multidimensional space that responds to the audience. triggering a nearby synthesizer based on the proximity of passersby. Electric Sound: The Past and Promise of Electronic Music. (Urbana: University of Illinios Press. 292-293. (Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall. Women found multimedia receptive to their works for a variety of reasons. 20 .38 In the late 1970s soundscape artist Liz Phillips used interactive sculptures and sonic environments to explore the relationship of the audience to time and space. 230. 41 Mary Simoni. 39 Mary Simoni. more women composers strived for artistic equality. Phillips' installations allow the audience to evaluate the correlation of their own actions and the resulting auditory experience. They promoted "women's music. 327-328. "[New media] is characterized by major 38 Joel Chadabe. a number of women artists embraced electronic media.)."42 Historically. Margot Lovejoy writes. involved an installation with a copper tube and screen acting as a theremin.” In Women and Music in America Since 1900: An Encyclopedia. (Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall.Moisala. “Women Mix Engineers and the Power of Sound. 1997. eds. 2000).” Music and Gender. Unsung: A History of Women in American Music. acquiring performers took up much time and resources. For one. a piece about women. Pirkko and Beverly Diamond. “Liz Phillips. Electric Sound: The Past and Promise of Electronic Music.
45 Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner. Madonna has been the subject of studies on culture’s treatment of a woman in control of her public image and music.). 21 . (New York: Harry N.” In Women and Music in America Since 1900: An Encyclopedia. new media evolved into a "powerfully feminine and feminist artform. ed. 2001). 186187. 48 Charity Marsh and Melissa Watt. 1988..47 Because of her provocative visual images. A.change: From the concept of a single Eurocentric cultural stream dominated by white male privilege to one which recognizes diverse identities and voices interesting in a complex web of ideological and behaviorist associations. “The Nature/Technology Binary Opposition Dismantled in the Music of Madonna and Bjork. Artists capable of manipulating the video had an edge over the competition.46 Works meant for mass consumption appealed to a broader audience and courted commercial success. Jr. Inc. Women & Music: A History. 1997. blurred the line between artistic purism and mainstream music. 2003. the visual images speak louder than the music. 46 Roselee Goldberg. 9. “Multimedia. 2nd ed. Middletown: Wesleyen U. Performance Art: From Futurism to the Present. teeming with conservative materialism. (Upper Saddle River: Simon & Schuster. asserts that Madonna's stardom in the 1980s directly benefited from the "bad Catholic girl" image exhibited in her music videos. In 1982 MTV aired for the first time."44 Lacking a staunch patriarchal precedent. 190. The booming economy of the 1980s. giving popular music a 24 hour advertisement spot. Lysloff and Leslie C."45 A cultural shift occurred as the United States entered the last decades of the 20th century. eds.48 In some ways. Postmodern Currents: Art and Artists in the Age of Electronic Media. Abrams.P. 47 Karin Pendell. Rene T. 412.” In Music and Technoculture.). Karen Pendle. in her book Postmodern Currents: Art and Artists in the Age of Electronic Media. clouding any semblance of musicianship that may exist in 44 Margot Lovejoy. Gay.P. Earlier artists had scorned the "Establishment" for its preoccupation with the monetary value of a piece. 2nd ed. (Bloomington: Indiana U...
real and unreal. if her works can even be given a classification. pop culture. (Westport: Greenwood Press. manipulating magnetic tape strung across her violin bow. Vol. 52 Sally Macarthur. 51 Gavin Borchert.” 50 Anderson explains that “…electronics have always been connected to storytelling.the tune. Electronics are modern fires.49 Video art had existed before the advent of the MTV music video. Often described as some kind of opera. Maybe because storytelling began when people used to sit around fires and because fire is magic. but this new form of multimedia launched gave visual imagery power to influence thousands upon thousands of unsuspecting masses while filling the pockets of businessmen. such as her Drum Suit.”51 Anderson had engaged in gadgetry in the 1970s in with works like Ethics is the Aesthetics of the Few(ture) (1976) where she played her violin. 16. ( Westport: Greenwood Press. and references to the current political atmosphere in her compositions. Sally Macarthur. which consisted of a number of triggers on her body that produced percussive sounds as she walked. 2002). 1991). Laurie Anderson uses music technology. 179–180. (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Feminist Aesthetics in Music. between being auditory and visual. Feminist Endings. 179–180. The dichotomy of her work “moves between being an exhibition of technology and live (bodily) performance. her multimedia narratives shift from the immediate and real to personal musings. 2002). Parts 1 & 2 (1997). 161.52 This penchant for innovation proved to be the foundation of her later electronic creations. 22 . compelling. 49 50 Susan Mc Clary. “American Women in Electronic Music. between being authentic and inauthentic. Bridging the gap between popular culture and the musical community. We are transfixed by its light and by its destructive power. Feminist Aesthetics in Music. and dangerous.” In Contemporary Music Review.
with Hsin-Chien Huang. In Empty Places (1989). Anderson created the Talking Stick. Laurie Anderson altered her voice to imitate the overpowering voice of a corporate male. Using the same technique. Parts 1 & 2 (1997). “American Women in Electronic Music. 16. premiered at the Spoleto Festival in South Carolina. with Anderson’s voice acting as narrator. Various icons produced sound. The user might end up in a shooting gallery with ducks slowly sailing past. 90. “Moby Dick” <http://www. 90. Anderson continued creating projects that explored the latest electronic devices. and synthesizer). premiered in Seattle. conceptualizes Anderson’s experiences as NASA’s first artist-in-residence. 55 Laurie Anderson. Once having entered a room. Puppet Motel. starting with Big Science (1982).In the early 1980s Warner Brothers awarded Anderson elevated her to a cultural icon by contracting her to do several albums.. which processed her in realtime voice through granular synthesis.laurieanderson. an electric violin.” Anderson used her own voice in Stories from the Nerve Bible (1992).55 End of the Moon (2004). For Moby Dick (1999). The interactive CD-ROM invited the participant to choose from a series of rooms. Eventually the contract expired. The piece. The relationship with Warner Brothers continued through several albums. any number of situations happened. ostensibly because Anderson’s work did not generate enough revenue. and video images of Anderson appear. Anderson’s most recent project. Anderson tells 53 Gavin Borchert. 07 11 04.54 In 1995 Laurie Anderson co-designed the CD-ROM.com/>.53 Abandoning the male “Voice of Authority. her voice doubled as an all-girl group of backup singers. commented on the Gulf War. 23 . a narrative opera dedicated to the book of the same name. Vol. 54 Ibid. including Home of the Brave.” In Contemporary Music Review. Using minimal technology (a digital camera.
biology. and genetics joined with composers to develop music using scientific tools. Laurie Andeson. gave anyone the ability to edit visual imagery like professionals.” < http://www. but with the simpler and sharper tools of words. enabled musicians to synthesize produced sounds as they played. run by Max or SuperCollider.html>. 7 11 2004.pomegranatearts. Gusman Hall. Realtime performances. 56 57 Laurie Anderson. priced within the ranges of the consumer.56 She attributes her low-tech approach to recent belief that the way to impact culture is “not through a multi media [sic] show. The Internet and virtual reality moved the performance space into a virtual world.her tale from a pink recliner. new technologies challenged artists to extend their creativity beyond the existent boundaries."57 As the United States approached the 1990s. Video editing programs. The End of the Moon.com/proj_laurieanderson. leaving concreteness behind. “The End of the Moon. An exciting world of limitless possibility had opened up. 23 October 2004. on a stage speckled with lighted candles. Robotics. 24 . Miami. and composers discovered that the realization of their imagination might be only a click away.
CHAPTER 5 PROFILES OF CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS
As the final decades of the 20th century came to a close, a cyberculture developed, one in which became, “…increasingly comfortable with substituting representations of reality for the real.” 58 Instant gratification transformed societal expectations as the digital age exploded exponentially. The "death of the author"59 promulgated by the advent of superior computer systems, changed the notion of "artistic genius" as "originality and creativity [became] a matter of software engineering."60 The computer, once simply a tool used in the creation of a piece, became integral to the compositional process. Ironically, in some instances, the computer took on the role of composer as it ran programs inputted by the artist. Digital multimedia composers enhanced their art by incorporating elements from a variety of technological mediums. These intermedia artists branched out into graphic art, digital video, robotics, Internet design, and CD-ROM authoring. Though not all composers embraced electronic media, keeping to older forms of artistic expression, a great number of them dedicate themselves to mastering the latest software. Combining previous techniques with recent digital advances, composers produced a new generation of masterpieces.
Rene’ T.A. Lysloff., “Musical Life in Softcity: An Internet Ethnography.” Music and Technoloculture. Lysloff, Rene’ T.A and Leslie C. Gay, Jr., eds. (Middletown: Wesleyen U.P., 2003). 31. 59 Ibid, 9. 60 Sarah Chaplin. “Cyberfeminism.” Feminist Visual Culture. Carson, Fiona and Clair Pajaczkowska, eds., (Routledge: Edinburgh U.P., 1993), 270.
Science and music joined forces in the works of composers at the turn of the millennium. San Francisco-based vocalist and composer Pamela Z used her technological skills to engineer the BodySynthTM, a MIDI controller triggered by body movements. A seasoned singer, Pamela Z performs with extended vocal technique and bel canto, in conjunction with spoken word, percussion, digital delay and MAX/MSP. 61 Part of her inspiration for the BodySynthTM came from the freedom she felt as she layered percussive sounds and extended vocal technique with digital delays, saying that "...my hands and my body were freed up for gesture and movement, and I became more focused on the performance aspect of my work. I came to see the sound I was making, and my physical behavior while making it, as an integrated whole..."62 Wanting to utilize this free motion, Pamela Z developed the BodySynthTM to compose in realtime using movement and gestures. Pamela Z composes in several mediums, including large-scale multimedia works, film music, and performance pieces. Pamela Z produces Z Programs, dedicated to interdisciplinary events, and she performs in the interdisciplinary ensembles sensorChip and The Qube Chix. Not all multimedia artists devise complex computer programs to generate their music. Brenda Hutchinson remained relatively "low-tech" in her live multimedia performances, but her current work in web design demonstrates her skills in cyberspace. Her works usually involve tape, video, live performers, and instruments of her own making. For How Do You Get to Carnegie Hall? (1998), Hutchinson traveled 18 states in a U-Haul, her piano set up in the back, ready for performance. She invited anyone to
Pamela Z.”Bio.” <http://www.pamelaz.com/biography.html>, October 2004. CDeMUSIC. “Pamela Z.” <http://www.cdemusic.org/artists/z.html>, (Electronic Music Foundation, Ltd., 2003.)
"perform" on the piano and recorded the results.63 Such exploits are common in Hutchinson's musical experiences. Other works include radio and mixed media installations. Brenda Hutchinson's early experimentation with sound in the last decade of the 20th century, led her to develop two signature instruments - her Tube and the Giant Music Box. Hutchinson's instrument, a nine-foot aluminum tube attached to her mouth, projects Hutchinson's vocal utterances. Though often used in electroacoustic live performance, the tube remains just that, a tube. One of Hutchinson’s most original contraptions is her "Giant Music Box," first conceived for the San Francisco Exploratorium Museum. It can be described as "a giant piano roll looking thing that is mounted on a stand with exquisite bearings so when you roll the thing it kind of has a tower of its own." By using stick pins and cork, the musician makes the piano read a makeshift "piano roll" based on the placement of the pins.64 Using tape loops of recorded conversations and stories, Hutchinson strings together narrative works. Her grandmother's tall tales and a pink tape recorder she received at Christmas influenced her "more than any compositions now, then all the piano lessons taken."65 Hutchinson admits to spending hours and hours in the bathroom recording sounds on a microphone that unfailingly produced distorted sounds,
Mary Lee Roberts. “Being Around Brenda Hutchinson.” <http://music.dartmouth.edu/~mary/Brenda.html>. Mary Lee Roberts. <http://eamusic.dartmouth.edu/~mary/>, 23 9 2004. 64 Ibid. 65 Bekah Barnett. “Interview with Kim Baker.” <http://people.mills.edu/mwoodruf/Brenda%20Hutchinson1.html>, Women in Creative Music. 9 23 04.
sometimes in conjunction with a narrator or musicians. plays spliced recordings of God Bless America as the Internet user moves the mouse over each state. the word "SOLD" stamped boldly across the country. Consumer available digital video editing software gave more freedom to the video artist during the final decade of the 20th century.66 She continues to be fascinated by conversation. The piece suggests scathing political commentary of America's current economic policy. Ibid. Abstract forms. from sea to shining sea.sonicportraits. and Violet Flame (1993) uses the chants of the Church Universal and Triumphant. set in an interface representing the United States. scathing political 66 67 Ibid. At this time.org/>. she tries to tell a story. a number of these works balanced electroacoustic music with visual imagery. Thematic elements differed greatly from artist to artist. Throughout all her works. Button selection triggers samples of her vocalizations. Voices of Reason (1991) consisted of recorded conversations of patients at a New York State Psychiatric Hospital. in progress). Ostensibly unrelated to popular music videos.unrecognizable to anyone but the Kindergarten composer. 28 . a dizzying array of repetitive noise and white segmented lines moving in time to the looped sounds. opens with Sonic Portraits. but Sold promises to be a project worth the wait. only a handful of states produce sound.67 Brenda Hutchinson’s Internet page. often exposing her private experience and fears. By 2004 electroacoustic composers had incorporated digital video into their compositional output. The online project Sold (2004. found at <http://www.
In Molly (1997). 68 At the International Computer Music Conference 2004. 29 . Using her voice and samples of Molly barking. uses soprano. Her educational site WOW/EM. Molly follows the life of Warren's pet of the same name. University of Miami Gusman Hall. The story is told in reverse. International Computer Music Conference 2004. and personal documentaries number among the diverse collection of digital video compositions. has served as past president of the International Alliance for Women in Music and accepted the post of SEAMUS editor in 2004. As the puppy progresses to adulthood. dedicated to young women interested in music technology and computer science. Warren’s Mirror Story: Graveside (2004). has won a variety of awards and continues to be a valuable online resource. beginning with the woman’s funeral and ending with her birth. Mirror Story: Graveside is a poignant piece. 69 Kristine Burns.” In Women and Music in America Since 1900: An Encyclopedia. beautifully constructed and insightful. Warren artfully reveals the true source of her sad reminiscence. Among her other achievements. a music technology professor at the University of Michigan. Burns' works run the gamut in compositional styles. she shares the grief she felt after her mother's death through a homemade documentary. in 2002 Burns published the two-volume encyclopedia Women and Music in America Since 1900. Director of the Electronic Music Studios at Florida International University.commentary. video. Mirror Story: Graveside. 6 11 2004. Alicyn Warren. applies moving visuals to her personal narratives. Allicyn Warren. and tape to tell the story of a dead woman’s life. Warren created a simple soundtrack that serves to guide the viewer. and then old age. Earlobe (1993–1995) echoes 68 69 Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner. “Multimedia.
soon to be released by Ashgate Press. Antigone's Peace (1995). Ibid.the improvisational influences of Pauline Oliveros and composer Kenneth Gaburo. Underwear (1998). Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner's intermedia works focus on her struggles with cancer and themes related to her personal life. Parable of Pre-Existing Conditions (1994). Guided improvisation is an often repeated theme in Burns' works during the 1990s. 70 71 Ibid. and video. Leaving humor behind. Hinkle-Turner has authored Crossing the Line: Women Composers and Music Technology." (1997). Burns treats the electronic score and the digital video as musical motifs that counter each other not unlike two themes in a classical work. In Copper Islands. electronic tape. all address different aspects of Hinkle-Turner's bout with cancer.70 Computer network manager and professor of multimedia at the University of North Texas. 30 . written for five bodies. A promoter of women's awareness. Full Circle. based on pure metals. strings together Lawrence Ferlinghetti's text. A rather caustic work. Burns used video generation in Final Cut Pro to weave together enigmatical contours. examines the concept of rehearsal as a creative process. Keeping with the overall theme of the work.71 A Stitch in Time (1999) is a video piece that chronicles the history of quilt-making in her family.. Her CD-ROM.. and a bass player with appropriated photos of popular icons and underwear models. The piece. liquid metal entrances the audience with its circular undulations. Each video. Throughout her videos. documents her struggles with cancer as she reviews the societal and emotional issues related to the illness. stereo tape. and "An Object of. envelopes the viewer in a mesmerizing display of abstract forms. Burns instructs the live performer to don underwear for the concert.
a video/tape piece. 31 .).”72 Her ten years experience in a California Bay Area radio station has made Payne an expert in the recording studio.html>. Contemporary multimedia involves artists that incorporate computers into complex interactive installations and performances. and in universities around the United States.” In Women and Music in America Since 1900: An Encyclopedia. used to the instant gratification of the Internet and the nauseating barrage of eye candy forced on them in 72 Joel Chadabe.. For Liquid Metal (1994). electroacoustic music. "Control.Using video. 1997.[with] whatever resources are available."74 Airwaves (1987). the Bourges Festival in France. “Maggi Payne. Subtle variations are critical to the life of the piece. convolution. The concept of the "audience" had changed drastically since the mid-twentieth century. 78-79. demonstrates Payne's intricate approach to sound design.” <www. and logarithms calculated by the AMIGA computer system. Payne distorts and morphs the harsh sounds into pleasing tones. Maggie Payne focuses on "[taking] natural sounds and transform them using equalization. Payne replies. 73 Lovely Little Records.73 When asked about the advantages of the studio mix. And detail. (Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall. Electric Sound: The Past and Promise of Electronic Music.lovely. 74 Ibid. Payne collected samples of "unpleasant" sounds she recorded while on a canoeing trip..75 In both Chromosonics: Alexander Lake (1991) and Chromosonics: The Lady That is Known (1993) she uses the AMIGA computer's ability to calculate logarithms based on changing video tint. Her works have been at the New Music Across America Festival. Using her prowess in the studio. phase vocoding .com/bios/payne. Concertgoers. October 2004. 75 Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner. the annual conference for the Society of Electroacoustic Musicians in the United States. Maggie Payne currently co-directs the Center for Contemporary Music at Mills. “Multimedia.
the Pengilly depends on the computer's own calculations to aid her in composing the work. Postmodern Currents: Art and Artists in the Age of Electronic Media.charter. (Upper Saddle River: Simon & Schuster.). nonwestern influences. and an endless number of innovative venues. Sylvia Pengilly's current output delves into the graphic and musical arts.” In Women and Music in America Since 1900: An Encyclopedia. and video.net/spengilly/>. Pengilly does not shy away from using her own body movements.79 Her works use the reproduced forms of the dancers during performance to create visual collages of movement. 1997.. Anna Rubin.78 Sylvia Pengilly uses her computer programming savvy to traverse into the territory of computer-generated sound and motion. 78 Margot Lovejoy. 32 . 79 Sylvia Pengilly. no longer had the patience to sit through a concert. In this sense. More than using computers to augment the compositional palette. composer and computer team up in the final creation of the project.their daily lives. composers developed installations that engaged participants as partners in the creation of the work.” <http://webpages. 14 9 2004. Each presentation differs depending on the 76 77 Ibid. as well. They accomplished this through the Internet. “Sylvia Pengilly. 9. and a different type of audience. installations. 2nd ed. After retiring from her post at Loyola College. Pengilly left behind music theory and electronic music and began creating works that combine dance. graphics.76 Experimentalism had stretched the concept of music with extended techniques.77 Adapting to this change in the artistic climate. 331. soundscapes. The roles between artist and viewer change as the viewer has the power to personally impact the eventual result of the work's final meaning. evolving technologies. “Experimental Music.
such as those produced by the AMIGA. While tape pieces cannot pause without disrupting the concert. the performer triggers visual events by "touching" sensory icons in the camera space. In some presentations. Sylvia Pengilly. 14 9 2004. By allowing the computer to generate these forms.net/spengilly/>. The end result splashes the video screen with mesmerizing fractals.81 Alternate Spaces (1999) uses the AMIGA computer to generate a video using the recorded figures of the dancers. Amiga processes realtime movement and displays visual patterns based on the inputted information. Shadows (1993) invites the performer to become a component of the computer program in realtime.80 The majority of Pengilly's works utilize AMIGA’s Mandala 3000 computer system. Pengilly gives up full control over the piece. 33 . The unpredictability of each performance adds to the anticipation and keeps Pengilly's works fresh and interesting Attributed as the first composer to create interactive laserdisks (Lorna.” <http://webpages. depending on the performers and the AMIGA to produce a cohesive work. have a definitive advantage over standard tape pieces in that they have flexibility.” In Women and Music in America Since 1900: An Encyclopedia. “Sylvia Pengilly. 1979–1983). Lynn Hershman-Neeson's exploits in interactive installations has gained her international repute. In her work. the AMIGA detects the slowed motions and produces video imagery accordingly. Elemental Chaos (1992).choreography choice of the dancers. If the performer tires. a commonly used practice of contemporary dance concerts. the AMIGA creates with live bodily movement. Interactive programs. the AMIGA computer calculates logarithms based on chaos theory.charter. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art exhibited Hershman's 80 81 Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner. “Multimedia.
sfsu. 1999. Digital techniques further enhance the believability of manipulated images.” <http://www.83 In her 1992 installation.immersence. even when they are bizarre and unquestionably inauthentic.html>. “Women and the Aesthetics of New Media.84 The viewer has unwittingly became a voyeur and a victim. to an erotic icon.” <http://msp. and filmmaking. Describing herself. she connects the user's choice of object. Lorna narrates the story of an agoraphobic woman terrified of the media's treatment of women. (New York: Thames & Hudson Inc. Barbara Golden addresses issues of gender in all of her exploits. poetry. enhanced by her titillating graphics. succeeding in making her point by using the precise method she protests.” <http://www. 34 . new music.82 Many of Hershman's works play with media's concept of the female. 84 Michael Rush. 85 Carol Gigliotti... 83 Carol Gigliotti.html>. New Media in the Late 20th Century. the Seattle Art Museum awarded her with the Anne Gerber Award. While the Electronic Arts professor at the University of California. 204. 86 Michael Rush. 20 June 2003.. New Media in the Late 20th Century. say a telephone or a bed.html>.). 20 10 1995. “Women and the Aesthetics of New Media.. Her work dealing with feminist issues and society's view of the female body makes her extremely influential in multimedia art.immersence. which include chef.com/index. Golden writes on her 82 Lynn Hershmann. The woman's telephone connects her to the outside world.85 Hershman finds digital technologies to be "the landscape of present." Hershman has unabashedly asserted herself as both. 1999. (New York: Thames & Hudson Inc.edu/lectureseries/hershmanbio.art."86 The juxtaposition of personal identity and identity as media object. Davis. and she received the Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe Media Arts Award in 1995. comments on women artists' s constant struggle between what Andra McCartney describes as ". “Cross-Dressing on the Internet.com/index. 20 June 2003.being the "object of control and the subject exerting it. Room of One's Own. 204.).
1997. and male anatomy. They found the audience changed as the decades past. 89 Ibid. “Priscilla Anne McLean. Electric Sound: The Past and Promise of Electronic Music.Internet site. and four university degrees. 1996). Barbara Golden's Greatest Hits (c."91 Audience involvement in performance evolved out of this observation.88 In 1984 Golden authored Home Cooking. 35 . “Multimedia. <www. (Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall. irreverent songs about taboo subjects involving the pope.” In Women and Music in America Since 1900: An Encyclopedia. The McLean Mix deals with the subject of nature in many of their works. three divorces. causing the listener to question the seriousness of the situation. As technology advanced. use their expertise in electroacoustic to envelope the audience in an interactive sonic nature environment. the McLeans travel the world with their installations. besides listing her best concoctions "Mum's Chicken Liver Pate'" and "Very Easy Gazpacho. a searing societal commentary disguised as a recipe book. extended vocal techniques. The audience 87 88 Barbara Golden. 339. Married in 1967. they added elements such as interactive video.). October 2004. "increasingly disinclined to want to sit still and listen to a full concert. and somewhat raunchy. 91 Joel Chadabe.89 The McLean Mix. Oliver North. Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner. Priscilla Anne McLean and her husband Barton.” In Women and Music in America Since 1900: An Encyclopedia. In Rainforest. and synthesizers. Priscilla McLean's early influences include Iannis Xenakis when she stayed at Indiana University."87 Clit Envy (1994) combines a background chant about gender issues with fitting visuals. slides.idom. Their works incorporated samples." includes satirical. recorded sounds and pictures of the rainforest filled the room. "This ex-housewife/schoolteacher from Montreal has two passports.com/~barb>. 90 Mary Simoni. such as Lap Pool (1987) and Trashy Girls (1986) comment on social actions between women.90 The McLean Mix began performing in the 1970s. Other works.
“Multimedia.participated by playing acoustic and electronic instruments provided. The McLean Mix continues to travel internationally with their multimedia installation work.96 Documentation of works such as 92 93 Ibid. 239. In Life with Ray (1980). Jambori Rimba (1997) combined traditional Malaysian music with videos. Beneath the Horizon (1978) used whale recordings.92 Environmental awareness a continued theme in their works. tape. Masada dresses in a traditional kimono onstage as a prerecorded video of the same act plays directly behind her. Ammer.94 Japanese-American Jennifer Masada explores cultural identity as a Japanese woman in Kimono (1993). 36 . plays a video of the guided rehearsals as part of the live performance. 2001). Kristine H. Burns' Earlobe (1998). slides. synthesizer. (Portland: Amadeus Press. The work.. Megan Roberts uses video to describe her early experiences as a college student in Minnesota and her experiments with a remote-controlled tank from Radio Shack. 94 Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner. including didgeridoos.95 The use of process as performance is a unique aspect of Ghirado's and Roberts' joint installations. 93Audience participation remained key throughout their works. 330. and a "jungle wheel" with interactive video. Unsung: A History of Women in American Music.” In Women and Music in America Since 1900: An Encyclopedia 95 Ibid. In Wilderness is the Preservation of the World (1985). 96 Ibid. Multimedia artists invite the audience to experience the inner workings of a piece via video documentation. They allow the audience to gaze into the secretive creative process that culminates into an installation. involved joint performance between audience and the McLean Mix. Christine.
layers of sound and multiple video projections with sculptural objects through a juxtaposition of natural and synthetic textures on geometric forms. <http://www. Their installations span the globe.experimentaltvcenter. “Carolee Schneemann.” <http://www..97 Raymond Ghirado and Megan Roberts collaborate in large-scale video installations involving sculpture and electronic music.org/history/index. Their videos placed at the San Francisco International Video Festival and the National Video Awards Festival in New York.hidden self-portrait of personal identification. the pair constructed a dry and eroded mountain with a path leading to the summit 12 feet above the ground. whether from a live performer or from electronic tape.experimentaltvcenter.99 Looking into the crater at the center of the summit.php3?id=413>.Inflated Rocks (1989). the observer sees the form of a person pounding a ground. Accompanying sound effects mimicking the sound of pounding fists further add to the believability of the construction.98 Their work includes sound and music. and Badlands (1988) are insightful pieces in their own rights. Video History Archive.. from Japan to West Germany to Sweden. 13 3 2004. and they have received countless grants and awards. Ghost Rocks (1988). 100 Ibid. Resources@People. Many of the Roberts' and Ghirado's collaborative works incorporate artificially constructed and virtual landscapes combined with live instruments. 37 . Cone Field (2000) is a series of ". an illusion constructed by three television sets partially buried below."100 English numbers appearing throughout the work."101 97 98 Ibid.html>.. text and sound rhythmically "interwoven" together in a ". 99 Ibid. For Badlands (1988).. 101 Ibid.org/history/people/bio.
. Amacher compared the process to a miniseries where elements continue to evolve.105 Music for Sound (1980) further explores the visual and spatial features of each room. Gavin. Cutting edge artists find 102 Kristine H. 1984-1994. 104 Kristine H. She develops a "stage" for each room. 16. Parts 1 & 2.106 Current developments in digital technology have challenged artists to further stretch their imaginations and expand the definition of intermedia to include Virtual reality. 3D animation. Her works are considered "sitespecific" because the installation conforms to the physical space it occupies. Amacher often uses the room's individual features to enhance the overall sound experience.104 Amacher's site-specific installations investigate the individual properties of each space and use this information to create an ever-changing soundscape. 106 Ibid. and Internet art.Soundscape artist Maryanne Amacher uses a combination of psychoacoustics and ambient sounds to create sonic environments. "American Women in Electronic Music. 93." Contemporary Music Review. “Maryanne Amacher.103 Amacher sometimes adds slides and other visual elements to enhance the space.” In Women and Music in America Since 1900: An Encyclopedia. Amacher filtered the outside sounds of the city into the exhibition space in City Links #1-22 (1967). vol. “Maryanne Amacher.” In Women and Music in America Since 1900: An Encyclopedia. Burns. In 1985 Amacher began the MiniSound Series. 38 .102 Live mixing and speaker placement play an integral part in her soundscapes. Each room envelopes the listener in a wash of ambient noise that changes from room to room. (1997). 103 Borchert. changing the sonic experience as the participant travels from room to room. Burns. an installation spanning over a month-long time period of fluctuating found sounds. Visitors often find themselves embarking on an "adventure" as they explore one area and then another. artificial intelligence. 105 Ibid.
soundscapes. and she composed a number of tape pieces. Electric Sound: The Past and Promise of Electronic Music. Networked Sound Installation (1995) made its debut at the International Computer Music Conference in Canada. 39 . (Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall.” <http://cec.). even including the sho.” In Women and Music in America Since 1900: An Encyclopedia. 337. along with original "graffiti. (Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall.107 Scaletti co-invented KYMA. 1997.themselves flooded by constantly burgeoning media developments. spoken work.concordia. 109 Joel Chadabe. Public Organ: An Interactive. Sarah Peebles integrates the Internet.ca/econtact/NAISA/SPBios. The majority of Scaletti's interactive works involved live performers and electronics. A member of the Cinnamon Sphere trio."109 The installation instantly added the materials to the online gallery. or spray can.110 Her unique electroacoustic works have a definitive Asian influence. video. Created by computer programmer Carla Scaletti. A significant number of these works actively engage the user with intricate environments and inviting interactive computer interfaces.html>. 108 Alan Schockley.108 In Public Organ Scaletti designed a Internet gallery that invited Internet participants to submit graphics of themselves. 6 11 2003. Electric Sound: The Past and Promise of Electronic Music. a sound design computer language. 1997. Peebles studied in Japan as a Japan Foundation Uchida Fellow. or Japanese mouth 107 Joel Chadabe. 337. Public Organ commented on the impact of the world wide Internet through the user's choice of selected objects. for the Public Organ project. and calligraphy to create works that have a focus on environmental issues. such as a radio. 110 New Adventures in Sound Art. “Bios: Sarah Peebles. “Carla Scaletti. telephone.). a Korean-influenced interdisciplinary chamber group.
an internationally recognized intermedia artist. Bush Soul #3. and interactive installations have been premiered in the United States and in Europe. calligrapher Harumi Kaieda.112 She is well-known for mixing sounds live via her MacIntosh computer. Her homepage has diagrams of original Max patches. and creature in the virtual community. October 2004.at/en/index. 13 3 2004. <http://www.org/shows/evolution/bushsoul. 40 . computer animated films.shtml>. visitor. Rebecca Allen."114 Her large-scale multimedia performances.sarahpeebles. and performer. composer. 9 23 04. 113 Art Interactive.htm>. Characters and objects interplay with the user. <http://www.” <http://www. A number of her recent works incorporate Max and the sho. Peebles currently resides in Canada where she works as a broadcaster. including artificial intelligence researchers like Xiaoyuan Tu. Allen has served as Senior Research Scientist at MIT's Media Lab in Ireland and has a post as Design/Media Arts at UCLA.asp>. 115 Ibid. part of the ongoing software project Emergence (1997-1999). Sara Peebles.” In Women and Music in America Since 1900: An Encyclopedia. and Pauline Oliveros. blurs the boundaries between the biological and the artificial juxtaposing the physical and the virtual. Avatars represent each character.113 International recognition includes an Emmy for "Outstanding Individual Achievement and Japan's Nicograph award for "Artistic and Technical Excellence.111 Sarah Peebles collaborates with experts from both science and the arts.net/bio. such as Dillpatch and Clouds.organ.artinteractive. “Experimental Music. 114 Ars Electronica. “Rebecca Allen."115 Bush Soul #3. engulfs the user in an intricate virtual environment controlled via joystick.aec. A series of "artificial life algorithms" dictates the actions 111 112 Anna Rubin. Allen's central theme centers on the "study of motion as a form of communication and creative expression.
(New York: Thames & Hudson Inc. pp.immersence.117 The study of community through motion and gestures remains a key theme in Allen's work. Digital Art. Digital Art.116 The user has an infinite number of possible outcomes each time she enters the digital landscape. (New York: Thames & Hudson Inc. 41 . 69-104. (New York: Thames & Hudson Inc. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 121 Ibid. In SPACE in Science. Art and Society. 2003). illus. “Virtual Space.” 118 Paul.118 In her visceral virtual worlds Char Davies abandons the standard physical structures accompanying Virtual reality environments and instead uses the participant's own breathing patterns to navigate the landscape. controlled by avatars. "An aesthetic exploration of virtual identity in its relation to concepts of embodiment and disembodiment. Christiane. Francois Penz. eventual outcome remains unpredictable throughout.. eds. 122 Christiane Paul. 119 Christiane Paul. 2003)."122 116 117 Ibid. 2004.of each virtual element.. Bush Soul #3. Art Interactive. 127.119 Davies sees the traditional virtual world. 144-145.com>. or she may interact with an object. Because of the nature of the logarithmic relationships of the piece." Bush Soul #3 challenges the concept of social behavior in relationship to the individual choices made when in the guise of an artificial character. Gregory Radick and Robert Howell. Davies entirely swallows participants in "immersive virtual space" wherein the user kinesthetically interacts with computer-generated objects that continue to "retain their immateriality. Digital Art.” <http://www."120 Instead of using joysticks and pointers."121 The "immersants'" breathing and body balance transports them to virtual environments that combine representational scenarios with a translucency that intimates a "constant flow of particles. 2003) 120 Char Davies. “Rebecca Allen.. as a construct of the "Western-scientific-industrialpatriarchal complex. She might engage with hostile characters or creatures.
In SPACE in Science. (Houndmills: Palgrave MacMillan.Esphemere (1998) and Osmose (1998) are both considered "classics" in the realm of alternate worlds created within an art context. 39. eds.."124 Interactive virtual environments.126 Inspiration balances between invention and imagination. neuroscience. 123 Ibid. 126. "foreshadowing in their art the social impact of technological change." 125Already artists have begun to cross the next frontier . from Pamela Z's BodySynthTM and Char Davies' "immersive virtual spaces" to Carla Scaletti's cyber Public Organ and Sylvia Pengilly's algorithm-based video. Francois Penz. 2004. 124 Char Davies. Gregory Radick and Robert Howell. Davies and her collaborators "employed semi-transparency in the visuals so as to create a perceptual ambiguity which might serve to dismantle the western 'mis-perception' of the world.” <http://www. Cambrideg: Cambridge University Press. 69-104. nanotechnology. These composers have extended their craft beyond the horizon. 126 Christiane Paul. 210-212. cyberspace galleries. 2003). Art and Society. “Virtual Space. 125 Andrew Murphie and Joh Potts. using this input to send the participant into semi-representational natural environments. Esphemere transforms organs and bloods vessels into temporal fluid worlds. (New York: Thames & Hudson Inc. but such advances will soon become the archaic relics of yesterday. assimilating materializing technologies.biotechnology.. 2003). pp. Digital Art.com>. and genetics. 42 . The multimedia artist discovers creative uses for scientific innovation.immersence. Culture & Technology. illus. and music composed by artificial intelligence sound like features of the science fiction film. In Osmose a motion-tracking vest and a head-mounted display gauge the "immersants" breathing patterns and body balance.123 Each layer changes in a succession of lifecycles and seasons. Intermedia has left behind pencil and paper.
Postmodern Currents: Art and Artists in the Age of Electronic Media. with its bulky VHS tape."127 As such. An almost egalitarian society has developed where anyone with a little technical ability can churn out "professional-quality" music and video. 9. they sought to stretch the limitations of the analog medium. The advent of the personal computer in the 1980s made each home a potential studio. camcorders opened the closed door to filmmaking. In the visual arts. 2nd ed. (Upper Saddle River: Simon & Schuster. The maverick attitude of early independent filmmakers flows through each discipline indiscriminately. corporations pushed the product as a way to accomplish such dreams. handheld cameras and high-end video editing programs enabled budget-strapped artists to record and cut their own moving-picture creations. While not all videotape enthusiasts wished to make that next Hollywood hit. video artists mirrored the Constructivists and Futurists. while catering to consumers who simply wished to preserve personal memories.CHAPTER 6 CURRENT TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATIONS The late 20th century witnessed a cultural shift as professional media editing tools found their way into every home. Artists viewed video "as a powerful new form of representation .). The handheld camcorder of the 1980s. and a significant number of artists can attribute their early success to their own mastering of available techniques. eliminated the extra step required of film processing. who had "extolled the aesthetics of 127 Margot Lovejoy. In some ways. 1997.a time/space medium capable of broadcast and transmission of images and sound over long distances. 43 . Inexpensive and easily available.
useful for special effects and compositing. Adobe Premier imports digital video into the standard editing interface. Aftereffects is needed. the video is laid out on horizontal tracks. Common effects and transitions. such as Gaussian Blur and Cross Dissolve are included in Premier. Currently. Not only could an artist cut and paste the footage. shares files between i-Music. 6. Resembling the mix window of audio programs. but the artist could add a broad array of effects. and Garage Band. and Avid all offer differing levels of nonlinear editing capabilities. if at all. with markedly better quality and nonlinear editing capabilities. A good program for the beginner. seeing the hope in the machine age for a new kind of culture. Final Cut Pro. offers Aftereffects and Premier. i-DVD. titles. When digital video appeared on the market. The user drops effects on each track and then tweaks the details. Apple and PC computers come with built-in multimedia programs that produce satisfactory results. 44 . Digital video editing came of age in the late 1990s. in particular. The cost of an Avid system keeps it only within the means of professional studios and television stations. Three-dimensional lighting techniques are also among the 128 Ibid.photographic reproduction. but for advanced processing. Adobe imaging products. referred in the vernacular as "blue-screening. Luma-keying.” isolates images based on color."128 Analog video lacked the high definition of its digital counterpart. the company that created Photoshop. Apple's i-Life suite. i-Movie. launching multimedia composition into the next millennium of advanced software. and transitions. Another downside was the inability to edit the tape efficiently.. the artistic possibilities expanded. Adobe.
Adobe has developed Adobe Audition. Complex designing options limit the viewer's use of the video controller. to date.com/media_pc/audio_tools. The high demand for such products 129 Douglas Dixon. This program provides an impressive array of templates that the user customizes by dragging and dropping files into the appropriate fields. Beginners find i-Life manageable.manifesttech. Both programs cut down on rendering time. Final Cut Pro.129 Produced by different companies.” <http://www. September 2004. Additionally. For experts. add cut scenes between menus. it depends on the processing power of each individual computer. and Garage Band. In addition to image editing programs. The i-Life package allows file-sharing between i-Movie. 45 . Manifest Technology. When the artist completes her video piece. Final Cut Pro and the Avid system offer all of these features in a single program and include an extremely detailed logging system. and provide security safeguards.htm#Adobe%20Audition>. Rendering. the designer can add captions and subtitles. an affordable alternative.features available in Aftereffects. depending on the project. i-DVD. The complete Avid system costs tens of thousands of dollars. “Audio Tools for Video Editors. Apple courts consumers with software suites that link together the multimedia editors in the computer. PC companies compete with similar packages. can take days or weeks. though in the end. an audio editor and sequencer. and has the power to edit and synchronize video and audio in realtime. a multitrack audio editing program complete with loops and effects. she can then construct a DVD through DVD Studio Pro. essentially how long it takes for the computer to process information. does not have this capability. these programs provide a method of churning out projects quickly and simply. High-end systems need less time to render.
Internet websites offer freeware programs like Fruity Loops and Acid. and others. a musician can build a home studio that achieves more-than-adequate results. Music notation software enables composers and arrangers to publish their own compositions. often companies sell products that have an interdependent relationship between the hardware and software. equalization. Digital Performer. Samplers. Audio editing and sequencing programs allow musicians to mix down their own albums in the home studio. Finale and Sibelius are the current programs most commonly in use. provided that they can navigate a computer properly. and sequencers from different companies interact cohesively thanks to MIDI. even amateurs can produce impressive mixes. Nevertheless.demonstrates how multimedia has captivated the average person. or any other number of possible sound producers. MIDI. In a sense. Before MIDI. These programs. as well. a musician could not link up devices from differing manufacturers effectively. such as Cakewalk. provide prerecorded samples that are then looped and then processed by the user. Standard audio editing programs. In addition. Simpler programs share many of the same characteristics. MIDI device. With a skilled sound engineer. The same basic terminology refers to fade in and outs. Other 46 . synthesizers. Musical Instrument Digital Interface. the majority of audio editing programs allow for audio recorded via microphone. Although freedom exists in instrument selection. anyone. and hundreds of other effects. phasors. has the ability to create art of relatively high quality. and many others share a similar computer interface. allows the different components of a studio to communicate with each other using a similar language. with enough resources. regardless of training. developed in 1982. Pro Tools.
consumers find it easier to control every aspect of their compositions from inception to marketing. Dreamweaver does 47 . As technology advances.” The designer could not see the end result while entering the code. and design a professional DVD portfolio. do not require the same amount of time for changes. etc. all from the comfort of their living room. Notation software differs greatly from one program to the next. edit them to their liking. Macromedia's Dreamweaver. Revisions. unlike handwritten scores. Eliminating the copyist. The user can extract parts from the score without any added work.” expedites the time frame from sketches to performance. meticulous proofreading often reveals errors. commonly referred to as “HTML. have their own followers. simplifies site creation by providing several window options. The computer then attempts to notate the result. Garage bands have sparked garage record labels. only one of many Internet design products. Some programs allow the musician to input notes directly through a musical keyboard. Success proves minimal in many cases. notate the score in Finale. and sell it on her own website. The Internet provides Internet artists with an interactive stage on which to present their material. The musician has the capability of composing and mixing a work in a home studio. deletions. Searching for original music on the internet yields thousands of sites advertising original albums mixed at home. Graphic designers and video artists can import images through Final Cut Pro or Adobe Photoshop. such as Score and Encore.programs. including one which shows the final product in an editable window. Older Internet software required the designer to master the Hypertext Mark-up Language. but even with the most sophisticated programs. unlike sequencing or video programs that share common commands and terms. additions. or “middle man.
such as Laurie Anderson and Barbara Golden. gave more detailed information about the terms. In addition to design tools. Director uses “Lingo” for advanced design choices in the scripting window. From the business aspect. Internet artists use the Internet's interactive element to produce online art galleries and virtual environments for the user. a Help section. Earlier programs limited the choices available for interaction. The script window alerted the designer if there were any errors in the coding. cutting down on time needed for handwritten frame-by-frame animation. An electronic reference sheet provided a concise list of each term and its corresponding function. In addition. accessed through keyboard shortcuts. In addition. With Lingo. programs existed that relied on extensive coding to accomplish an impressive list of tasks. Some composers and artists. an attractive site provides a valuable advertising venue and increases the possibilities of exposure. Macromedia's Director program advances the possibilities of CD-ROM interactivity. cartoonists use the in-betweening capabilities of the software. The program’s presets make it possible for codedeficient users to design acceptable sites. Max/MSP.not require the user to know HTML. the designer had more control and options over his project. while the dictionary and useful Help menu aided the designer as she developed a user-friendly CD-ROM. as well as providing examples. Jitter actually served as an add-on to Max/MSP. used CDROM technology to create works that existed in an interactive environment outside of the Internet or live performance. and Jitter were among the programs used at this time. SuperCollider required heavy computer coding abilities. Supercollider could synthesize sounds. even in 48 . Director has a limitless number of interactive options. Supercollider.
Robotics played a part in emerging sonic experiments. Jitter processed and changed visual data. possibilities reached to the farthest realms of the imagination. incorporating genetics and botany in their pieces. for example. and manipulate it with a variety of filters and delays. Countless other software programs and electronic invention impacted multimedia and musical composition in the final decade of the 20th century. resulting in a duet using only one performer. Max could process the sounds of an instrument. as well as control MIDI devices. Jitter functioned similarly. The final sound could then be played back. The Graphic User Interface (GUI) in Supercollider could not compare to that of Max. and the cybercommunity provided a breeding ground for virtual performance and artistic interaction. A number of composers collaborated with scientists. As technology increased. but instead of audio. 49 .realtime. In Max. clicking and dragging buttons and virtually stringing them together created patches that could accomplish a wide variety of functions.
unifying in her mind the disparate components of the piece. and logistics. The initial concept may be extremely detailed in regards to choice of elements. Inspiration strikes multimedia composers on different levels. it may remain general and abstract in the composer’s mind. the researcher found that little had been written about the actual processes involved with composing an interdisciplinary work. orchestration of separate media elements. the artist must think on several planes. Whereas in the past. At the start of the composition. While much of the information can be contrived from previous resources dealing with contemporary techniques. multimedia involves additional considerations specific to the medium. When reviewing the literature on multimedia composition..She 50 . Digital technology has given the 21st-century composer an extensive list of components that lie beyond analog.CHAPTER 7 ON WRITING FOR MULTIMEDIA Digital multimedia composition presents unique challenges. or it may lie somewhere between both extremes. and a countless number of nonmusical elements in their compositions. contemporary multimedia composers also incorporate visual imagery. Composers must take into account logistics. interactivity. performance art. Many times the artist must develop all the parts simultaneously in order for the overall piece to be successful. The final realization of the idea could present itself in a variety of combinations. not unlike chamber ensembles with their changing instrumentation. proper notation for mixed media scores. orchestration decisions involved choice of instrument and timbre.
or she may decide to explore the possibilities herself and learn the necessary technology to execute her piece. Generally speaking.might decide to collaborate with another artist to develop her ideas. An endless set of possibilities are available to the artist. Just as the composer carefully chooses the instrumentation for her orchestral work. such as using dependable software. pieces that are simply slopped together on a score will lack coherence in the end performance. Multimedia compositions that use video have their own logistical issues. it is imperative that the composer takes into account each element carefully and accurately. When notating a score for multimedia. the composer must deal with the placement of the performers in relation to the projector and screen (See Figure 1: Projection): 51 . In the example below. but much consideration must be spent choosing multimedia elements. Many young composers insist on including every possible multimedia element in each of their pieces. That may be the goal of the composer. Works involving live electronics often involve complex computer issues. or any composition requiring special spatial arrangements. ensuring the computer does not “freeze” mid-performance. the composer orchestrates the digital intermedia piece by adding technology to the compositional palette. less for artistic reasons than for the overall “shock and awe” of such a grand work. Slightly more involved than deciding which instrument to use. intermedia can involve an endless variety of combinations. In a sense. she must select the various components of her work with previous expectations of what the piece requires. and determining the placement of the live electronics. Deciding what elements to incorporate into a composition can be a daunting task.
Naturally. each performance will mold itself to the concert space. the performers are seated on the side of the screen. a piece for narrator. and cello. and the narrator had to stay on the stage throughout the composition. piano. but it is still the composer’s responsibility to make the set-up as clear as possible. three performance artists. The composer did not take into account lighting. the performers sit between the screen and projector. the projected image will directly hit the performers. The composer must be sure that the diagram provided is as accurate and as logical as possible. who are in its path. The original score asked for the performance artists and narrator to perform in various locations around the hall.(Figure 1: Projection) In the first example. (See Figure 2: World Order #4): 52 . tape. video. using light reflecting off the screen to read his script. violin. percussion. Inevitably. Below is the diagram for the author’s World Order #4 (2003–2004). In the second example.
The most ostentatious omission on the composer’s part was not deciding on the placement of the conductor. the conductor would have to conduct in large.(Figure 2: World Order #4) Several problems arose at the first dress rehearsal in the concert hall. Up to that point. Despite the ensemble’s best efforts. the placement of the percussionist at the back of the hall and the pianist backstage seemed optimistic at best. and. all instrumentalists remained onstage for the sake of the piece. then for the next concert. at the performances. From any spot in the hall. the Florida International New Music Ensemble had practiced in the recital hall. The percussionist moved locations from one performance to the next. given the time constraints. a more intimate space than the larger hall that could seat hundreds. she joined the other performers center stage. Cuing would be more than a small challenge. At first she played in an aisle on stage left. 53 . exaggerated movements.
Each gesture consisted of several measures of a motif. Pictographic Score Notation: A Compendium.For comprehensive examples of possible set-ups for scoring. David Cope’s Techniques of the Contemporary Composer provides chapters on multimedia. As there exists a multitude of resources dealing with proper notation.) 54 . Pictographic Score Notation: A Compendium. An example of these gestures (See Figure 3: Gestures): 130 131 Gardner Read. 1997. Fluidity for Marimba and Video (2004). electroacoustic music. though the marimbist may decide to increase the number of repetitions. Improvising effective and musical transitions between gestures is the most difficult task.130 In addition. provide some invaluable information about logistical considerations and set-up issues. (London: Schirmer Books. Techniques of the Contemporary Composer. The composer must notate the score legibly and logically. These chapters. provides an extensive number of diagrams that demonstrate an exhaustive number of performance possibilities. Read’s book lists common symbols used to notate hundreds of sounds and instruments. contains the following performance notes: Each Gesture is to serve as a general guideline for performance. The Gestures need not be played in the order notated here. duplication of such information here would be extraneous. a sort of starting place. When writing a multimedia piece involving specific instructions. Gardner Read’s book. The repeats are a suggestion. though succinct. 1998). the composer’s intentions need to clearly stand out from the score. David Cope. or decrease them. (Westport: Greenwood Press. Silence may be inserted as needed. and experimental music131. not is that recommended.
(Figure 3: Gestures) Other instructions in Fluidity explain suggested practice techniques for the composition. The general supposition is that the marimbist will make the majority of musical choices depending on her technical ability and improvisatory skills. Not all performers are comfortable with this amount of freedom, however, and the composer needs to prepare herself for unexpected interpretations of her piece. The primary technical difficulty with Fluidity lies in the fact that a marimbist typically would not look at a stopwatch, or even a television monitor, while performing. The player would have to train herself to look up amidst the flying mallets. To date, the piece has not been performed. Documentation of events needs to be a high priority for every musical performance, but most notably for any multimedia works involving live performers. Because an audio recording cannot capture the full impact of a composition, digital video currently is the most effective route to document intermedia performances. It is suggested that a
the composer must create a file that can be manipulated later into other formats. allowing for splicing later in a video editing program. The more footage available. In addition. 56 . Only she can determine which aspects of the performance are integral to the overall tone of the piece. External hard drives also can hold large video files.minimum of two cameras tape each performance. the better chance the composer will have of creating a successful final video of her piece. or some other format that allows for lossless compression. Recent technology uses DVD-ROMS as storage space. video documentation should be saved in the Quicktime format. For this reason. Rarely will a stationary camera catch every nuance of the piece. The composer should have a hand in the editing process if she does not do it herself.
from inception until today. 57 . Women such as Laurie Anderson and Barbara Golden embraced CD-ROM technology. a product of a century’s deconstruction of the definition of art. women played a significant role in intermedia’s evolution. The maturation of digital multimedia coincided with the post-Civil Rights increase in the artistic output of women composers. As this trend continues. embraces multiplicity with its interdisciplinary approach to composition. classification dissolves and acceptance of diverse art forms takes its place. Cyberspace. As a result. and Rebecca Allen challenged the concept of time and space in her virtual reality spaces. Gradually the concert hall’s ostensive importance has emptied into the private solace of the home computer. and creative pathways expand as technique and technology conjoin. The works of these women spanned the wide gamut of interdisciplinary art from Pauline Oliveros’ experimentation with the Expanded Instrument System to Carla Scaletti’s Internet-based Public Organ. With this realization. further altering the evolving landscape.CHAPTER 8 CONCLUSION Composers of the third millennium find themselves cast upon a fragmented field as technology and social ideology propel the arts towards multiphrenia. and a number of composers have incorporated digital imagery into their musical creations. and virtual reality will play a significant role in the coming generation’s compositional output. robotics. Digital intermedia. video imagery. artists have reached out to the audience in less traditional forms. Live performance has changed. many times standing at the forefront of innovation and artistic discovery. as well.
58 . and one hundred years will extend far beyond the contemporary imagination. computers continue to produce complex algorithmic works. fifty. cerebral soundwaves provide musical material. As the year 2005 approaches. and unmanned space shuttles send musical recordings to the far reaches of the galaxy. and robotics challenge the definition of performer. What composers will do with these innovations in the next ten. Cybercity replaces the concert hall. Composers transform imperceptible plant movement into electronic sound. scientific progress and music continue to cross paths.Studying the works of these composers provided insight into the creative use of contemporary multimedia while recognizing the musical achievements of women today.
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