The New Zealand Electroacoustic Music Symposium (NZEMS) 2010

Time and place:
From 1-3 September 2010 The School of Music University of Auckland will host a 3-day research symposium on the topic of Electroacoustic Music. Several of New Zealand’s prominent Composer-Researchers will be in attendance including Phil Dadson (TBC), John Elmsly, Eve de Castro Robinson, John Coulter, Ian Whalley, Susan Frykberg, Michael Norris, John Cousins, and Chris Cree Brown. Professor John Young (DMU) will be delivering the keynote presentation. As a special feature of the symposium a 26-channel discrete ‘acousmonium’ will be installed in Studio One Kenneth Myers Centre 74 Shortland St for the duration of the 3-day event.

The special theme of NZEMS 2010 is ‘ Multi-Channel Electoacoustic Music’
Research in the field of multi-channel electroacoustic music continues to advance at an alarming rate. The once standard 8-channel speaker configuration has now given way to a range of multi-speaker spaced and zoned arrays as variable as the creative works presented on them. Multi-zone and ambisonic field recording has become a typical method of acquiring source materials, and new tools for multi-track spatialisation and transformation are constantly being developed. Hyper-instruments too, many of which are designed to capture human gesture, have made their way into the multi-channel production process, while in the context of live performance, the combination of acoustic and multi-channel electroacoustic instruments is providing vocal and instrumental composers and sonic artists alike with pioneering opportunities.

The scholars of acoustic and spectral space (Bayle, Bregman, Emmerson, Haas, Hall, Lennox, Oliveros, Russo, Schafer, Smalley, et al) remind us that the language of the domain is far from arbitrary – rather, that the effective aesthetics we experience in listening to multi-channel works is founded on more general principles relating to human genetics and experience. Several questions arise: Is the articulation of space at the heart of the language of electroacoustic music? Are there different types/genuses of spaces? What is the relationship between the proximity/location of loudspeakers and the proximity cues of the musical materials? What importance does sound spectra hold in the reception of spatiality? Is the division of space into ‘zones’ a useful heuristic procedure? How does the presence of a human performer impact on the space of a live multi-channel performance? How is space perceived in multichannel sound/multimedia installations (where participants are free to roam within a multi-channel sonic environment)?

Call for presentations of research
Presentation of research are called for concerning all aspects of multi-channel electroacoustic composition. However, submissions are not limited to this field. Research presentations from the following domains are also welcome:

• Performance-Based Electroacoustic Music / Sonic Art (with live electronics and/or acoustic instruments and/or dance)
• Acousmatic Electroacoustic Music / Sonic Art
• Electroacoustic Music with Moving Images,
• Interactive Installation / Sonic Sculpture,
• Electroacoustic Music / Sonic Art with other disciplines.

Each spoken presentation will be 20-min in duration with 10-min reserved for questions. The inclusion of creative work as part of the presentation is encouraged. Stereo playback and data projection will be made available to all presenters. A basic eight-channel playback system will be made available to presenters on request.

Associated events:
Delegates are welcome to submit creative works for inclusion in the concert series; however, space in these events is extremely limited, as a number of high-profile New Zealand composers have already accepted invitations to present.

Concerts for Diffused (stereo) Works (seating for 60)
• 1pm 1 September, Kenneth Myers Centre – Young Composers Lunchtime Concert (acousmonium)
• 1pm 2 September, Kenneth Myers Centre – Video Works Lunchtime Concert (acousmonium)
• 1pm 3 September, Kenneth Myers Centre – Established Composers Lunchtime Concert (acousmonium)

Concert for Live Works – SONIC ART 2010
• 7-9pm 2 September, School of Music Theatre (multichannel system available)

Concerts for Multi-Channel Works – repeat performances (seating for 9)
• 6-9pm 1 September, Kenneth Myers Centre – (acousmonium)
• 2-6pm 3 September, Kenneth Myers Centre – (acousmonium)

Guidelines for submissions
The deadline for receipt of proposals (abstracts and biographies of contributors) is Friday 30 July 2010. Submissions are to be made electronically to Send abstracts of 200-300 words plus a short biography. Please ensure that your name, institutional / organizational affiliation (if any), contact address, telephone, and preferred e-mail address are included on the abstract. Paper acceptance decisions will be emailed to applicants by Friday 6 August 2010

Registration details
To register on-line please visit All NZEMS events are free, with the exception of the Sonic Art concert on 2 September ($15). Concerts for Multi-Channel Works will be closed to the public (available to NZEMS delegates only)

Contact details
For further details including programme information please visit or contact the NZEMS events manager directly.