I have been a practitioner of music made with technology for fifty years. In this presentation I describe the emergence (for me) of a quadrivium of action and interaction: compositionperformanceteachingresearch. This is on the one hand based on a substructure of technology: its evolution, idiosyncracies, constraints and affordances – its challenges and opportunities. On the other, enveloping this (and permeating it) is reflection – acting as a source of illumination of the whole and hopefully making some kind of sense of it to myself and others.

Simon Emmerson

A new quadrivium: composition, performance, teaching, research

7 Oct. 2021 | 12:30

Simon Emmerson has been a composer and writer on electroacoustic music since the early 1970s. He studied natural sciences and music education at Cambridge University (1968-72) including work with electroacoustic composers Roger Smalley and Tim Souster. After teaching science and music at secondary school level, in 1974 he gained a scholarship for a PhD in Electronic Music at City University, London where he founded the electroacoustic music studio in 1975 and was its director until 2004, when he moved to be a Research Professor in the Music, Technology and Innovation department at De Montfort University, Leicester. He is now Emeritus Professor at the Institute for Sonic Creativity, De Montfort University. Commissions include: GRM (Paris), Inventionen (Berlin), Darragh Morgan (violin), Philip Mead (piano), Sond-Arte Ensemble (Lisbon), Carla Rees (flutes), Heather Roche (clarinets), BEAST (Birmingham). Writings include: The Language of Electroacoustic Music (1986), Music, Electronic Media and Culture (2000), Living Electronic Music (2007), Expanding the Horizon of Electroacoustic Music Analysis (2016), Routledge Research Companion to Electronic Music (2018). He was Edgard Varese Visiting Professor at TU, Berlin (2009-10). Keynote presentations include: Australasian Computer Music Conference 2011 (Auckland), International Computer Music Conference 2011 (Huddersfield), Music Science Technology 2012 (São Paulo), WOCMAT 2012 (Taiwan), Audiomostly 2014 (Aalborg), Alternative Histories of Electronic Music 2016 (London), Visiones Sonoras (CMMAS) 2018 (Morelia). He is currently mixing a ‘lockdown album’ of his recent works.