Mike Bullock (PhD candidate) awarded Leonardo EMS Award

Mike Bullock (PhD candidate) awarded Leonardo EMS Award

Date posted: 2008-06-27 10:41:00

The second Leonardo-EMS Award was given to Michael Bullock, a young researcher from Troy, NY who gave a presentation during EMS08 (the annual conference of the Electroacoustic Music Studies Network) which was held this year in Paris, France. After deliberation, the jury, composed of Marc Battier (France), Ricardo Dal Farra (Argentina) and Kenneth Fields (Canada/China), selected Bullock's paper titled "Noise to Signal: Consumer electronics and the rise of underground electro-acoustic scenes." Of all the papers presented by young researchers, Michael's was outstanding by its originality, clarity and insight. Besides his academic research at Troy's Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Bullock performs experimental music with his bass and with electronics. He is as active and innovative in his playing than in his research. Bullock's paper will be posted on the Leonardo website and will also be published in an upcoming issue of Leonardo Journal (TBA).
   
 The EMS Network was organized to fill an important gap in terms of electroacoustic music, namely focusing on the better understanding of the various manifestations of electroacoustic music. Areas related to the study of electroacoustic music range from the musicological to more interdisciplinary approaches, from studies concerning the impact of technology on musical creativity to the investigation of the ubiquitous nature of electroacoustic sounds today. The choice of the word, "network" is of fundamental importance as one of the goals of the EMS Network is to make relevant initiatives more widely available. More about the Electroacoustic Music Studies Network can be found at www.ems-network.org.
 
 Leonardo/OLATS has established a collaboration with the EMS network through which annual Leonardo-EMS Awards for Excellence are made for the best contribution to the EMS symposium by a young researcher as decided by a joint jury.
   
 The following is the abstract of Bullock's paper presented at EMS08:
   
 Michael T. Bullock
 Noise to Signal: Consumer electronics and the rise of underground electro-acoustic scenes
 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - Department of the Arts, Troy (USA)
   
 The growth of a consumer-electronics culture in the home – especially audio electronics since World War II, and Internet technology since circa 1990 – has led to a radical reorientation of the means and site of music production. Broadcast and recording technology gave to musicians and non-musicians alike the means to create and embody sound when and where they desired; it also raised awareness of noise as idiomatic to audio technology and to recordings. Audio technologies became instrumentalized when they became recognized as sounding bodies beyond simply archives of previous sound. Eventually, this elevation of noise and instrumentalization of electronics were reapplied to extended techniques on traditional instruments, and developed a new form musical engagement: self-idiomatic improvised music.
   
 I make a distinction among four general categories of extended instrumental use in modern music and sound. The first three are: extended technique on "traditional" instruments; instrumentalization of audio electronics; and creation of entirely new musical instruments (for this paper we'll focus on electronic and electro-acoustic instruments). The fourth category cuts across the other three categories and addresses a radical realignment of the site of music and sound: the creation of sound environments.

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