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International Computer Music Conference

The 38th edition of the International Computer Music Conference (ICMC) took place 9-14 September 2012 in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The event was hosted by IRZU, the Institute for Sonic Arts Research, with support from the University of Ljubljana. ICMC 2012 took place in cooperation with the EarZoom festival, an annual festival organized annually by IRZU since 2009.

The theme of ICMC 2012 was "Non-Cochlear Sound," a term coined by Seth Kim-Cohen to consider sound as a conceptual, contextual construct, analogous to Marcel Duchamp's "non-retinal art." According to the conference program, "The aimof the thematic frame . . . [was] to investigate the potential of sound as a medium and further the potentials of music in conjunction with new technologies to create new possibilities of artistic expression." Mr. Kim-Cohen participated in ICMC 2012 as a keynote speaker, giving a talk titled "The Chladni Ostrich." Diedrich Diederichsen of the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna delivered another keynote address, titled "The Re-Materialisation of the Music-Object."

The event included 16 paper sessions on topics such as non-cochlear sound, aesthetics, live coding, analysis and synthesis, improvisation, interaction, education, composition, artificial intelligence, and musical representations. Additional work was presented in four poster sessions and three demonstration sessions. The event also included an "unconference," a more informal forum for discussion.

Fifteen concerts were held at several venues around Ljubljana. These concerts presented acousmaticmusic, works for instruments with tape and live electronics, multimedia works, laptop performances, and works for new digital musical instruments. One concert was devoted to pieces that were also featured in papers presented at the conference. The event also included 21 installations, as well as over 70 works exhibited in audio and video listening rooms. Johannes Kreidler attended as the conference's invited composer. The conference featured a performance of his piece Fremdarbeit [Foreign Labor], whose composition Kreidler partially out-sourced to workers from China and India.


Seoul International Computer Music Festival

The Seoul International Computer Music Festival took place 24-27 October 2012 in Seoul, South Korea. The event is one of the largest electroacoustic music festivals in Asia, and 2012 marked its 19th year. A concert was held each of the four nights of the festival. Concerts featured acousmatic works as well as music for acoustic instruments and electronics. The final concert featured special guests from the German contemporary music ensemble E-mex.

The festival was held in conjunction with the annual conference of the Korean Electro-Acoustic Music Society, which took place 26-27 October 2012. The conference included eleven paper presentations by researchers from South Korea, Europe, the United States, and New Zealand. Paper topics included image sonification, sound effects, music programming, compositional tools and practices, soundscapes, and world music. Selected papers from the conference will be published in Emille, the journal of the Korean Electro-Acoustic Music Society.


ISMIR 2012

The 13th Conference of the International Society for Music Information Retrieval (ISMIR) took place 8-12 October 2012 in Porto, Portugal. ISMIR provides a forum for a variety of research in music information retrieval (MIR), including the processing, searching, organizing, and accessing of music-related data. According to the conference Web site, the main goal of ISMIR is to "foster multidisciplinary exchange by bringing together researchers and developers, educators and librarians, as well as students and professional users."

ISMIR 2012 included ten oral paper presentation sessions. Session topics included musical cultures; rhythm and beat; similarity; melody and pitch; playlists, tags, and lyrics; user studies; audio classification; scores and optical music recognition; and the singing voice. A variety of other work related to music analysis, fingerprinting, modeling, transcription, search, and retrieval was presented in the conference's poster sessions.

The conference included a special paper session titled "MIRrors: Looking Back to the Past of ISMIR to Face the Future of MIR." Papers in this session reflected on key challenges in MIR, such as automatic transcription, considerations of users and usability, the relationship between MIR and music cognition, features for audio analysis, and workflows for MIR. Extended versions of the MIRrors papers will be included in an upcoming special issue of the...