About Acousmatica

Acousmatica is a Helsinki-based series of acousmatic music events. Founded in 2011 by James Andean, Alejandro Montes de Oca, and Luis Alejandro Olarte, the Acousmatica series has produced a dozen events in its first two years, including concerts at a number of venues and festivals; two all-day acousmatic events; appearances by established composers, such as Trevor Wishart and Robert Normandeau; an acousmatic brunch; student concerts; and much more.

“The word « acousmatic » refers to the akusmatikoi, pupils of Pythagoras who, so that they might better concentrate on his teachings, were required to sit in absolute silence while they listened to their master speak, hidden from view behind a screen. In a radio talk in 1955 the French writer Jérôme Peignot used the expression « bruit acousmatique » to describe the separation of a sound from its origins as encountered in musique concrète. Schaeffer in his Traité des objets musicaux (1966) compared the role of the tape recorder to the screen of Pythagoras, emphasizing the concentrated listening facilitated when working in the studio with sound recorded on tape: repeated listening encouraged a better appreciation of the detailed abstract attributes of sounds. In 1974 the composer François Bayle, head of the Groupe de Recherches Musicales, suggested adopting the term as more suitable than «electro-acoustic music» for representing the special conditions of listening to music on tape. Acousmatic music has focussed attention on how we listen to sounds and to music, and what we seek through listening. Consequently, music analysis and music psychology have expanded their fields of inquiry to encompass the wider sound world of electro-acoustic music”.
[Simon Emmerson and Denis Smalley. “Electro-acoustic music.” In Grove Music Online, accessed June, 2010].


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