Social top

Call for Contributions


eContact! 18.4 — Media-Specific Music

Jens Brand’s “G-Player”
Artists creating media-specific work might design their very own media: Jens Brand’s “G-Player” (2004) is able to locate the positions of all officially known satellites (at present approximately 2000) and simulate the orbit of a selected satellite around the Earth. Following the principle of a record player needle, the satellite scans the surface of the Earth, and translates the topography into sound like the grooves of a vinyl LP. The display shows the name and type of the selected satellite (military, weather or telecommunication, etc.), its altitude and the coordinates of its orbit on Earth (longitude and latitude). There is no other visualization of the continuous process. Image: Oliver Schwarz, © Jens Brand. [Click image to enlarge]

The Canadian Electroacoustic Community (CEC) is now accepting submissions for an upcoming issue of eContact!, the online journal for electroacoustics published four times a year by the CEC. eContact! 17.4 focuses on media-specific music and is supervised by Guest Editor Volker Straebel.

In its relation to music, the term “media” appears rather ambiguous. While often applied to means of storage, distribution and broadcast of sound, “media of music” might also refer to musical instruments, musicians, performances, cultures and traditions of the creation, performance and study of music. In short: everything that serves as a mediating reference to music as a “work” in the platonic sense, or a practice of music performance or reception.

In discussing “media-specific music,” we consider situations (practices, pieces) where the media of music in their qualities and limitations are addressed as a subject of æsthetic practice. Here, music resists translation into another media since its very essence is bound to its means of creation, performance or distribution. These close interdependencies shall become obvious through the contributions to issue 17.4 of eContact!

Submission Themes and Ideas

We invite scholars and artists to submit papers of research in this field or to propose written descriptions, audio or video documentations of their work, respectively. Areas to be addressed might include (and are by no means limited to):

General discussion of the term “media-specific music,” its theoretical background, its relevance to media (art) studies, musicology and sound studies, and its æsthetic implications.

Work for storage media
Fixed media compositions that are specifically tailored for or dependent on a given storage media, the latter’s qualities or limitations. The interdependence of piece and media is of particular interest.

Work for distribution media
Pieces addressing the specific qualities of a given means of distribution. The distribution media might include any storage media or broadcast, stream or online (on demand) format.

Work that transforms the recipient into a performer (i.e. work for media usage)
Pieces that address the usage of their media in such a way that they inevitably turn the recipient into a performer. This is not (!) meant in reference to traditional performance situations (i.e. turntablism, live tape manipulation, etc.) but rather to a new Hausmusik [house concert] where the recipients are confronted with their home stereo or mobile device.

Work that can’t be represented (media-resistant work)
Pieces or genres that resist the notion of representation via media of data storage or broadcast.

Work that addresses the situation of performance and/or perception
Pieces or genres that specifically address the situation of their performance and/or perception, thereby interpreting that situation as a mediation of the piece. This might include certain types of interactive systems.

Work that addresses the instrument / interface
Pieces that are specifically bound to a certain electronic instrument or interface (in the broadest sense), such that not only is the piece impossible to realize or perform by other means, but also, to a certain extent, the instrument or interface becomes the piece. This notion should make itself obvious as an integral aspect of the piece itself.

Submission Process

Submission deadline: 01 March 2016
Author notification: 15 March 2016
Submission of final paper: 15 April 2016
Publication: May 2016

Submission Guidelines and a template to be used for all submission can be found here.

New and/or unpublished materials are preferred but reprints of previously published materials are also possible (eContact! will credit and link to original publications).

To state your interest in contributing, or for further information, contact Guest Editor Volker Straebel or Coordinating Editor jef chippewa.


The inclusion of audio and video support documentation, photos, technical diagrammes and sketches is strongly encouraged. Audio and video examples should be submitted in the highest quality possible.


The author is responsible for securing all permissions and clearing any copyrights related to the submission, including, but not limited to, texts, audio and video recordings and images (figures, photographs, etc.).

Guest Editor

Volker Straebel is a musicologist focusing on electroacoustic music, the American and European avant-garde, intermedia, performance and sound art. He is director of the Electronic Music Studio at the Technische Universität Berlin and also lectures in the Sound Studies programme at Universität der Künste Berlin. He has realized and performed indeterminate works by John Cage and himself.

Conseil des arts du CanadaFondation SOCAN Foundation

Social bottom