Partial Objects: A perspective on Spectralism - John Young (Reino Unido)

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Acousmatic music has brought us face-to-face with the idea that the internal structure of sound can be a source of compositional ideas. This resonantes strongly with Spectralist conceptions of musical form (viz. Grisey’s call to ‘no longer compose with notes, but with sounds’). But where Spectralist instrumental music often involves translations of a spectromorphological structure, acousmatic music deals in the moment-by-moment reality of the sonic object itself. Two musical consequences of this are identified: the bypassing of micro-interval approximations necessitated in much Spectralist instrumental music and the capacity to progressively unravel a sound to create new ‘partial’ objects.

John Young is Professor of Composition in the Institute for Sonic Creativity at De Montfort University, Leicester. He composes largely with his own field recordings, using these as windows on experience and creating new sound worlds by embedding them in networks of digitally-realised sound design. Awards include first prizes in the 1996 Stockholm Electronic Arts Award, Musica Nova (Prague) 2018 and 2020, Klang! Montpellier 2019 and the 2007 Bourges International Competition with Euphonie d’Or (2010). He has been a guest composer and/or teacher at numerous institutions, including Ina-GRM, the IMEB Bourges, EMS and Kungliga Musikhögskolan (Stockholm), the Sibelius Academy, Conservatoire de Mons, Tempo Reale, the iMPACT Center (University of Missouri-Kansas City), San Jose State University, Bowling Green State University, Oberlin Conservatory, Ohio State University, Simon Fraser University, the University of Montréal, the Ai-Maako Festival (Santiago), the University of Lanús (Buenos Aires) and the University of Auckland. His music is published by Empreintes DIGITALes, Montréal.

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