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Convergence 2022

logos for Leicester Convergence 2022, MTI institute and 'making it up'

 

De Montfort University
Institute for Sonic Creativity—MTI2
Leicester, UK
22-25 September 2022

Convergence 2022 will be a festival/conference celebrating new work and ideas in music and technology. Following the inaugural event in 2019, we now call for work to be included in Convergence 2022.

Submissions in the form of creative outputs, performances, artist talks and research papers related to all genres of music and technology are welcome.

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The Call
21st century musical creativity rides on the convergence of many streams of musical cultures, styles and value systems.  The previous century’s passage through modernist and postmodern imperatives, mixes and meetings of cultures has propelled us into a state of glorious collision, where tradition and innovation coexist in fusion and confusion.  New technologies are a central element in this creative ferment - from immersive multichannel and audiovisual environments, expressions of artificial intelligence and transmedia storytelling to human-machine interaction and hardware hacking. 

How might we make sense of this multiplicity of creative endeavours? What are the tensions and synergies we feel amongst the creative approaches of practitioners and between the insights of theorists and critics? What, if anything, might we sense is our relationship with the ideals and cultural products of the past?  How does the collective imagination of artists, engineers and listeners collaboratively shape the way we form our future? 

We also want to address the following questions:

  • In what ways has creativity been influenced by the distinctive possibilities of new technologies?  
  • How do we recognise what is new in our field and what makes it new?
  • How might we trace the roots of electroacoustic music’s practices and theories and how might they compare across different cultures? 
  • Do we still have, or need, a theoretical canon in music—and did we really ever have one? 
  • How might notions of modern and postmodern be reflected in the sonic arts?
  • Does the technology of music build bridges across musical and other artistic cultures, or has it made a wall around itself?
  • What new conceptual tools do we have or need for understanding relationships between digital sound and image?
  • How do we improvise with music technologies?
  • Do we have, or need, new ways to write about digitally mediated music to express our relationship with it?
  • Across cultures and diverse creative agendas, how do creative people find each other and form effective communities?
  • How might audiences connect what they hear in electronic/electroacoustic/computer generated music with more familiar languages within popular music, folk music, classical forms, or jazz? 


Do we have, or need, a map for these many new directions, or are we making it up?

For enquiries
John Young, Convergence 2022 Chair
E: convergence@dmu.ac.uk

Keynotes

Our keynote speakers for 2022 are Joanna Demers and Tim Garland.

Joanna Demers is Professor of Musicology at the Thornton School of Music, University of Southern California.  One of today’s most authoritative and interesting thinkers on music and technology she is author of Listening Through the Noise: The Aesthetics of Experimental Electronic Music (Oxford University Press, 2010); Steal This Music: How Intellectual Property Law Affects Musical Creativity (University of Georgia Press, 2006); Drone and Apocalypse: An Exhibit Catalog for the End of the World (Zero Books, 2015) and; Anatomy of Thought-Fiction: CHS Report, 2214 (Zero Books, 2017).

Tim Garland is a world-renowned jazz musician: saxophonist, composer and arranger. A former member of Chick Corea's bands Origin and The Vigil, and with over 40 albums and a Grammy Award to his credit, Garland is internationally respected across jazz and classical music as performer, composer, orchestrator and educator in genres spanning symphonic and small combo blends of notated and improvised music-making.  Tim Garland’s Duology, with Jason Rebello (piano) will perform in an evening concert at Convergence 2022.

Venues

Concerts will be presented in DMU PACE Studios 1 and 2 and at The Venue@DMU

Audiovisual and Installation work will be presented at two of Leicester’s central city Cultural Quarter venues: Phoenix Arts and LCB Depot.

Submissions

We welcome submissions from all researchers, composers and artists whose work involves or seeks to understand relationships between music, sound and new technologies.
Links to submission portals follow each submission category below.
The deadline for submissions has been extended to 9 April, 23:59 (previously 31 March).
All submissions will be anonymously peer reviewed, and acceptance notified by early May 2022.

Research Papers
https://de-montfort.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/convergence-2022-papers-posters


Scholarly papers on any aspect of the application of new technologies to music are welcome, including, but not limited to:

  • Compositional methods
  • Improvisation
  • New performance practices
  • Audiovisual practices
  • Virtual and augmented reality
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Live coding
  • DIY electronics
  • Hardware hacking
  • Sampling/sampling culture
  • New interfaces for composition/performance
  • Perspectives on theory and analysis
  • Case studies of works
  • Studies on sonority and sound design
  • Listening behaviours and audience reception
  • Auditory perception and psychoacoustics
  • Spatialisation
  • Collaborative processes
  • Software design
  • Educational initiatives in music and music technology
  • Approaches to neurodiversity in music
  • Cultural contexts
  • Situatedness in music
  • Ethnographic perspectives
  • Music and gender
  • Audio testimony and storytelling
  • Historical studies
  • Music in cross-arts contexts: dance, drama, live art, etc
  • Radio art
  • Music and environment
  • Sound ecology

Papers will be allocated 30 minutes in total, 20 minutes presentation (including any audio/video examples offered) plus 10 minutes for questions.
Abstracts should be no more than 3,800 characters in length and clearly summarise the aims, methods and results of the research.

Posters
https://de-montfort.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/convergence-2022-papers-posters
Submissions should be in the form of a link to summary document, no more than two A4 pages in length, minimum font size 11point and may include example images.  Any additional technical requirements should also be specified. The content should summarise the research aims, methods and outcomes clearly and concisely. Selected poster presentations will be supplied by conference delegates in A1 format, and should be designed to be legible from approx. 1.5m.

 

Artist Talks
https://de-montfort.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/test-convergence-artist-talk
Artist talks provide a space for those presenting a piece at Convergence 2022 to express speculative or provocative aesthetic, technical or contextualising ideas relating to their work. These should be no more than 12 minutes in duration, with no more than two slides, and may include audio/video examples. Abstracts should be no more than 2,500 characters in length.  A collective Q&A will be held at the end of a session.  Proposing an artist talk (or not) will not influence the music /performance/installation or papers/posters selection process.

Music / Performance / Installations
https://de-montfort.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/convergence-2022
We welcome all forms of music made entirely by or with the assistance of digital or other electronic technologies—with or without conventional instruments eg. acousmatic, audiovisual, live performance with computers, mixed instrumental-electroacoustic works, hardware hacking/DIY, etc.  

Performances demonstrating a novel approach to acoustic sound sources are also welcome.  Submissions from performers (solo or ensemble) offering repertoire not of their own creation/composition are welcome.

  • We will accept up to two submissions in this category per applicant, but will limit final selection to one work per person.
  • Multi-channel compositions that are suitable for the DMU PACE Studios can be considered. The PACE 1 array supports up to 33.2 discrete channels, including stereo diffusion).  
    A further 8.1 channel array will be available in PACE Studio 2.
  • Preference may be given to music with a performance duration of no more than 12 minutes.
  • Convergence 2022 will not be able to supply performers for works submitted—instrumentalists must be supplied by composers and it will unfortunately not be possible to offer fees to performers.
  • Bespoke materials or resources, such as modified instruments or hardware essential to the work to be performed must be supplied by participants.

In the application portal below, please include a permanent web link appropriate to the nature of your work (eg Website, Google Drive, Soundcloud, Dropbox, Vimeo – please do not use a time-limited method such as Wetransfer).

For acousmatic/audio only work, include files used in performance and a stereo version (binaural is acceptable) as well as a sound projection plan for multichannel works.

For work involving traditional instrumentalists/live performance include a score, where relevant, and indicative recording/realisation.

For work involving other forms of performance (eg. hacked hardware, live [performance] art focused, live coding, D/VJ-ing, mixed media), please provide an online video link (Vimeo, etc) in addition to a brief statement of concept.

For audiovisual submissions (fixed media), please include a link to a streaming site (eg Vimeo) for submission-review purposes. AV work selected for Convergence 2022 must then be provided as MP4 or MOV containers, normally with H264, H265 or Apple ProRes compression, up to 1920x1080 resolution, 25 or 30 FPS, and audio at least 48kHz/16 bit, in up to 7.1 format.

We welcome installations with a clear focus on audio content and a limited number may be presented at Convergence 2022, depending on the required resources and suitable match between available spaces and the nature of the work. In your submission please include a full description of content and concept, visual layout, example images (still or moving), an indication of suitable types of spaces and a stereo audio example.

Registration

Selected participants will be expected to register for the conference.
Subject to any Covid-19 conditions that may be in operation at the time, attendance in person is encouraged to create a sense of community.

Registration fees include all performances, presentations and conference reception.
Early registration (standard) by 1 June 2022: £70
Registration (standard) after 1 June 2022: £90
Student registration: £40
Day registration: £35

About us


De Montfort University is located in the heart of the city of Leicester—one of the UK’s most vibrantly multicultural cities.  A city with Roman heritage, Leicester is also the recently established resting place of King Richard III, the controversial subject of one of Shakespeare’s greatest plays.

De Montfort University’s MTI2 Institute for Sonic Creativity has been established as a leading international centre for electroacoustic music for over two decades and builds on Leicester’s reputation as a focal point for experimental music-making. A music department at the university was founded by the composer Gavin Bryars, focusing DMU as a hotbed of experimentalism and innovation. That imperative extends today in the Institute for Sonic Creativity—founded in 1999 with wide-ranging artistic practice embracing many forms of digital and post-digital forms of sonic art: acousmatic music, audiovisual and installation art, live coding, interactive performance, electronic instrument construction, AI, spatial audio, radiogenic art and plunderphonics.

See information on the DMU campus.

Getting here

Train services for Leicester are East Midlands Railway (from the North or South) and Cross Country Trains (from the East or West).  The London station for Leicester is St Pancras (served by East Midlands Railway) allowing direct transfer to and from the Eurostar, and with good ongoing services by tube, commuter or express trains to Heathrow and Gatwick airports. There is a direct train service (East Midlands Railway) to Luton Airport Parkway (with shuttle to the terminal building). Birmingham International airport is one hour from Leicester by train (with one change at Birmingham New Street). Trains from Stansted Airport to Leicester take approx. 2 hours 45 minutes, via London St Pancras.  Any train journey in the UK can be planned at http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/.

By car, Leicester is situated just off of Junction 21 of the M1 from the North, South or West, and the A6 or A47 from the East. The University is within 15 minutes of Junction 21.  Follow GPS/SatNav directions to LE2 7DP to be directed to the centre of the campus.

See public transport information relating to Leicester and DMU.

Accommodation


Below is a selection of hotels located close to the university.

There are also a number of bed and breakfasts close to the university.

The Gresham Aparthotel ***
Distance from Venue:
5-10 minute walk.
Address: Market Street, Leicester
Sat nav postcode: LE1 6DP
Tel: +44 (0) 116 243 7666

Leicester Central Travelodge **
Distance from Venue: 5-10 minute walk.
Address: Vaughan Way, Leicester, LE1 4NN, United Kingdom 
Sat nav postcode: LE1 4FY 
Tel: +44 08719 846254

Holiday Inn ***
Distance from Venue: 5-10 minute walk.
Address: 129 St. Nicholas Circle, Leicester, LE1 5LX, United Kingdom
Sat nav postcode: LE1 5LX 
Tel: +44 08719 429048

The Villare Hotel, Jubilee Square Leicester ****
Distance from Venue: 5-10 minute walk.
Address: 19-21 St Nicholas Place, Leicester

Sat nav postcode: LE1 4LD
Tel: +44 (0) 116 242 1330

Novotel Leicester ****
Distance from Venue: 10-12 minute walk.
Address: 2 Great Central St, Leicester
Sat nav postcode: LE1 4JS
Tel: +44 (0)116 482 0440

Ramada Encore Leicester City Centre ***
Distance from Venue: 10-15 minute walk.
Address: 84 – 90 Charles Street, Leicester, LE1 1GE
Tel: +44 (0)116 366 0150

Belmont Hotel ****
Distance from Venue: 10-15 minute walk.
Address: 20 De Montfort Square, Leicester LE1 7GR
Tel : +44 (0)116 254 4773

Premier Inn Leicester City Centre ****
Distance from Venue:
15-20 minute walk.
Address: St. Georges Tower, 1A St. Georges Way, Leicester LE1 1AA
Tel: +44 0871 527 8596

IBIS Leicester City Centre **
Distance from Venue:
20-25 minute walk.
Address: St George’s Way, Constitution Hill, Leicester, LE1 1PL
Tel: +44 (0)116 248 7200

 

In association with:

LCB
Phoenix