Un-Music Conference - Call for Works

The Graduate Music Forum at Harvard organizes a yearly Graduate Student Conference. Last Spring, the conference was entitled music & the urban. This year, the committee choose another exciting topic: Un-Music.

A broken piano

Last week, composers Bert Van Herck, Hillary Zipper, and myself met with organizers Michael Heller and Ryan Banagale to discuss the participation of composers to the conference. We are all very eager to host a great musical conference during which we want to facilitate a natural flow between the fields of musicology, ethnomusicology, theory and composition.

Are you a composer? Here is the official announcement, as it was recently published on the American Composers Forum:

Call for Works: Un-Music, Harvard Graduate Music Forum Conference, March 7, 2009

In light of the pluralism, stylistic diversity, and incorporation of new sounds in contemporary performance, we invite you to re-examine our definition of music: what is music and what is "un-music," and where are the boundaries? Must music be written and/or played by human means? Should it be analyzable? What, if anything, differentiates sound from sound-art from music from noise?

The Harvard Graduate Music Forum announces its sixth graduate student conference, "Un-Music," taking place on March 7, 2009. We invite graduate student composers to interpret this topic broadly and creatively, in the form of a work for live electronics, recorded sound, solo instrument, or a combination thereof. Works will be performed throughout the day of the conference and will be closely integrated with musicological presentations. Participants will also be asked to give a brief presentation on their piece and how they feel it relates to the spirit of the conference.

Composers should submit audio or video recordings as well as a cover letter describing the relationship of their work to the conference topic. These materials must be received no later than January 16, 2009. Please also provide a detailed description of the technical requirements of your piece (an 8-channel diffusion system will be installed in the performance space.) Works should be no longer than 12 minutes, and scored for live electronics, recorded electronics, and/or one instrument/voice. An 8-channel diffusion system will be installed in the performance space. Selected composers are expected to attend the conference and perform and/or present their works. Electronic submission is preferred and materials may be sent to gmfconference [at] gmail.com . An emailed confirmation of receipt will be sent to confirm that all materials have been received. If hard copy submissions are required, please mail them to composition committee co-chair Hillary Zipper at:

Hillary Zipper
Music Building – North Yard
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA 02138

We look forward to your submissions! For more information and our corresponding Call for Papers, please visit the graduate music conference web site.


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