Georgina Born, Professor of Music and Anthropology at University of Oxford, and multidisciplinary artist Mark Fell, discuss the history of computer music and its associated ideologies, aesthetics and communities. Chaired by artist and musician Jan Hendrickse.
This event is prompted by the current exhibition Luke Fowler and Mark Fell: Computers and Cooperative Music-Making (23 October 2015-7 February 2016), which looks at how the use of computers began to shape music-making through experimentation with unfamiliar techniques involving mathematical structures, data and unusual forms of interaction.
Georgina Born’s work combines ethnographic and theoretical writings on music, media, art, interdisciplinarity and cultural production. She is Professor of Music and Anthropology at Oxford University and Professorial Fellow of Mansfield College.
Earlier in her life she worked as a musician playing bass guitar and cello in the avant-garde rock and improvisation group Henry Cow, Derek Bailey’s Company, the Feminist Improvising Group and other bands. She studied Anthropology at University College London, being awarded her PhD in 1989 for an ethnography of IRCAM, Pierre Boulez’s computer music institute in Paris, a study that became her first book. She has since authored numerous publications, and was the first anthropologist to write on music software.
From 2010 to 2015 Born is directing the research programme ‘Music, Digitisation, Mediation: Towards Interdisciplinary Music Studies’, funded by the European Research Council, which examines the transformation of music and musical practices by digitisation and digital media through comparative ethnographies in seven countries in the developing and developed world, as well as through ethnographies of the Max software and Spotify. She has held visiting professorships at McGill University, Oslo University and the University of California, Berkeley.
Mark Fell is a multidisciplinary artist based in Sheffield. As well as recorded works, Fell produces installation pieces, often using multiple speaker systems. The diversity of Fell’s practice is reflected in the range of international institutions that present his work – from super-clubs such as Berghain (Berlin), to the Hong Kong National Film archive. Fell has received commissions from institutions including Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna.
In addition to his creative practice, Fell is a curator of experimental electronic music and has been involved in a number of academic research projects ranging from computer science to musicology.
Jan Hendrickse is a musician and artist whose work encompasses performance, composition and installation works. Recent projects have included collaborations and commissions, including work with David Toop, Viv Corringham, Peter Cusack, Claudia Molitor, CHROMA ensemble and the Musarc choir.
He has composed for theatre and dance and frequently features as a woodwind soloist in film soundtracks, often making his own instruments. Credits include Apocalypto, The Hunger Games, Lord of The Rings, The Hobbit and many others.
He performed Howard Shore’s live film score of Naked Lunch with Ornette Coleman and the BBC Orchestras playing North African wind instruments. He teaches at the Guildhall School of Music, where he holds a research fellowship and is undertaking a PhD at the School of Music & Fine Art, University of Kent.