CEE 50: A Hybrid Symposium Celebrating the Canadian Electronic Ensemble’s History & Legacy

Date: Saturday, October 8, 2022 at Carnegie Mellon University and online

Fifty years ago, on May 15, 1972, four young University of Toronto graduate music students officially debuted as the Canadian Electronic Ensemble (CEE). With a commitment to electronic timbres and experimentation, collective music-making, live performance, improvisation, and composition, the CEE joined the bastion of live electronic groups worldwide (e.g., Stockhausen Ensemble, Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza, and Musica Elettronica Viva) and advanced electronic music-making in Canada. Electronic sounds and technologies proved to be a seemingly endless universe of exploration for the CEE. After decades of concerts and tours across Canada, notable tours and performances in the United States and Europe, several albums, and numerous commissions, collaborations, and residencies, the CEE remains committed to its core values through performances and recordings.

This symposium is dedicated to the CEE’s history and legacy. It also aims to contextualize the CEE within broader and ongoing histories of electronic sound technologies, improvisation, and composition; while such presentations may not focus on the CEE, the abstract should make it clear how the CEE is related to the topic. Submissions from a range of disciplinary perspectives are encouraged. Presentations are welcome but not limited to addressing the following topics:

  • Analysis of CEE compositions and albums
  • Large-scale CEE projects, such as Universe Symphony by Steve Gellman and the Comus Music Theatre collaborations (e.g., Nightbloom)
  • Personal encounters and recollections of the CEE as a group and/or individual members
  • The University of Toronto Electronic Music Studio of the 1970s
  • Institutional and intra-institutional histories of the CBC’s Music Department, the Canadian Music Centre, Ontario Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, and so on
  • Improvisation and electronic music
  • Aesthetics and experiences of electronic music
  • Analyzing electronic music (performance, recordings, scores, etc.)
  • Communities of electronic music
  • Sites of electronic music making (in-person, online, virtual)
  • Electronic music futures

Each presentation will be twenty minutes, followed by ten minutes of discussion and questions. Submit a 250-word abstract to this Google form by August 31, 2022. If someone has an idea for another type of presentation (e.g., lecture-recital, workshop, etc.), then please feel free to submit a proposal.

The CEE 50 symposium will be held on Saturday, October 8, 2022 in a hybrid format using Zoom. The symposium is organized by Dr. Alexa Woloshyn, author of the forthcoming book The Canadian Electronic Ensemble: Living Electronic Music History, and is hosted by the Electronic Music Division at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Music and the Frank-Ratcheye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry.

The symposium will be held in conjunction with a collaborative performance between the CEE and CMU’s Exploded Ensemble; details forthcoming. This performance will be a networked performance, allowing the musicians to collaborate between Pittsburgh and Toronto and for viewers to listen anywhere around the world.

In-person attendance will be restricted to local participants only. Virtual presenters and attendees will be provided with access details closer to the event.

Presenters will be invited to submit their papers as part of a special journal issue on the Canadian Electronic Ensemble and its 50th anniversary. Dr. Woloshyn will curate a collection of essays for review by IntersectionsCanadian Journal of Music / Intersections: Revue canadienne de musique. Participation in the symposium indicates your willingness to include your presentation for peer review in the special issue.

Send any questions or concerns to Alexa Woloshyn: awoloshy@andrew.cmu.edu

Details about the symposium including schedules, abstracts, and registration info will be updated here: https://tinyurl.com/2p8cehdu

Note on COVID-19:

COVID-19 continues to require flexibility with plans. Currently, CMU’s campus is open and hosting some in-person events. Event organizers will communicate with presenters and attendees immediately if there are any developments regarding masking and entry by non-CMU-affiliated individuals.