Call for papers: Spectralisms, 2nd edition
Deadline: November 5, 2018 (12:00 UTC)
Conference dates: June 12-14, 2019
Ircam (Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique), Paris  

In March 2017, the Faculty of Music at the University of Oxford, in association with Ircam, organised Spectralisms, a conference devoted entirely to the discussion of issues in spectral music ( The wide range of ideas engaged during the two days of the conference reflected the plural nature of spectral music. Though such music emerged in France in the early 1970s centred on the composers of the collective L’Itinéraire (Murail, Tessier, Grisey, Dufourt, Levinas), its roots can be found in such key figures of the twentieth century as Debussy, Varèse, Cowell, Messiaen, Dutilleux, Stockhausen, Ligeti, Xenakis, Partch, Scelsi or even La Monte Young. Moreover, if by ‘spectralism’ is meant any music that takes account of the acoustic structure of sounds and the mechanisms of auditory perception in order to produce forms, timbres, temporalities and new modes of expression, then many aesthetics (from Radulescu to Harvey by way of Mayuzumi, Amacher, Radigue, Haas…) can be understood to participate in ‘spectral thinking’ without necessarily having any direct connection to the creative and performance tradition that developed in France around L’Itinéraire.

This second edition of the conference will offer the opportunity once again to explore the many facets of spectralism, to question its origins and historiography, and to evaluate the specific theoretical tools designed to analyse its compositional techniques. But this edition will also aim to explore lesser known aspects: the impact and continuation of spectralism beyond the ‘second spectral generation’ (Dalbavie, Hervé, Hurel, Leroux, Saariaho…) up to and including today’s young composers; the role of instrumentalists in the elaboration of techniques, works and concepts; issues of interpretation; the use and impact of technologies. The conference committee thus encourages participants to propose papers on the following themes, though they need not be restricted by these.

Proposals should be between 400 and 500 words, and should include an additional five (max) bibliographic references. They should be sent by 05 November 2018 (12h00 UTC) as .doc or .rtf files to the following email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Proposals should include: 
- Title of the paper 
- Name of the author(s) 
- Affiliation 
- Email address

Papers will last 20 minutes, followed by 5 minutes of questions and discussion. The conference languages are English and French.

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