Digital Sounds

Konferenz, Musik, Roma

18.09.2019 H15:00
19-20.09.2019 H10:00

18-19.09.2019 H19:00




PJ Harvey

Konferenz, Musik

18.09.2019 H15:00
19-20.09.2019 H10:00

18-19.09.2019 H19:00

Digital Sounds – New Technologies and Sonic Heritage

The digitalization fundamentally changes our understanding and perception of music and sound. Until the late 19th century the primary form of making sounds reproducible was through notation. By the early 20th century technological advances had eventually led to the capturing of music and sounds with ever greater precision and better quality, making recordings not only available to a larger audience but also retrievable on demand. The latest step in this development is the introduction of digital recording systems in the 1970s, which came to revolutionize the music market—first with the Compact Disc and later with MP3 and other audio formats.

The digitalization, however, had not only an impact on the producing industry but also on how sound is being perceived in society—be it as an item of consumption, a mode of expression and communication, a bearer of meaning, or as an object of theorization. Indeed, the prevalence and easy accessibility of noises, sounds and music has had a profound effect on how we understand audible surroundings. The conference thus takes a fresh look at the world of hearing and listening, asking how technology transforms our understanding of sound and music and how sounds conversely create a space, in which culture reproduces itself.

The proceedings are accompanied by the first-time staging of previous concerts from the Montreux Jazz Festival Archives, creating a unique musical experience in which past music performances can be relived: the ground floor rooms of the villa have been transformed into familiar domestic and work environments where the concerts can be listened to and where, thanks to the EPFL’s Metamedia centre, you can navigate through the Montreux Jazz Festival archives, a unique treasure trove of rare audio-visual content.
The re-enactments comprise the performances of Etta James (1977) and George Benson (2015) on September 18, and PJ Harvey (2016) and Moderat (2016) on September 19.

In collaboration with École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Montreux Jazz Festival, Claude Nobs Foundation, and with the support of the Institut Français Italia, within the framework of the series of meetings on „Mondo Macchina e mondo vivente. Omaggio a Leonardo“.

List of speakers and moderators
For the full biographies click here

Giacomo Albert (Università di Torino)

Angela Bellia (IBAM CNR)

Alessandro Bratus (Università di Pavia)

Antonio Camurri (Università di Genova, Casa Paganini)

Thibaut Carpentier (IRCAM Paris)

Elvira Di Bona (Polonsky Academy, Jerusalem)

Alain Dufaux (EPFL)

Christophe Fellay (EDHEA Sion)

Günther Giovannoni (Swiss National Sound Archives)

Didier Grandjean (University of Geneva)

Robert Grass (ETH Zürich)

Inga Mai Groote (University of Zurich)

Irène Hediger (ICS Zürich)

Sarah Kenderdine (EPFL)

Fabian Knauber (Sphereo)

Matthias Kohler (ETH Zürich)

Madeleine Leclair (MEG Genève)

Robin Meier (Artist)

Alessandro Olto (Università di Udine)

Luigi Pizzaleo (Conservatorio S. Cecilia)

Donatella Restani (Università di Bologna)

Jürgen Strauss (Strauss Electroacoustics)

Cristina Urchueguia (University of Bern)

Leila Zickgraf (University of Basel)


18.09.2019 – Day 1

Entrance: Via Liguria 20

Welcome and Introduction

H15:00 Joëlle Comé
H15:10 Samuel Gross and Adrian Brändli

The Architecture of Sound I

Sound and Space (moderator: Irene Hediger)
H15:30 Matthias Kohler (ETH Zürich): Expressing Acoustics in Digital Architecture
H15:50 Jürgen Strauss (Strauss Electroacoustics): Spatial Listening
H16:10 Thibaut Carpentier (IRCAM Paris): Wave-Field Synthesis and Ambisonics: Holophonic Approaches to Spatial Sound
H16:30 Discussion
H17:00 Break

Temporality and Emotion (moderator: Luigi Pizzaleo)
H17:30 Elvira Di Bona (Polonsky Academy, Jerusalem): Sound, Time and Memory
H17:50 Didier Grandjean (University of Geneva): Music and Emotions
H18:10 Discussion
H18:40 Break

Concerts Part I

Entrance: Via Ludovisi 48

H19:00 Doors Open
Etta James
George Benson

19.09.2019 – Day 2

Entrance: Via Liguria 20

The Architecture of Sound II

Audiovisual Immersion (moderator: Irene Hediger)
H10:00 Sarah Kenderdine (EPFL): Architectures for the Immersive Museum
H10:20 Fabian Knauber (Sphereo): Sound and VR
H10:40 Discussion
H11:10 Break

Technology and Artistic Expression (moderator: Luigi Pizzaleo)
H11:40 Antonio Camurri (Università di Genova, Casa Paganini): The Intersection of Art, Science, and Technology: Scientific Research Driven by Art
H12:00 Giacomo Albert (Università di Torino): Post-music: hybridization and proliferation of audiovisual forms in the post-digital age
H12:20 Discussion
H12:50 Break

The Preservation of Sonic Heritage

Preserving Sounds (moderator: Luigi Pizzaleo)
H15:00 Alessandro Olto (Università di Udine): MIRAGE Lab activities: critical editing of electronic and mixed music
H15:20 Robert Grass (ETH Zürich): Storing Music on DNA
H15:40 Discussion
H16:10 Break

Archival Projects (moderator: Luigi Pizzaleo)
H16:40 Günther Giovannoni (Swiss National Sound Archives): Il patrimonio sonoro svizzero e la sua conservazione
H17:00 Madeleine Leclair (MEG Genève): Sound Archives and Creation
H17:20 Alain Dufaux (EPFL): The Montreux Jazz Digital Project: from a heritage to an innovation platform
H17:40 Discussion
H18:10 Break

Concerts Part II

Entrance: Via Ludovisi 48

H19:00 Doors Open
PJ Harvey

20.09.2019 – Day 3

Entrance: Via Liguria 20

Hearing the Past

H10:00 Robin Meier (Artist): Fossil Records

Lost Sounds (moderator: Irene Hediger)
H10:30 Donatella Restani (Università di Bologna): Mapping the Musical Heritage of Roman Greece: Anthropological and Historical Perspectives
H10:50 Angela Bellia (IBAM CNR): Rediscovering Soundscapes of the Past: New Approaches and Perspectives to the Archaeology of Sound
H11:10 Inga Mai Groote (University of Zurich), „Soundscapes“, „period ear“, and musical memory: what can we know about the early modern sonic world?
H11:30 Discussion
H12:00 Break

Musical Revolution (moderator: Irene Hediger)
H15:00 Cristina Urchuegnia (University of Bern): The Emergence of 20th Century’s Musical Experience: Commodification and Branding
H15:20 Leila Zickgraf (University of Basel): Le sacre du printemps and the Industrial Revolution: How Igor Stravinsky almost replaced the performer with an automaton
H15:40 Discussion
H16:10 Break

Digital Transfigurations (moderator: Irene Hediger)
H16:40 Christophe Fellay (EDHEA Sion): The Impact of Digitalization on Listening Experience and Sound Production
H17:00 Alessandro Bratus (Università di Pavia): Posthumous presences on record: the aural afterlife of popular music performers in the digital age
H17:20 Discussion