The author’s abstract:

This article discusses in detail the use of spatial references in electroacoustic music, which is the fourth of the five senses of space I identified in a broader investigation on the meaning of space in music, electroacoustic music and sound art. The expression space as reference refers to the use of the referential properties of sound to suggest or produce spatial impressions and associations. I start discussing the controversies related to the use of referential meaning in music, and how, since the development of electroacoustic music, it has become a crucial aspect in the characterization and definition of its different branches and aesthetic orientations. Then I discuss how a number of composers of electroacoustic music have conceptualized and worked with reference in their compositional practice. In the next section I discuss how soundscape composition has been working with spatial reference as a central aspect of its aesthetic principles. Afterwards, I expose how representation has been used as a structural element in the works Night Song I and Night Song II, and how these works can be characterized in terms of the terminology suggested by the aforementioned composers. In the conclusion, I discuss how the categories of abstraction and representation can be understood as relative and complimentary concepts, suggesting that, for the composer, it would be interesting to keep both aspects in mind, as both of them are relevant for the reception of their compositional work.

The author, Frederico Macedo is a Brazilian composer and lecturer (B.Mus., M.Mus., Ph.D.), at the moment living in Brazil, where he was born. Frederico did his undergraduate degree in Art Education with focus in music (1991), and his Master’s in Composition (2003) at the Federal University of Goiás (UFG). He did his Ph.D. at Lancaster University, UK (2008–2012). He is a lecturer at UDESC (University of the State of Santa Catarina, Brazil), where he teaches courses on music technology, electroacoustic music and history of popular music, having also worked as a part-time tutor at Lancaster University (2011–2012). His research work has focused on the compositional uses of space in electroacoustic music, the effects of technology on the notions of authenticity and authorship in popular music and the different uses of sound in theatrical spectacles. This article represents partial results of his Ph.D. research, funded by ORSAS Award, Peel Studentship and Lancaster University.

Read Frederico Macedo’s paper here.