Milestones of electroacoustic music – from Edgar Varèse’s Poème électronique (1958) to Brian Ferneyhough’s Mnemosyne (1986) – are investigated from a music-historical perspective and presented in a contemporary 5.1 surround edition.The selection of works on this double CD mirrors the development of electroacoustic music over a period of 30 years, from the early analogue studios to the shift to digital technology in the 1980s. It includes electronic compositions and works for instruments and electronic sounds using different playback formats. Some of the works are presented here for the first time in surround sound in order to show the relevance of the spatial presentation of works intended for multichannel speaker configurations or complex setups of speakers distributed in space, which stereo sound can only present in a reduced form (for practical reasons, stereo mixes of all tracks have been included on the second layer). The present mixes are intended as transfers to the 5.1 format, offering different listening perspectives as in the concert hall.
This CD release is the result of practice-based research in contemporary music performance within the project Performance Practice of Electroacoustic Music: A Practice-Based Exchange between Musicology and Performance realized between 2014 and 2016 at ICST – Institute for Computer Music and Sound Technology of the Zurich University of the Arts in cooperation with Paul Sacher Stiftung, Basel and other institutions and nanced by the Swiss National Science Foundation. The works, the composers of which are all represented in the Paul Sacher Stiftung’s collections, were selected taking into account their music-historical relevance and the specific problems they raise with respect to interpretation and performance practice. To study these questions in practice and to make the results available to performers in a systematic way is the main objective of this work. (...)