Symmetrical Collaborations. Jonathan Harvey and his computer music designers

My chapter “Symmetrical Collaborations. Jonathan Harvey and his computer music designers”, just published in «Nuove Musiche», Vol. 4 (2018), Special issue on Jonathan Harvey, edited by Candida Felici and Stefano Lombardi Vallauri, Pisa : Pisa University Press, pp. 29-57, DOI: 10.12871/97888333922572.

ABSTRACT: The work of Jonathan Harvey (1939-2012) has been influenced by computer technology since 1969 at Princeton University, and later during a short course on muSyS at the private emS (Electronic Music Studios) of Peter Zinovieff. However, it was at Ircam (Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique) in Paris that he could finally fully explore his aesthetic vision, a passion for electronic music that lasted for twenty-eight years and resulted in eight pieces realised at the French Institute: among them the renowned tape piece Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco (1980) and Ritual Melodies (1990), but also mixed pieces like Bhakti (1982), String Quartet No. 4 (2003), or Speakings (2008). This article focuses on Harvey’s collaborations with Ircam computer music designers Stanley Haynes, Jean-Baptiste Barrière, Denis Lorrain, Jan Vandenheede, Cort Lippe, Carl Faia, Gilbert Nouno, and Arshia Cont. This research, grounded on published and unpublished materials, and oral communications, does not focus on technical aspects, but rather on what Harvey and his collaborators did to create and organize smoothly their work, their modes of collaboration, their everyday workflow. Although relatively weak at the beginning, the evidence of collaboration and above all its recognition through available sources grows over time, since it is highly dependent on the awareness computer music designers have built up of their profession along the years. Moreover, the British composer is one of the few who always recognize, in statements, texts, articles or interviews, the important role of the assistants.

Jonathan Harvey 1:

Jonathan Harvey 2:

You can find my chapter on researchgate and

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