CFP: Spectralisms, 2nd edition
Deadline: October 29, 2018 (12:00 UTC)
Conference dates: June 13-14, 2019
Ircam (Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique), Paris
Organised by the Analysis of Musical Practices research team STMS—Ircam, CNRS, Sorbonne University, Ministry of Culture
Detailed call for papers:

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 auditive 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...); 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:

- Historical/historiographical perspectives, in France and elsewhere
- Philosophical, ideological and political contexts
- The places and institutions of spectral music
- L’Itinéraire, a collective of performers and composers
- Interpretation of spectral works
- Spectralism and the technology of sound
- Spectral music theory
- Analytical methods appropriate to spectral repertoire
- Sound studies, sonic ecology
- Spectralisms in the widest sense, including in popular and folk traditions

For full details of the call for papers, see Proposals should be sent by 29 October 2018 (12:00 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
Proposals should be between 400 and 500 words, and should include an additional five (max) bibliographic references. Papers will last 20 minutes, followed by 5 minutes of questions and discussion. The conference languages are English and French.

The conference will take place during the ManiFeste festival organised by Ircam in June 2019. Participants will thus be able to attend the concert given by L’Itinéraire on June 13 at the Centre Pompidou.

Organising committee
Sylvie Benoit (Ircam)
Nicolas Donin (Ircam – STMS) 
François-Xavier Féron (CNRS – STMS) 
Eric de Gélis (Ircam)
Grégoire Lorieux (Ircam, L’Itinéraire)

Programme committee
Jonathan Cross (University of Oxford) 
Nicolas Donin (Ircam – STMS) 
François-Xavier Féron (CNRS – STMS) 
Joshua Fineberg (Boston University) 
Robert Hasegawa (McGill University) 
Gascia Ouzounian (University of Oxford) 
Ingrid Pustijanac (University of Pavia) 
Caroline Rae (Cardiff University)


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