Since its first edition in 2009, the EarZoom sonic arts festival is featuring a selection of artistic and scientific work from the field of contemporary electro-acoustic music. „Music technology startups“ is the central theme of this year’s festival and points out artistic projects that emerged through the development of commercial technology and products. The choice of this topic is based on our own experience with establishing IRZU – the Institute for Sonic Arts Research, which was founded in 2009. IRZU is actively engaged in three different areas within the field of music technology, that is: technological research and development, artistic production and education. Based on the results of IRZU’s R&D activity, the spin-off company Ultrasonic audio technologies was established in 2011, which is focusing on the development of hyper-directional sound/loudspeaker technology.
The technological part of contemporary electro-acoustic music should be understood as a kind of extended solfeggio or music theory. The technical knowledge represents one of the crucial tools for the production of artistic content. With the choice of this year’s theme we want to point out that the technological and artistic research practice in contemporary electro-acoustic music are tightly intertwined and cross fertilize each-other. This fact creates a very thin line between technology based artistic research in the field of sound and music on one side and audio technology innovations – exhibiting application possibilities that transcend individual artistic expression – on the other side. It could almost be claimed that the context of artistic production encourages creative thinking within the audio/music technologies development framework, since it allows for experimentation, questioning, and re-contextualization of technologies, which can yield unexpected results and innovative solutions that might not have been discovered through a market-oriented product design approach.
EarZoom 2014 will showcase a selection of hardware and software projects, most of which refer to performance practice in contemporary electro-acoustic music and include state of the art technologies and concepts from the field of human-computer interaction, algorithmic composition and music information retrieval. EarZoom 2014 will try to outline the current trends of music and audio technologies that aim to address the needs of broader user groups, as well as offer a glimpse into the future of audio technology development.