Organised Sound Call for Submissions Vol. 16, No. 2

Issue thematic title: Performance Ecosystems

Date of Publication: August 2011
Publishers: Cambridge University Press
Issue co-ordinator: Simon Waters (

The distinctions between a performer, an instrument, and an environment seem at first glance self evident, but plenty of evidence exists that the relationships between them can be complex and dynamic. An equally tempered Boehm clarinet affords, when ‘re-programmed’ by the mindset of a South Indian performer, entirely idiomatic interval structures and articulations for another highly developed musical tradition. A musical instrument is not, or at least not only, a physical object, but has properties which emerge through use or expectation (programming). A systemic understanding of performance activity might usefully enhance our understanding of the interpenetrations and feedback systems which exist between apparently disparate component parts. As we move into a musical world where we can intervene digitally in the performance ecosystem we open up possibilities for new formulations of and relationships between the ‘components’, whether by accessing ‘distant’ or virtual audiences/environments, or by combining physical and virtual elements in an unforeseen manner.

What happens when practitioners regard the context for the performance of their work as co-extensive with or even constitutive of that work? How can an understanding of the voice as an embodied performance tool help to sophisticate our understanding of the complex interpenetrations between a performer and ostensibly ‘separate’ instruments? How does an ecological approach to perception (Gibson, Windsor, Clarke) contribute to our understanding of what happens in highly technologised musical practices? How might performance systems that occupy both real and virtual space – hybrids of the physical and virtual – provoke shifts in our understanding of public and private action?

Can thinking of performance as an ecosystem, or the importing of other models from biology, help resolve the difficulties of making music with multiple laptops? The power of ecological or ecosystemic metaphors for performance lies in the fact that they embrace adaptive, emergent or dynamical qualities. How might we go about designing such principles into performance interfaces? What would it feel like to perform with controllers whose behaviour evolves over time, or whose characteristics are ‘sticky’ or non-linear?

Music has always drawn on other disciplines and ways of modelling the world for metaphors which expand its resources both sonically, as organised sound, and socially, as human activity. This issue of Organised Sound invites submissions from both theorists and practitioners for whom ecosystemic or biological models form a provocative or productive point of departure for any aspect of their work.

As always, submissions related to the theme are encouraged; however, those that fall outside the scope of this theme are always welcome.

Deadline for submissions is 1 November 2010. Submissions may consist of papers, with optional supporting short compositions or excerpts, audio-visual documentation of performances and/or other aspects related to your submission that can be placed onto a DVD and the CUP website for “Organised Sound”. Supporting audio and audio-visual material will be presented as part of the journal’s annual DVD-ROM which will appear with issue 16/3 as well on the journal’s website.



Notes for Contributors and further details can be obtained from the inside back cover of published issues of Organised Sound or at the following url: (and download the pdf)

Properly formatted email submissions and general queries should be sent to:, not to the guest editors.

Hard copy of articles and images (only when requested) and other material (e.g., sound and audio-visual files, etc. – normally max. 15’ sound files or 8’ movie files) should be submitted to:

Prof. Leigh Landy

Organised Sound

Clephan Building

De Montfort University

Leicester LE1 9BH, UK.

Editor: Leigh Landy
Associate Editors: Ross Kirk and Richard Orton
Regional Editors: Joel Chadabe, Kenneth Fields, Eduardo Miranda, Jøran Rudi, Barry Truax, Ian Whalley, David Worrall
International Editorial Board: Marc Battier, Hannah Bosma, Alessandro Cipriani, Simon Emmerson, Rajmil Fischman, David Howard, Rosemary Mountain, Tony Myatt, Jean-Claude Risset, Francis Rumsey, Margaret Schedel, Mary Simoni


02 2010