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Agora 2007 - Utopia ExoticaIrcam - Centre Pompidou


The Profession of "Computer Musician"

A composer, usually isolated, meets with an honored interlocutor - the computer music producer - at work in the studio. What practices (temporality, work-sharing, signing the work, integration of advanced technology, etc.) and functions will be invented this way?

The international meetings will sketch the contours of this emerging field, its practices, and different trainings.

The emergence of the profession of computer musician (previously called musical assistant) at IRCAM at the beginning of the 80s came about in response to a specific need: freeing researchers from an excessively exclusive relation with the composer coupled with the need to translate from the world of music to the world of science and vice versa.

With the increase in the number of production projects in the 90s, the musical assistant's responsibilities increased.  He had to take charge of the composer, manage the production projects, and carry out musical work in collaboration with the sound engineer and the composer. Are these needs still pertinent today?

Is the computer musician specific to IRCAM? Probably not, since today everyplace where artists work with new technology in the fields of sound or music - dance, theater, computer graphics, video, fine arts, music - one finds professionals who master similar concepts, techniques, and practices although they may be called by a different title (e.g. sound designer, Foley artist, etc.).

However, today there is no shared professional identity, no public recognition of the profession and related training program guaranteeing the acquisition of the technical and musical competences necessary to practice this relatively recent profession.

The ambition of this meeting is to sketch the contours of this new profession in its different forms and the best type of training programs. In addition, a comparison of professional practices and methods will allow for the identification of common points which will serve as a basis for exchanges between institutions on topics such as technology and production methods.


Marc Battier | Cyril Béros | Peter Boehm | Andreas Breitscheidt | Éric Daubresse | Andrew Gerzso | Wolfgang Heiniger | Christophe Lebreton | Serge Lemouton | Mikhaïl Malt | Yan Maresz | Tom Mays | Olivier Pasquet | Manuel Poletti | André Richard | Rand Steiger | Daniel Zaley

First Day | Friday, June 22
Second Day | Saturday, June 23

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