SoundDome.Org

SoundDome.Org

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Participating Sonic Artists:

A Definition of the terms 'Composer' and 'Sonic Artist'

The term composer in its historical context tends to highlight preoccupations relating to instruments, pitch, rhythm, dynamics, structure, etc. However, it is important to note that modern instrumental and vocal composers might also be considered to be sonic artists, as it would be rare to find a 21st century composer who does not employ the communicative and expressive potential of sound in their work. The term sonic artist highlights a preoccupation with sound in musical composition and in a wider sense, it also highlights a range of hybrid art forms that arrive through intersection with associated disciplines such as music production, film, gaming, fine arts, dance, architecture, and computer science. Sonic artists might also be considered to be composers with interests that extend beyond the traditional approaches of writing for acoustic instruments and voice. Sonic artists historically work directly in sound to compose, and traditional composers through pitch/duration notation. However, this is not always the case - the opposite is also true in some circumstances. With the above in mind, both terms ‘composer’ and ‘sonic artist’ can be described as ‘mutually inclusive’. This is possible as each term highlights its own set of concepts and ideologies, but does not necessarily exclude concepts and ideologies relating to the other. The demographic of sonic artists affected by the establishment of the SoundDome organisation therefore extends throughout the composition community incorporating established composers, university lecturers, students and self-taught musicians/artists producing ‘music [that] uses the sound as its unit value, not the note – although the note may of course be seen to be the sound’ (Landy 2000).