NCOUNTERS: Living in a World of Sound and Noise

University of Alberta, Graduate Music Students’ Association

Department of Music

March 5-7, 2010

In his influential text The Audible Past Jonathan Sterne writes: “[C]hanges in the form and consistency of sensory experience are bound up in much larger social and cultural transformations.”  Music scholarship is also bound up with these changes.  Ncounters: Living in a World of Sound and Noise is an invitation to explore new approaches to the study of sound. Presented by the University of Alberta Graduate Music Students Association, this conference involves a collaborative series of lectures, performances, sound experiments and demonstrations.  (Ethno)musicologists, composers, performers, sociologists, anthropologists and philosophers are invited to respond.

Ncounters seeks alternatives to the traditional structural divisions of conferences, where paper presentations are separated from compositions and performances by both venue and scheduling. Many graduate students are exploring novel ways for presenting research on the subject of music.  In response to these innovations and in the interest of stimulating dialogue across disciplines, Ncoutners is designed to fragment the conference space both through programming and through expansion of the modes and settings for presentation.  In addition to the traditional conference hall setting, research and creative work can be presented by avatar, by video, as a stage show, a talking circle, or as a busker.  Ncoutners is a place to experiment, to share, and most importantly, to explore the possible modes of communicating research to fellow graduate students.

Call for Submissions

Papers and Presentations

We invite all graduate students from a variety of disciplines to participate in a forum for theoretical, conceptual, or performative experiments we call Ncounters.  In an effort to be inclusive and environmentally conscious presenters are invited to share their work in person, by real-time Internet broadcast (i.e. Skype), or by pre-recorded video with a real-time audio link for audience feedback.

We welcome work on any theme, from any transdisciplinary perspective:

  • theory
  • history/historicism
  • pedagogy
  • ontology
  • applied work
  • technology/instrument augmentation
  • composition
  • field work
  • alternative modes of representation
  • music aesthetics and politics
  • post-Marxism and music
  • queer theory
  • music and space
  • popular music
  • Neotribalism


Technological advancements in the twentieth and twenty-first century have provided composers with entirely new means of creating music. Opportunities are arising for not only compositional invention but has also encouraging the sharing and distribution of once sedentary performance practice.

We are accepting submissions for any type of work no longer than ten minutes in length, including:

  • prerecorded works presented by the composer at the University of Alberta or streamed via online resources (i.e. skype)
  • improvisations; either acoustic, electroacoustic, or any combination
  • works which make use of new technologies for the interactive control of computer music


We are accepting performances of any kind which will showcase aspects of historical or contemporary technique, pedagogy, or performance practice. Lecture recitals are welcome.

All presentations will be allotted a maximum 20 minutes.  Each will be followed by a 10-minute Q&A period.  Performances/Compositions will be given an optional 5-minute period to introduce the work.

Submissions must be received via email by 11:59 pm, January 29 2010:

in one of the following formats:

  • An abstract of about 100-250 words suitable for publication on the conference website
  • A short video clip (posted to Youtube)
  • mp3

Submission should include all technical requirements


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s