"For we never sing in order to distinguish ourselves from the world, my brother, We sing in order to unify the world."
This statement captures the spirit motivating our plans for the 1997 Conference in Thessaloniki, Greece. Our intention is that the 1997 ICMC be as open as possible -- open to new ideas, open to new participants, open to the future of computer music. To achieve this openness we are:
The Exhibition Hall
It may seem impossible to accomplish the above goals. How can we "expand the presentation of research" while limiting the paper sessions to a single track? Perhaps the single paper session will last 17 hours each day -- but then how can we state that we intend to provide more time for "direct interaction among participants"? Our solution to these conflicts lies in a greatly expanded conception of how the Exhibition Hall will function at the ICMC. Rather than exist as a separate room where a few vendors demonstrate recent products, the 1997 ICMC Exhibition Hall will be the central focus of the Conference. The Hall will act as the hub for all Conference events, located directly adjacent to the concert halls, paper session room, and the ICMC Cafe
The Exhibition Hall will also serve as an area for the presentation of recent research beyond the single-track paper session. All posters and demonstration sessions will be held in the Exhibition Hall. We will be providing a number of booths for use by ICMC participants. The structure of the Exhibition Hall will allow us to present more contemporary research, and will also allow us to grant more time for presenters doing posters and demonstrations. The booth design will also foster more direct interaction among presenters and attendees -- those desiring information about a particular demonstration or line of research will be able to make appointments to meet at the Exhibition Hall.
A number of well equipped booths (necessary audio equipment, workstations, internet access, etc.) at the Exhibition Hall will be available for use by academic and research institutions. One of the criticisms of past ICMCs is that a particular research center may find that its representation at the ICMC is dictated entirely by the judgement of the paper jury. While we certainly endorse the role of the ICMC juries in maintaining the high standards we have come to expect at the ICMC, we also believe that individuals and institutions should be given the opportunity to present research *they* feel is important. For example, the Computer Music Center at Columbia University may want to give an extended overview of recent research done, while also providing a meeting-place for ICMC attendees interested in learning more about Columbia or swapping recent software. A "Columbia-CMC" booth in the Exhibition Hall for a designated period of time will satisfy these desires nicely, without having to rely upon acceptance of a large number of papers. In one sense, the Exhibition Hall booths can function as expanded studio-report sessions, where time will allow greatly-extended presentations of work.
We also hope to attract a much larger presence by vendors involved in computer music. The organization of the Exhibition Hall should appear quite attractive to prospective commercial participants. Important and innovative work done in the industrial sector will receive the same attention as the research coming from academic institutions. We want the ICMC to be *the* premiere Conference for the presentation of state-of-the-art music technology. Another attractive aspect for potential ICMC exhibitors: the ICMC in Thessaloniki will be happening in close time-proximity to two other major European technology events -- the International Exhibition of Information Systems & High Technology Products (INFOSYSTEM) [September 20-24, 1997], and the European Telecommunication Conference [September 21-28, 1997].
Finally, the Exhibition Hall will be open to the public. Being located in a central and easily-accessible part of Thessaloniki, the Exhibition Hall should become a major attraction during the Cultural Capital celebration. We are expecting a large number of visitors -- we are indeed singing to unify the world!
Please see the Exhibition Hall Booth Registration form for details on reserving a booth.
We are seeking presentations of research in all aspects of computer music, certainly including aesthetic and compositional perspectives, as well as signal-processing and synthesis research.
Because of the involvement of IPSA (the Program of Psychoacoustic and Music Research at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki) as the primary sponsoring organization of the ICMC, we are quite interested in seeing papers focussing on recent research and speculation in the areas of music cognition and perception. The opening session of the conference on the afternoon of September 25th will be devoted to "Music and the Brain". There will also be sessions on Psychoacoustics in Composition, Scales/Tuning Systems and Data Auralization/Sonification.
Since we are targeting a single track conference, we will be able to accept a limited number of papers. There will also be strict limitations on oral presentation time as well as the traditional page limitations for publishing the Proceedings.
However we will be able to accept a much greater number of demonstrations and posters due to the Exhibition hall format. You also have the opportunity to decide for yourself what you might present at the ICMC if you or your research institution choose to use one of the Exhibition Hall booths. To be honest, for many extended research and software presentations the Exhibition Hall makes a lot more sense. You will have a longer period of time to make your presentation, and you will be able to speak directly with people most interested in your work.
Details on the paper submission categories are given in the Call for Papers. Please keep in mind that the jury will only judge a paper for the category submitted. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact ICMC 97. See Contact Info.
The most salient musical feature of the 1997 ICMC is the contracting of several well-known contemporary music ensembles for the evening concerts, with individual performers from the ensembles available for the afternoon concerts. These ensembles will provide a solid base of performance talent to draw upon for the ICMC concerts, plus they will give us a broad range of available instrumentation for pieces submitted to the 1997 ICMC. The concerts will be broadcast over the Greek national radio and television network, and plans are in the works to produce a post-ICMC compact disc of selected ICMC performances (this will be in addition to the ICMC CD of selected works accompanying the *Proceedings*).
We recognize, however, that much extant computer music does not fit well into a traditional concert format. At past ICMCs, this problem has been addressed by establishing a "listening room" for continuous presentation of tape music during the Conference. This solution is plagued by several difficulties, however: it is nearly impossible for ICMC participants to discover when a particular piece is being performed, and the compositions presented have been limited to tape-only computer music. The "listening room" has also been difficult to find at several ICMCs, and has generally been very poorly-attended.
We also plan to have a "listening room" at the Thessaloniki ICMC, but it will be a sizable room directly adjacent to the Exhibition Hall. This room will be used for tape-only music, of course, but it will also be configured for the presentation of interactive pieces, solo works, and multimedia works unsuitable for a 'concert-hall' format. Lengthy tape pieces -- often quite stultifying in a traditional concert setting -- and other types of music requiring alternative listening strategies can be best presented in this area. The performance schedule for this room will be displayed throughout the ICMC site.
In addition to these venues, we are also soliciting music for more specialized performances. We encourage submissions of music that can be used as ambient sound in the Exhibition Hall and concert hall lobby. We would also like music performance proposals for the ICMC Cafe, where we will be featuring a "computer music cabaret" session (if enough submissions are received!).
We're basically hoping to surround the ICMC with a carpet of computer music activities -- use your imagination! We encourage proposals for all types of musical events and installations
We would also like to see submissions for special tutorial sessions before the Conference itself. Contact ICMC 97 with your ideas for these sessions.
Concurrent with the ICMC, IPSA will be sponsoring a special installation involving sound synthesis controlled by movement. Ten Greek choreographers/dancers will be utilizing the installation to create on-going interactive sound works. We are soliciting proposals for this installation. (See Call for Music).
The 1997 ICMC promises to be a special event. If you need an additional excuse to make the trip, the activities of the Cultural Capital Organization are by themselves quite exciting. (See Cultural Capital). Actually, if you need an excuse to try to go to Greece, you should probably seriously re-evaluate your approach to life.
We look forward to seeing you in 1997 -- Kalo Taxidi!