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ICASP Postdoctoral Fellow 2012-2013

McGill University

Christopher Haworth is a sound artist and writer from Preston, Lancashire (UK). He writes about music, emotion and subjectivity; 'presentness' and the aesthetics of immediacy; and the mediumship of the listener in post-war experimental, electronic, popular music and sound art practices. This is informed by his work as an artist, which focuses on the use of psychoacoustic phenomena as a compositional material in computer music. Works such as ‘Correlation Number One’ (2010) and ‘Vertizontal Hearing (Up & Down, I then II)’ (2012) are designed in such a way as to ‘dramatize’ the listening act, revealing voluntary and involuntary mechanisms of audition and encouraging ‘perceptual creativity’. During his ICASP postdoctoral fellowship he will be researching the social and technological aesthetics of live coding and ‘laptop as instrument’ improvisational practices, with a particular focus on new approaches to what Derek Bailey has called ‘pro-’ and ‘anti-instrument’ performance ideologies. His publications include: “Xenakisian Sound Synthesis: Its Aesthetics and Influence on ‘Computer Noise’” (in Resonances: Noise and Musics, Continuum Publishing House, 2013); “Ear as Instrument: Sound at the Limits of Audition” (in Leonardo Music Journal, Volume 22, 2013); and “Composing with Absent Sound”, (in Proceedings of the ICMC, ICMA, 2011). Outside of his academic work he makes electronic music under the moniker 'Littl Shyning Man' and has released three records on London-based electronica label, Head+Arm (Sonic 360).

Musical improvisation is a crucial model for political, cultural, and ethical dialogue and action.

– Ajay Heble