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[Organised Sound] Issue 26/1: The Sonic and the Electronic in Improvisation – call for submissions

Issue thematic title: The Sonic and the Electronic in Improvisation
Date of Publication: April 2021
Publishers: Cambridge University Press
Issue co-ordinator: James Andean

Improvisation is an important cornerstone of musical practice. However, due to its ephemeral and transitory nature, it is in some ways much more difficult to ‘pin down’ – for example for analysis or other formal examination or academic discussion – than other, more ‘fixed’ musical practices (composition being the obvious example).

Within the current range of sonic arts practices, improvisation is flourishing – whether as a practice, genre, or community in its own right, or as an important element of other musical or sonic practices. This includes improvisation practices that are explicitly predicated on the sonic arts, electroacoustic tools, etc. – f.ex. Electroacoustic Improvisation (‘EAI’) – but also other improvisation practices that incorporate sonic or electronic tools and approaches, such as some of the current ‘Free Improvisation’ communities based around centres like London and Berlin. It can perhaps be extended still further, to improvisation practices that share territory with the sonic arts, such as a focus on gesture, texture, or space.

This issue of Organised Sound proposes to explore improvisation within the sonic arts, whether as a category in its own right, or as a question of broader performance practice, with topics ranging from questions of improvisation ‘language’, to the use of sonic and electronic tools, to questions of cultures and communities.

Topics for investigation might include (but are certainly not limited to):
  • Electroacoustic Improvisation (EAI)
  • Improvisation and Live Electronics
  • Sonic approaches in Free Improvisation
  • Sound-based improvisation
  • Improvising with objects
  • Computer-based tools for improvisation
  • The roles of gesture and/or texture in free improvisation
  • Influences or cross-pollination between improvisation and the sonic arts
  • Issues of communication in improvisation and the use of software or electronic tools
  • Differences in the ‘sonic’ or the ‘electronic’ between improvisation communities
  • The role of improvisation as a technique in studio composition practice (and/or vice versa)
  • The role of the ‘sonic’ (or of technology, etc.) in multidisciplinary improvisation
  • Perception, interpretation, or reception of sonic, sound-based, or electroacoustic improvisation
  • Questions of mediation in improvisation involving technology or media
  • Approaches to the ‘sonic’ in other improvisation practices (traditional, non-western, historical…), and/or crossovers between these practices
  • Problems of analysis of sonic improvisation practices
  • Space as reflected in or by improvisation practice
As always, submissions related to the theme are encouraged; however, those that fall outside the scope of this theme are always welcome.


15 May 2020


Notes for Contributors and further details can be obtained from the inside back cover of published issues of Organised Sound or at this url (and download the pdf).

Properly formatted email submissions and general queries should be sent to:, not to the guest editors.

Hard copy of articles and images and other material (e.g., sound and audio-visual files, etc. – normally max. 15’ sound files or 8’ movie files), both only when requested, should be submitted to:

Prof. Leigh Landy
Organised Sound
Clephan Building
De Montfort University
Leicester LE1 9BH, UK.

Accepted articles will be published online via FirstView after copy editing prior to the paper version of the journal’s publication.

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