Making New Waves in the Global Village

This year the Making New Waves Festival in conjunction with the "Music in the Global Village Conference" will discuss the relationships between music, networked systems and other genresof art. The international conference researches artistic and technological domains that are made available through the interactions of humans and machines in networked systems, and its implications for the creation, performance and perception of music. The festival will present pieces that explore computer technology and the Internet.

The aspirational and optimistic term "Global Village", coined by Marshall McLuhan in the 1960's to describe the rapidly growing telecommunication networks can be used in relation to contemporary computer based internet. Already it is possible to see how the existence of the internet creates new structures and communities. Music is no exception. Composers can choose to work in total isolation or can cross borders of their local environments to connect with thousands of musicians through the network. Different artistic groups can transcend the style-forming influence of their specific geographical identities. Different spaces and different identities, totally incompatible in the past, can be combined together. The result will be part both of the global village and the local community. The intersection of real and virtual space.

The network as a medium reqiures much more effort and activity on the part of the user than traditional forms of communication. The conference and festival aims to echo this fact in allowing space for the participants (speakers, musicians, and audience) to play a more active role in the organisation and performance of the conference and festival in order to collectively form the final outcomes. The Participants will discuss and decide the final topics and schedule of MNWGV on a wiki which will be online 2 weeks before the conference begins. The pieces presented during the festival will explore the notion of near and distant connected spaces and there will be the opportunity for the audience to influence some of the pieces through network technology.

The recent crisis has demonstrated the fragilities and limitations of culture based on arcane financial practice and mass consumption, it suggests that the only way forward is for us to actively influence the decision-making processes that inform our lives. Jacques Attali* argues, that "music moves faster than economics and politics and hence prefigures new social relations".

The current aspiration of network -based music is to extend the domain of influence and decision-making about music to a wider circle.The organisers of MNWGV hope that Attali's argument will become true and that new trends presented in the conference will be reflected in other fields of culture and social and ecomomic life.

* (paraphrased in Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music. Ed. Cox & Warner)