Richard W. Nance

Music as a Plastic Art

Music, Noise, And Musing About Noising

Fixing Ideas

Pierre Schaeffer considered calling this nacent electroacoustic art 'plastic music' (and with it 'plastic sound'), but wanted to take a stance in opposition to a trend he regarded as overly formalised music (serial systems for instance), and so countered it with 'Musique Concrète'. The name caused mass confusion to non-French speakers, but that seems to have settled down these days.

Acousmatics, the form I lean towards, also has hotly argued definitions. Happily, I think of what I do as a plastic art, like film and painting, so I can usually avoid the debate.


I can say my research projects are significant and far reaching. They're informed by my undergraduate studies in neural science, a keen interest in systems theory, Gibsonian (ecological) psychology and its philosophical forbear, phenomenology. Most importantly I keep an ear out for what's here. Sometimes I like to get skilled intuitive players, like free improvisors, and ask them to mimic auditory scores.

This is more thoroughly discussed in an article at eContact!. Initially the idea arose from the notion of the open text. (Eco). It explores ways to disjoint the form and redistribute the binding tensions, shifting a larger portion to the player and the listeners' ears.

What others say:

Rick Nance’s thoroughgoing investigation of ‘various shapes and masses of different metals… as they radiated summer heat into a block of frozen carbon dioxide’ presents some scintillating sounds, leaving me with a desire to know more about the techniques: his website gives away little of his alchemy.

Richard Bowers, SAN Diffusion, November 1, 2002

"Is that what you hear in your head?"

— Chris Hendrix (Former guitar garroter, music mangler, word wrangler, and singer: Grossest National Product)

Have you been vaccinated yet?

— Robin

It's not completely without interest.

— anonymous friend

Maybe you should try WordPress.

— advice concerning web design


Questions? Get in touch.

email me at RNance at OxfordInternational dot com