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Title: Technology and ontology in electronic music : Mego 1994-present
Author: Worth, Peter
ISNI:       0000 0004 2716 5788
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2011
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The Vienna based record label Mego is known for establishing an uncompromising, radically experimental electronic music in the 1990s. This thesis considers the work of various different artists on the label, examining in particular their approaches to technology. The artists discussed appear to share an approach that I describe as pragmatic or experimental, which I contrast with idealist or rational approaches. In the latter, music appears to be understood within the framework of a simplistic model of communication, where technology is seen as a medium that should be transparent, allowing the music to pass unaffected. In the pragmatic approach however, I claim that technology is not seen not as a medium for the communication of ideas, but rather as a source of ideas. Implications follow for the ontology of the music. In the simplistic model of communication, physical sound can be considered merely a representation of something more abstract: musical form conceived by the composer. But if music is materially constructed and based on experimentation with the technology at hand, then the sound should not be considered a representation; there is no preconceived idea for it to be a representation of. This concept, which I refer to as 'literalism', is explored in a number of musical examples, and I link it to a definition of noise.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available