The role of ambiguity within musical creativity

Ferguson, John and Bell, Paul (2008) The role of ambiguity within musical creativity. Leonardo Electronic Almanac, ISSN (online) 1071-4391


Working beyond a paradigm where musicians perform pre-composed works, the authors celebrate spontaneity and the ephemeral nature of sound. Using examples from their audio and visual practice they offer a post hoc analysis, discussing ambiguity and unpredictability as a strategy to foster musical creativity. In uncovering hidden and unintended potentials in seemingly fixed media they expose the instability of this definition, suggesting a reworking of such fixities as a useful line for enquiry. In highlighting the efficiency of physical interaction they consider the lack of tactility inherent within computer systems and problematize the wider role of digital technology within their work.

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