Electroacoustic improvisation is a form of free improvisation that was originally referred to as live electronics. It has been part of the sound art world since the 1930s with the early works of John Cage (Schrader 1991,; Cage n.d.). Source magazine published articles by a number of leading electronic and avant-garde composers in the 1960s (Anon. n.d.(a)) and in Montreal, Canada, there were two live electronic ensembles in the 1970s, MetaMusic and Sonde (Anon. 2012). This field has expanded rapidly with the use of powerful, inexpensive laptop computers.
It was further influenced by electronic and electroacoustic music, the music of American experimental composers such as John Cage, Morton Feldman and David Tudor. Other influences include musique concrète and the so-called instrumental musique concrète of Helmut Lachenmann. British free improvisation group AMM, particularly their guitarist Keith Rowe, have also played a contributing role in bringing attention to the practice.
A variety of terms have been used to describe music associated with electroacoustic improvisation such as “lowercase” (a term coined by artist and musician Steve Roden for his own work), “onkyokei” (or Onkyo) (used to describe the Japanese equivalent), “taomud” (meaning “the area of music under discussion”), “New London Silence” and “Berlin reductionism”.
The record labels Erstwhile Records, For 4 Ears, Cut, Durian, Charhizma, Improvised Music from Japan, Fringes Recordings, Mikroton Recordings and Mego have released a number of albums featuring electroacoustic improvisation.
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... Critics also note that many electroacoustic improvisers studiously avoid traditional sounds and timbres, and that “extended techniques” (unorthodox playing practices) appear to be standard ... Electroacoustic improvisation sometimes differs significantly from music associated with the established free improvisation scene ... writing in Stylus magazine, and referring to the "new school of electro-acoustic improvisation," critic Jeff Siegel writes, In case you are as yet not ...
... this style has been called lowercase music or EAI (electroacoustic improvisation), and is represented, for instance, by the American record label Erstwhile Records and the Austrian label Mego ... EAI is often radically different even from established free improvisation ...
... In Holland a tri-annual organized Output festival focuses on electroacoustic improvisation. 2004, 2007 and 2010 are the years in which the festival is organized ...