Question about SEAMUS


I learned relatively recently about the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States and was considering assigning some of my limited business budget to join and possibly attend this spring’s event. Are there any members here on Lines? If so, what has your experience been of the organization, its events, and its publications?

Thanks for your feedback.


SEAMUS is largely if not entirely an academic organization. I attended and ran one of the concert halls when we hosting at Univerisity of Iowa in 2002 so take my input with that perspective in mind. if you are not familiar with this genre/scene it may be enlightening it may be tedious. what would you expect to “get out of it”?


In another life, back in the early 80s, I was a music major at a state school that held an annual composer’s symposium. It was a fabulous experience and they got people who I later learned were big names – Mario Davidovsky, Lou Harrsion, even John Cage came one year (after I had left). I was, of course, one of the student musicians involved in performances, which was part of what made it exciting, but attending concerts and performance-talks was also musically delicious.

I get the sense that this is something like that, except with a focus on electronic music more specifically. So I imagine what I’d get out of it is exposure to current thinking about music theory and composition as it is applied in electronic music and an introduction to composer/performers in that domain that I might not already be familiar with, all of which sounds very yummy, if probably also at least partly over my head.


My understanding is that the newsletter is a great resource. The conferences tend to be hit-or-miss, in that a lot of the papers presented are written so professors can keep their jobs, but there is always some interesting stuff presented. It’s also definitely a way to meet people who are knowledgable about all kinds of approaches to electronic music, albiet mostly of the academic/institutionalized sort. As a student (both undergrad and masters) I often spoke with my professors about SEAMUS and other conferences. I would say check out previous journals and newsletters and see if the tone is something you’re interested in. I’ll see if there’s an archive or something publicly available.