8 April 2021

(media) The discussion that followed explored themes of authenticity in performance and replication of scientific experiments, and of the dichotomy between an experiment and its simulation, demonstration or performance. In the case of Sternklang, at the time of its composition, the electronic audio technology was not yet available to fill the requirements of the score. Sean Williams sought to use most appropriate historical techniques, but when they failed to work, he found modern alternative techniques that allowed him to achieve the desired results. His interaction with the piece was not based on the first iteration from 1971, but from half-way through its life-time and was meant to do his own historical research within the performance. As music lives in performance and each performance is a new iteration of the composition, finding a balance of using historical instrumentation and new ways of interpretation and using modern technologies to facilitate it, extends the biography of the piece. Perhaps such a creative approach could be extended to other fields, to add something to the biography of a practice, rather than in making the modern world as absent as possible as the case in some kinds of media archaeological work. In this way, the temporal trajectories of objects and technologies are taken into account, not only from the point of their inception.

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