This historical reminiscence details the evolution of a type of electronic music called “computer network music.” Early computer network music had a heterogeneous quality, with independent composers forming a collective; over time, it has transitioned into the more autonomous form of university-centered “laptop orchestra.” This transition points to a fundamental shift in the cultural contexts in which this artistic practice was and is embedded: The early work derived from the post-hippie, neo-punk anarchism of cooperatives whose members dreamed that machines would enable a kind of utopia. The latter is a direct outgrowth of the potential inherent in what networks actually are and of a sense of social cohesion based on uniformity and standardization. The discovery that this style of computer music-making can be effectively used as a curricular tool has also deeply affected the evolution and approaches of many in the field.
ABSTRACT Sonification can allow us to connect sound and/or music via data to the environment; in another sense, by “displaying” data through sound, sonification participates in creating our acoustic environment. The authors consider here the significance of certain aspects of this relationship.