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Research Seminar. Thor Magnusson: Sonic Writing: Technologies of Material, Symbolic and Signal Inscriptions

Thor Magnusson

Wednesday 13 March 2019, 4.00PM

Speaker(s): Thor Magnusson

In this lecture Thor will present recent research which explores how contemporary music technologies trace their ancestry to previous forms of instruments and media. You will learn how new digital music technologies trace their origins in traditional instrument design, musical notation, and sound recording. The scope will range from ancient Greek music theory, medieval notation, early modern scientific instrumentation to contemporary multimedia and artificial intelligence. Thor points to a bespoke affinity and similarity between current musical practices and those from before the advent of notation and recording, stressing the importance of instrument design in the study of new music and projecting how new computational technologies, including machine learning, will transform our musical practices.


[35% discount code: GLR MP6 ]

Thor Magnusson's background in philosophy and electronic music informs prolific work in performance, research and teaching. Thor is interested in the impact of digital technologies on musical creativity and practice, and he explores that through software development, composition and performance. Thor's research is underpinned by the philosophy of technology and cognitive science, investigating issues of embodiment and compositional constraints in digital musical systems. He is the co-founder of ixi audio (, and has developed audio software, systems of generative music composition, written computer music tutorials and created two musical live coding environments. More on his research can be found on the Sonic Writing ( websigte. Thor is head of the Music Department at the University of Sussex.


Location: D/003, Sally Baldwin D Block.