EarZoom Sonic Arts Festival

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Earzoom festival zvočnih umetnosti
Vodnikova 28, SI-1000 Ljubljana
Miha Ciglar

Phone386 (0) 40 512 603
Festival dates20.10.2017

The last edition of this festival – discontinued for the foreseeable future – took place in 2017.

Archival article

The EarZoom Sonic Arts Festival was founded in 2009 by the Ljubljana based Institute for Sonic Arts Research (IRZU) and further expands the institute's focus into audio technology research, artistic productions and educational projects. The main person behind the festival is the audio engineer and sound artist Miha Ciglar, who modelled the festival as a distinctively platform-like project. It connects all sort of local institutions, from governmental and non-governmental to various protagonists from abroad – universities, networks, festivals, businesses enterprises, etc.

The festival features electro-acoustic performances, workshops, lectures and installations by invited foreign and domestic artists and sonic researchers. Though it primarily focuses on new musical works and technologies, it also touches upon the related institutional, social and political dimensions. In 2012, the festival was merged with that year's edition of the (38th) International Computer Music Conference. Earzoom in 2015 functioned like that as well and was the site of the nomadic Music Tech Fest – The Festival of Music Ideas.

Venues and co-producers

EarZoom connects with the already active protagonists in the field of contemporary sonic arts as a part of its creed. Some of its past and current partners include Cankarjev dom, Cultural and Congress Centre, Moderna galerija, Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova (MSUM), MoTA Museum of Transitory Art, Sploh Institute, Jakopič Gallery, Kino Šiška Centre for Urban Culture, Klub Menza pri koritu, Projekt Atol Institute, Kapelica Gallery, Aksioma Institute, ŠKUC Association, Stara Elektrarna - Old Power Station, Španski borci Culture Centre and Ljudmila - Ljubljana Digital Media Lab.

They are involved with the festival by either providing the infrastructure needed for the realisation of the festival (the most prominent partner in this respect is Cankarjev dom) or by contributing to the programme of the festival itself (such is the nature of the collaboration with the Sploh Institute), or both.


EarZoom is usually set as a three-day symposium, though it can last up to six days. International artists and scientists present the state of the art research in disciplines like algorithmic composition, new interfaces for musical expression, gesture recognition, ubiquitous computing, mobile music computing and hardware hacking, etc. The invited artists and researchers give talks on their activities, organization schemes and their artistic endeavours, and further, present those in the form of live performances, installations and workshops.

Some of the festival's focuses were live coding, in which the musician is writing computer code live onstage; the potential of music technology startups, pointing out artistic projects that emerged through the development of commercial technology and products; the survival and identity creation within the diverse institutional landscapes of sonic arts research; and the current trends and the future of music and audio technologies.


The festival has, give or take, about 50 guests annually and a significant part of them is chosen on the basis of an international call for works. Some of the more prominent ones have been Miller Puckette, author of the Pure Data software, the British composer and researcher Alex McLean, the composer Peter Ablinger and the musicians Keith Rowe, Matt Black (of Coldcut) and Graham Massey (of 808 State). Of the local artists, one can highlight Theremidi Orchestra, TILT, Luka Juhart and Miha Ciglar himself.

International collaboration

IRZU and the festival have collaborated with many other international institutes. In 2010, the festival became part of a network called T.R.A.C.E.S. – Transcultural Research, Artist, Curator Exchange Series. This trans-European collaborative platform featured Transcultures: Centre for Intermedia and Sonic Arts & Cultures (Mons, BE); Nida Art Colony: Interdisciplinary art, education & residency center (Vilnius/Nida, LT); Kitchen Budapest: Cross-disciplinary new media lab (Budapest, HU); Pixelache: Festival of electronic art and subcultures (Helsinki, FI); and MigAA: Migrating Art Academies (Cologne/DE, Vilnius/LT, Poitiers & Angoulême/FR).

Another international link is Earzoom's participation in the European-wide platform for field recording practices, called Sounds of Europe. The festival was also supported by the Queen Mary University of London, the UK-based Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and a number of private companies, who were involved by lending their hardware and software products for the different purposes of the festival.

Collaboration with ICMC

In 2012, the festival was joined with the International Computer Music Conference (ICMC), a travelling annual conference of the Internation Computer Music Association (ICMA), which has been the most important European forum for research, both musical and theoretical, involving computers in the creation of music since 1974. The conference was co-produced together with the Faculty of Computer and Information Science.

Collaboration with Music Tech Fest

The Music Tech Fest is a travelling festival platform that coupled with EarZoom in 2015 under the name MTFCentral. Besides the regular EarZoom features, MTFCentral arranged for exclusive access to new technological solutions produced top European research institutes. For example, the competitive 24-hour hack camp offered electronics & technologies from institutions such as Fraunhofer, IRCAM, Technische Universität Wien and the Music Technology Group at Pompeu Fabra and, at the end, chose the best applications and implementations of these tools.

See also

External links