Juan Parra 04

Juan Parra Cancino Doctoral Degree

News December 1, 2014

On Tuesday 2 December docARTES-PhD candidate Juan Parra Cancino will publicly defend his thesis: Towards a Performance Practice in Computer Music.

On the previous days a series of related events will take place. A concert with his music will be held at the Royal Conservatoire, Juliana Van Stolberglaan 1, The Hague, on Sunday 30 November at 20.00 p.m., performed by Ensemble Modelo62, composer Henry Vega and singer Cora Schmeiser. Furthermore, he will give two lectures together with fellow docARTES PhD candidate Anil Çamci on Monday 1 December, at the Royal Conservatoire at 13.30 p.m., and in STEIM (Studio for Electro Instrumental Music) in Amsterdam, Utrechtsedwarsstraat 134, at 20.00 p.m.


This thesis proposes multiple paths towards the development of a performance practice in Computer Music. It starts off with my transition from traditional instrumentalist to electronic musician, assessing the roles of composer, performer and instrument builder as integrated in Computer Music practice. Three of the case studies presented in this thesis suggest approaches to understand the notion of interpretation with electronic instruments, introducing the methods of reconstruction, reinterpretation and re-appropriation as applied to the performance of music by Cage, Feldman and Nono. The remaining five case studies deal with my own creations, developed on the basis of concepts such as mapping, sonification, historical contextualisation and spatialisation, and informed by the multithreaded role of the Computer Music practitioner. The situation of the performer of electronic instruments in relation to traditional instrumentalists is a topic of consideration throughout this thesis, informing the final conclusions as well as refuelling the questioning for future work.

 The exposition of this thesis takes advantage of the virtual platform provided by the research catalogue (www.researchcatalogue.net), which enables the presentation of contexts, processes, results and reflections of the research conducted in both the more traditional written form, as well as in the audio visual domain. In doing so, the invitation is for a de-hierarchisation of the modes of presentation of traditional academic research and for the engagement in a more integral reading (and listening, and seeing) of the whole body of research.

 The supervising team consists of:

  • Prof. Frans de Ruiter - 1st promotor - Leiden University
  • Prof. Richard Barrett - 2nd promotor - Instituut voor Sonologie, Koninklijk Conservatorium Den Haag
  • Dr. Marcel Cobussen - co-promotor - Leiden University