[ISEA2018] Paper: Zimasa Gysman — Performance Practices in Electronic Dance Music in the 21st Century


Short Paper

Keywords: Electronic Music, Performance, Turnatablism, Synthesizer Technology

The topic for this research paper examines the relationship between the human body and technologies used in live electronic music performances. By electronic music, it is proposed that any musical piece that claims to use sound produced electronically, electronic instruments such as synthesizers, or pre-recorded sounds. Performance of any piece of electronic music entails that it is constructed or produced on stage in front of an audience. By illustrating the aesthetics of early electronic music performance, it is easier to define what the performance aesthetics of the twenty-first century are. These early practices have informed the vast majority of twenty-first century electronic music performances despite their limitations. The human body is discussed in relation to the history of electronic music and the performance practices of the twenty-first century. There is an increasing importance in performers being present and a critical part of the performance. Their active presence on stage gives electronic music a new meaning in terms of performance. The ontology of performers is no longer merely as a vessel for the music, but there are elements of theatre, dance and other disciplines that performers integrate into their performance.

  • Zimasa Gysman is an electronic musician and new media artist currently studying his Masters in Transdisciplinary New Media at the Paris College of Art. Having grown up in Grahamstown in South Africa, he studied a Bachelor of Economics at Rhodes University before moving to Cape Town, South Africa and studying music at the University of Cape Town. It was in Cape Town that his interest in performance and electronic music came to a head. He has an interest in performance and the practices used by various performers in different fields to bring about their performances. Now based in Paris, he uses technology to find new artistic expression as a musician and visual artist.

Full text p. 369 – 373