ARCANA was developed by the German composer Wolfgang von Stuermer in April 1995 and is the first nonprofit Internet-service which is solely dedicated to promote contemporary music globally. Currently, the project resides in the WORLD WIDE WEB. It is the purpose and goal of ARCANA to disseminate information about and from composers, ensembles, organisations and producers of contemporary music and to become the Internet reference for new and experimental music.It’s main focus though, is the work of modern composers. ARCANA is open to all composers working in the field of contemporary music. Additionally, one of its specific tasks is the promotion of young, (not-yet) established composers and their work. We fulfil this function by representing the composer’s work in sound and vision, via the integretation of an interactive information-exchange and electronic bullentin-board, and by active promotion of ARCANA in the Internet and the media. Hence, ARCANA does not act as a direct agent for the composer but offers support and councelling and provides the Internet platform for promotion and representation. In ARCANA, all composers receive their own unique URL. Therefore composers can reach an international publicity by presenting biographies, text material, work lists, and for the first time worldwide: score excerpts and other visual or graphical examples of their work. Moreover ARCANA revolutions the standard of work presentation and makes it more vivid! Since May 1996 sound examples can also be heard in real time via RealAudio(tm). Additionally they can be integrated into worklists in all usual soundfile formats, available for download. Moreover, MIDI-files may be utilized to provide a more concrete impression of unperformed compositions than mere text descriptions. It is possible to provide piano extracts of a larger instrumental score which can be played back with a MIDI-player, too. The integration of Live-Video-Streaming and RealAudio-Live programs as “Virtual New Music Radio” is in development and will launch this fall. This combination of visual, textual and acustical information gives a precise picture of the composer’s work. Given access to the Internet producers, conductors, publishers, festival directors and music professors and teachers are able to get excellent first-hand information and views of criteria for program- and repertoire planning and are able to contact the composer directly. ARCANA also offers composers a basis for professional contacts mutually. The communication among one another is supported via email (or telephone and fax, if not available) as well as any feedback or info sent to ARCANA is automatically forwarded to the composers. Every two months the ARCANA NEWSFLASH is published. It contents reports about the development of ARCANA and is available free of charge via email. Since January 1996 the international communication among the composers is advanced and expanded through the highly welcomed “The Composer in Cyber Residence” program – an international exchange effort where every month a different composer presents his/her opus via sound and vision. This Postersession will give an insight into the making of ARCANA and its features and services for the new music community and articulate future visions of ARCANA such as a VR listening space or virtual new music galleries.
- Wolfgang von Stürmer, Germany, composer [alternative spelling: ‘Stuermer’]