Laura Zattra: Archives, Sources, persons and personae in the Art of Sounds of the XX-XXI century

I have used archives as part of my musicological practice for more than 20 years, constructing contemporary histories of authors, works, agents, processes and electroacoustic music centres. I have developed a mixed research method which incorporates philology and archaeology with elements of oral history and ethnography. In this presentation I will discuss the taxonomy of sources in Electroacoustic Music, and examples of my recent research projects using the hybrid method: (1) an overview of the electronic music sources held at the Fondazione Cini in Venice and what these sources can tell us about the creative process of composers Camillo Togni, Fausto Romitelli and Giacomo Manzoni, about their “workshop”; (2) an ongoing project based on the oral history methods combined with source criticism, dedicated to exploring John Chowning’s biography and private archive (27 hours of interviews with the composer/researcher, during 9 different sessions)


Laura Zattra (PhD) is Adjunct Professor of History of Electroacoustic Music and History of Sound Design in Cinema in Bachelor and Master Programmes, coeditor-in-chief of Musica/Tecnologia, author of and research fellow at Ircam. Her mixed research method incorporates philology, oral history and ethnography and has been supported lately by the French CNRS and the Labex CAP (Paris 1). Recent books: Designing tools and devices (Music/Technology, XV, 2021 with S.Alessandretti & P.Zavagna), La notazione della musica elettroacustica (2019 with S.Alessandretti), Live-Electronic Music (Routledge 2018 with F.Sallis, V.Bertolani, I.Burle).