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Computer Music Journal

Computer Music Journal Seeks Interviews with Composers

Computer Music Journal seeks to publish interviews with composers who are considered well known in the field of computer music and who have a substantial body of works involving technology. Composers should be well represented by recordings, performances, publications, or sustained activity in the field (affiliation with known studios, participation in major festivals or conferences, etc.). The interview should serve as an in-depth perspective on the composer's approaches to technology and aesthetics in computer music.

An interview should be between 3000 and 6500 words, with a preference for the higher end of the range. An in-person interview of two and a half to three hours, perhaps in multiple sittings, generally provides sufficient material. A published interview is not a verbatim transcript of a single in-person conversation, although it should read as though it were. Interviews conducted by telephone or email are acceptable, although in-person interviews (supplemented by subsequent email or telephone communications) are preferable. We recommend having a carefully considered, written list of questions, but not being a slave to them; compose, but also improvise. Ask the composer for his or her scores and recordings well in advance of the interview, so that you can generate pertinent questions after careful study. Gather sufficient biographical data for one or two paragraphs of the introduction. The introduction should summarize the interviewee's contributions to the field of computer music. It should also state when and where the interview took place, and how (e.g., in person, by a voice or video call, by email, or some combination).

The article should be oriented toward computer music. Technology should not be the sole focus of the interview, but the reader should learn something about the composer's use of software or hardware. A good interview gives the reader sufficient background about the composer (in the form of interview questions and/or prefatory material), shows what is interesting about this particular composer of electroacoustic or computer-assisted music, informs the reader about his or her current work and thoughts, perhaps touches upon his or her views about other composers' music, and ends with a nice finishing touch. The latter could be, for example, the composer's plans for the future, views on the state of the field, a humorous note, or a general insight.

In addition to the interview per se, please include a chronological list of the composer's electroacoustic or computer-assisted works (with years and any publication data), a photo of the interviewee, and any graphical material that may be alluded to in the interview (such as excerpts of scores, screen shots from patches, or photos of interest). The interview may include a list of references to relevant literature, which should typically be cited within square brackets in the interview itself. Ask the interviewee if they would be willing to provide recordings, or at least excerpts, of their music to include online with the interview. Send a draft of the interview manuscript to the interviewee, to refine it as needed before submission to the Journal.

Details of the style and format of CMJ articles are available at http://www.mitpressjournals.org/page/sub/comj. Interviews are treated differently from regular manuscript submissions, however; they should be emailed to the Editor at cmj-editor@mit.edurather than submitted at cmjdb.com. Include "[CMJ MS]" in the subject line. If accepted, the interview will appear in the Journal at least a half year later. As with other articles, authors of interviews are not financially compensated. We recommend that potential interviewers contact the Editor in advance of conducting the interview, to ascertain the Journal's interest and to get answers to questions not addressed here.