Tracecore Reviews

“This concert also presented the world premiere of Emile Frankel’s piece Tracecore, which was magnificent. The introduction of electronic sound and amplification was used along with the full ensemble. The piece consisted of simple melodic ideas counterbalanced with a high level of technique and intricate rhythms. Using simple foot stomps on the hardwood floors of the Salon of the MRC was clever; whilst using the artists’ abilities to hum simple drones rounded the piece into one of pure perfection.”

Stone Telling Press

Master’s Thesis Comments

Peter Adriaansz (Matthijs Vermeulen Prize (Dutch Composer of the Year 2015) |
Paper: Excellent (10) Presentation: Excellent (10)

“Very personal thesis, visionary even perhaps, riveting, up-to-date & educational to others; shows interesting development of critical thinking while researching, especially with regard to unfolding current affairs; personal style of writing very convincing, in sync with topic, nearly as saturated in meaning and inference; density becomes perhaps slightly self-perpetuating after a while, like a continual variation on the same, but somehow remains compelling; bibliography, quantity of information, depth of reading and scope of sources entirely up-to-date and often mind-boggling; presentation excellent, well thought out, stylistically in line with paper, style follows content; concise, not a word too much, well timed; really brought paper to life in a different way; courageous in its ‘performance’ aspect as well. In every single way excellent and in a league of its own. [PA]”

Yannis Kyriakides [‘Unsounds’ founder, writer, composer, sound artist exhibited at Venice Biennale] |
Paper: Excellent (10) Presentation: Excellent (10)

“This was one of the most impressive papers and presentations that I've seen from any Master’s level composition student. His writing is engaging, playful and full of depth. The subject of accelerationism and post-internet art that he explores through the prism of the music of Amnesia Scanner, Holly Herndon and Oneohtrix Point Never lay out new aesthetic issues, very well researched and intelligently presented in discussions that speak on the most pressing issues for any artist at the moment. Even though there are no examples given here of Emile's own creative work, one feels the personal connection to this material and how that has shaped his vision of his own music. I find it touching to sense through the course of the thesis, the change from at first being hypnotized by the accelerasionist ideas at the start of the research, to come out in a more critical position at the end, and see how that has effected the ethics of his own work.
On a critical note - I would have liked to see more connection with historical movements in the past, or a wider gamut of sources in contemporary music, specifically in relation to techniques of sampling, granulation, or disembodied voice. The sound aesthetic that is brought to the fore in the artists that he mentions is building on certain artistic ideas and technologies that stretch back to the beginning of the 20th century - it would have been good to see an awareness and contextualisation of these ideas. The presentation was done with as much meticulous care and playfulness as the paper was comprehensive - fascinating from beginning to end. [YK]”

Samuel Vriezen [poet, composer, philosopher, Dutch translator of #Accelerate] | 
Paper: Excellent (10) Presentation: Very Good (9)

“A great read, erudite and full of analysis that is highly worth reading. Very well written, lots of ideas, while also remaining questioning and self-critical. Especially some of the comparisons between the accelerationist type aesthetics being sketched and earlier, related, modernist ideas are fruitful. Great points, too, about the relationship between authenticity, irony, and affect. It’s very much a critical paper, and I’d have been interested to know a bit about how to make the insights work in the composer’s own work as well. In terms of content, there are many ways in which you could go forward. It seems to me that a good next move could be a critique of the spectacular elements of all this half-ironic reworking of dystopian imagery (will the catastrophe be televised?), but a deeper delving into affect theory might also yield further leads. The presentation, even if relying on written text, was great, too; the performative aspect works very nicely (could that even have been taken to further extremes?). Good discussion, too; fun was had by all present.”

Grega Vrhovek Sambolek [sound artist, cultural theorist] |
Paper: Excellent (10) Presentation: Excellent (10)

“Emile Frankel’s paper is a comprehensive and in-depth research where cultural, theoretical and music analysis are woven together into an exhaustive survey of contemporary phenomena of so-called post- internet reality. The paper is very well written and of high academic quality in that it is conducting analysis which is supported by broad cultural references and at the same time being focused on the question of how does this broad cultural phenomenon manifest through the music of the three authors in question. Furthermore, the paper also contemplates on how do these three authors contribute in defining the phenomenon of post-internet reality.
In its exhaustive and extensive approach, the paper opens up many questions that go beyond the scope of this brief assessment.
After all that has been discussed with great interest at the presentation of the paper, I would like to stay with one issue that is presented in the paper, but which is perhaps not fully developed.

Focusing on the music examples representative of post-internet reality, the paper argues that this music acts as both speculative and representational of the future at the same instance. This presents a contradiction – the music as being anterior (speculative) and posterior (representational) simultaneously. The paper never really points out this contradiction clearly but leaves it looming above and around the discourse it is putting forward. In this regard I can see the possibility of further development through addressing this contradiction that is perhaps at the heart of the contemporary condition as it is being rendered by the post-internet Accelerationist doctrine. This by asking what are the possibilities of imagining the future that breaks away from the past, with the representational tools that are being shaped and dominated by corporate entertainment industry?

How can we imagine something that doesn’t already exist within the established representational regime? This is a pertinent question particularly in the contemporary situation that is largely shaped by digital and network space, where reality is represented strictly through digital signal and therefore manufactured and fully contained within the representational system.
As the paper follows a particular process of attempts to break through these constraints of closed representations through music – mainly though cuts in sound (granular), corruption of voice and appreciation of the abject in accompanying visual domain, I would encourage further reflection on what are the origins and desires of these rebellious procedures.
This could include relating to the past movement of Futurism, as well as perhaps exploring other theories of voice, body, the abject, and the question of representation through sound, literature and music. Related to this I would recommend the book Sonic Somatic: Performances of The Unsound Body by Christof Migone (Errant Bodies Press - Los Angeles/Berlin, 2012). [GVS]”