Our Mission

The Center for Electronic and Computer Music (CECM) supports the composition and performance of new works of electronic music by students and faculty at Indiana University Bloomington. Our emphasis is on the contemporary classical varieties of this music, but our ears are open to the whole range of musical expression made possible by advances in computers and electronics.

We are committed to presenting music in concert. We offer two CECM concerts every year in Auer Hall at the Jacobs School of Music. We also hold additional events on and around campus, and we assist in including electronic music on other concert programs at Jacobs.

Felipe Tovar-Henao and Chi Wang test controllers.

While we do not offer degrees in computer music research, we take an active interest in the latest advances in our field. Chi Wang explores sound design, data mapping, and performance using the Kyma hardware and software environment. She builds her own devices to interface with Kyma. John Gibson develops software for use with Max and collaborates with developers at Apple, Columbia University, and other academic institutions on RTcmix, a software synthesis program.

Some of our students travel to Paris each summer for training at Ircam, where they learn to use Ircam tools and benefit from the ideas of Ircam researchers and composers. Keeping up with the latest technical and aesthetic ideas is crucial for our mission of encouraging students to stretch their musical boundaries.

Our History

The predecessor of the CECM, the Center for Mathematical and Automated Music, was founded in 1966 by composer Iannis Xenakis as a complement to his Centre d’Etudes de Mathématique et Automatique Musicales in Paris. His influential book, Formalized Music, was published in an expanded English edition by Indiana University press in 1971. During this period, Wilson Allen oversaw the analog tape studio and implemented Xenakis’ STOCHOS composition program for the university mainframe computer, with additional programming work by Cornelia Colyer. Tom Wood led the effort to bring to IU a working digital-to-analog converter. He continued to teach courses in electronic music during the 1970s.

After Xenakis left in 1972, the focus of electronic music at Indiana shifted from computer-assisted composition to analog synthesis, in the wake of IU faculty composer John Eaton’s earlier involvement in the development of the SynKet. This was a portable analog synthesizer designed for live performance, with support for microtonal tunings.

Composer Jeffrey Hass established the Center for Electronic and Computer Music in the mid-1980’s. He designed and built the current two-studio facility and developed the curriculum that has evolved into the one in use today. He directed a major initiative in the late 1990’s to expand course offerings to students who are not enrolled in the Jacobs School of Music. Composer John Gibson joined the faculty in 2001 to teach these new courses, to assist in running the studios, and to help the increasing population of composition majors interested in electronic music. Gibson assumed the role of Director on Professor Hass’s retirement in 2019. Composer/performer Chi Wang joined the faculty in 2019, bringing her expertise in data-driven instrument design and performance.