The theme for the conference is the virtuoso computer: redefining limits.
The main idea of the theme is to reflect about what does it mean to be a virtuoso in the context of computer music. Is the computer a virtuoso? Are performers who performs laptops on stage virtuosos as well? How can we compare digital virtuosity with the general notion used for acoustic performers? Are we talking about the same concept?
This theme has also a connection with Chile, the hosting country for the 2020 conference. In 1973, chilean composer José Vicente Asuar, one of the world pioneers in computer music, in collaboration with Víctor Rivera and Cristian Vergara, released a long play containing classical music performed by a computer. The album was called “el computador virtuoso”, the virtuoso computer, and it was made by the Research Group in Sound Technology of the Faculty of Musical and Performing Arts and Sciences of the University of Chile.
For the realization of the record, a computer was connected to an electronic synthesizer. An in-house system allowed the computer to control voltage signals and send them to the synthesizer in order to structure each sound accordingly to the desires of the programmer. This was the first experience of this kind made in Chile on the subject and all the systems that were built were completely original and not based on any previous experience.
This record is available for listening here.
José Vicente Asuar also created in 1978 the COMDASUAR, the first chilean computer system entirely dedicated to the performance of computer music.