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Music Electronic

An Orchestra at My Fingertips

A History of the Canadian Electronic Ensemble

by (author) Alexa Woloshyn

McGill-Queen's University Press
Initial publish date
Jun 2023
Electronic, Individual Composer & Musician, General
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jun 2023
    List Price

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When the Canadian Electronic Ensemble (CEE) began as a group of students at the University of Toronto in 1972, they performed with cumbersome, finicky analog instruments and DIY logistics, never sure if everything would work as intended. Today’s CEE sound comes from a sophisticated mixture of digital and analog hardware, laptops, and acoustic instruments. Across a long and ongoing history of tours, recordings, and performances, countless listeners have heard and appreciated the innovations at the heart of the CEE’s music.
An Orchestra at My Fingertips is the first detailed study of the history, music, and legacy of the CEE. Covering the ensemble since its inception and drawing on extensive interviews with group members, Alexa Woloshyn provides unique insight into the musicians that make up the group as well as analyses of the CEE’s compositions, commissions, and improvisation and performance practice. Woloshyn’s account traces the evolution of electronic music technology across the decades-long history of the group, paying close attention to how audiences have perceived the CEE’s artistry as effortless rather than as the careful employment of technologically generated sounds. To foster appreciation and understanding of the CEE’s legacies, Woloshyn presents several listening methodologies and includes numerous listening guides to engage all readers.
An Orchestra at My Fingertips speaks to the global development and transformation of live electronic music through the history of a group that has been a consistently innovative voice in Canada and beyond.

About the author

Alexa Woloshyn is associate professor of musicology at Carnegie Mellon University.

Alexa Woloshyn's profile page

Editorial Reviews

An Orchestra at My Fingertips is the definitive biography of this important ensemble. Well-researched and written with great care, the book offers readers a wealth of information that has never before been available to anyone outside of the CEE’s circle of collaborators and close associates. And Woloshyn’s insights and techniques of listening can easily (and usefully) be applied to the CEE’s repertoire and electronic music – indeed any music – in general.” Paul Sanden, University of Lethbridge and author of Liveness in Modern Music: Musicians, Technology, and the Perception of Performance