Call for Contributions
Africa Synthesized: Electronic Music Pre-MP3

25-26 June, Stellenbosch, South Africa
CFC deadline: 22 March 2020

For the extended conference call, visit 

Africa Synthesized will address electronic music in Africa before the
advent of MP3 (c. 1995). The conference will bring together scholars,
artists, producers and archivists who work with electronic sound technology
broadly defined. The theme cuts across the fields of art music and popular
music, and invites dialogue between academics and music producers. Africa
Synthesized aims to map 20th-century itineraries of electronic music in
Africa, to consider the role of Africa in the development of electronic
music in the Western world, and to seek out encounters with sonic artists
and practitioners working beyond academia.

We invite 20-minute papers, panels consisting of 3 to 4 papers, panel
discussions, as well as performances and artistic responses. Possible
topics could include:
•Histories of electronic music studios in Africa
•The role of Africa in the postwar music avant-garde
•Electroacoustic art music from/about Africa
•Ambient music from/about Africa
•Contemporary uses of analogue sound equipment/recordings
•Intersections between environmental sound recording and music
•Electronic sound archives in/from Africa
•Histories of vinyl and cassette in Africa
•DIY studios, synthesizers and other electronic instruments
•Electronic instrument builders and collectors in Africa
•The Moog in Africa
•Analogue nostalgia

Please send proposals to svos -at- by 22 March 2020.
Proposals should include:
•an abstract with title (250 words for individual papers, 400 words for
panels) + biographical note (max 50 words)
•audio-visual requirements
•any additional requirements (i.e. technical and spatial requirements in
the case of performances)

Notifications of acceptance will be sent by 1 April 2020.

The conference is organized by Willemien Froneman and Stephanie Vos (Africa
Open Institute, Stellenbosch University) and Carina Venter (Department of
Music, Stellenbosch University), and funded by the Interdisciplinary Forum
for Popular Music (ifPOP) at Africa Open Institute. The organisers envisage
publishing selected papers in a peer-reviewed, edited volume after the


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