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The Unfinder



Rikard Lindell, Henrik Frisk

Research group:

Publication Type:

Conference/Workshop Paper


International Symposium on Computer Music Multidisciplinary Research


In this article we examine how we as composers of electronic musicorganize our material, files, samples, settings, and compositions, and how exist-ing technologies fails to meet our expectations. This text is based on a pseudo-autobiographical pilot study, where we and one other composer wrote journalnotes of a preparation for an improvisation based on previous works or other ma-terial. The notes were coded and analyzed using thematic analysis that resultedin six themes: Storage media; Date, time, and remembering; Matured material;Structure, metadata, and collection of material; Associations; and Tool. Despitethe enormous amounts of storage capacity available, the practice we use today webear similarities to Barreau and Nardi’s nearly 30-year-old article Finding andReminding. However, current operating systems were originally designed primar-ily to handle text files, the file system user interface has shortcomings in allowingfor the kind of diversity and plethora of methods for storing and finding audiofiles in current music practices. Our study indicates that in order to support theway electronic music composers work, we need a usable, dynamic, plain, andtransparent storage and material retrieval system.


author = {Rikard Lindell and Henrik Frisk},
title = {The Unfinder},
month = {November},
year = {2023},
booktitle = {International Symposium on Computer Music Multidisciplinary Research},
url = {}