The development of the computer into a meta medium in the last decades led to fundamental transformations in the composition, representation, production, interpretation, performance, distribution, imagination and experience of music. Computer music research deals with questions addressing these transformations, aiming at a better understanding of the latter, in order to be able to actively shape and assume them. Scientific research as well as artistic research and practice cross pollinate each other in this inquiry. The research results are documented in texts, models and software.
Sonification is the translation of information for auditory perception, excluding speech itself. A straight-forward example is the Geiger counter. Since 1992, methods of sonification are systematically explored (www.icad.org). Since 2004, IEM projects made unusual data sound – from election results to EEG recordings of epilepsy patients (www.sonenvir.at) to complex data from quantum chromodynamics or particle trajectories from CERN (www.qcd-audio.at).
Interaction Design in Computer Music mainly deals with Sonic Interaction Design (SID), which operates on the intersection of Interaction Design and Sound and Music Computing. Besides artistically motivated questions in SID, IEM is also concerned with more fundamental research in Interaction Design.