Sound and Space

Sound and Space

We consider sound and space as intrinsically related concepts which should not be investigated separately, especially not from an artistic point of view. The challenges of composing and performing sound and space are investigated aiming at furthering the practice of computer music.

Sound and Space

In our experience, sound and space always manifest themselves in tandem. Sound is shaped by the features of the space it appears in. Space is revealed through the sound traversing it. Yet, in computer music, both are usually conceived and treated independently. As much as such a distinction is useful in practice and theory, it leads to a stereotypical approach: first synthesize, then spatialize.  Developing concepts for a more integrative approach towards sound and space in computer music is the first central concern of IEM's Sound and Space group.  Following an artistic research methodology, the possibilities of articulating sound and space are investigated from the point of view of composition and performance. New approaches towards shaping sound in space are developed by integrating traditional synthesis and specialization techniques. New representational tools are conceived enabling the composition of unified sound generation and projection models. In order to enable a performative exploration of such models, the relationships of sound and space with the body of the composer and performer are investigated, forming the second central concern of the Sound and Space group. New approaches towards computer music performance are sought, involving other artistic disciplines, such as the visual arts, dance and choreography. In this realm the Sound and Space group recently completed the FWF-funded scholarly and artistic research project Embodied Generative Music, which investigated the relationship between musical expression and bodily expression in computer music. Based on a central result of this project – an artistic research approach and infrastructure called the Aesthetic Lab – a new project entitled The Choreography of Sound has been defined and was awarded funding in the context of the FWF's arts-based research funding line PEEK. The project explores the spatial in computer music composition and performance, using the unique facilities of KUG's György Ligeti hall and IEM's CUBE – both performance and laboratory spaces equipped with the latest sound specialization and motion capture technology.

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Gerhard Eckel