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Sonic Environments will run from Sunday 10th July until Monday 11th July
NIME will run from Monday 11th July until Friday 15th July.

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Sunday, July 10 • 16:00 - 18:00
Sonic Environments Papers 2 (stream A)

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Dr. Garth Paine: Arts Media and Engineering Arizona State University


The question of sound as experience is critical to discussions about environmental listening. I have come to think of sound as a viscous material, a vibrating energy field that has texture and density and a physicality that is unlike most other media.
I arrived at this view through a combination of several experiences and practices. The first being a process of duration environmental listening and the second, an invitation to be part of an Australian indigenous dreaming ceremony at Bundanon in NSW. These experiences brought me to a point of knowing that everything is part of an N dimensional vector field - where by energy fields can be attracted together to form a presence in the world. I came to think of sound in these terms. Sources move, perhaps in relation to each other and in relation also to environmental forces, all making up a manifold and complex morphology, a rich and largely invisible to me interconnectedness.
This interconnectedness is an experience I have sought increasingly deeply through durational listening where I ask myself, "what does it mean to be truly present", is it possible to continuously deepen that sense of presence through repeated practice?

Sabine Feisst: Arizona State University School of Music


Thanks to their fierce nature and potential for metaphor, deserts have long fascinated musicians. Edgard Varèse, Olivier Messiaen, Luc Ferrari and Peter Sculthorpe created works inspired by deserts around the world, but they had only a tenuous connection with these places. In contrast, David Dunn, Richard Lerman, Maggi Payne and Garth Paine have strongly identified with deserts and paid tribute to them in numerous works, compelling examples of sensitive engagement with these places. This paper centers on Australian-born composer and sound artist Paine. I will analyze and contextualize his large-scale interdisciplinary and collaborative Listen(n) Project, his acousmatic work Becoming Desert (2014) and live-electronic flute piece Forest (2015) which have been inspired by deserts in the American Southwest and draw on field recordings made with ambisonic recording technology. I will explain how they reflect Paine’s environmental philosophies and concepts of sonic placemaking in the context of composition, virtual reality experiences, community art and citizen science projects.

Ons Barnat: Université Laval, Québec, Canada

Virtual Reality, Spatial Sound and the Future of Ethnomusicology

Since SXSW (South by Southwest in Austin, Texas) 2014’s edition and the presentation of "Strangers with Patrick Watson", produced by Felix & Paul Studios, cinematic films in 3D and 360° are about to become a major reality for the music industry. With the commercialization of virtual reality head-mounted displays (Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, HTC Vive...), demand for creative content for this new way of listening to music performances opens Pandora's box for every music maker – and also for any ethnographer.

By putting the user at the center of an immersive experience, VR technology offers new ways to think about the relationship between the artists and their audiences. From the research side, how this paradigmatic shift could influence the way we do music ethnography? What happens with the researcher’s position? What about the musicians? How to measure the artists’ choices in the data analysis? How to manage the marketing of such content?

After an overview of some audio recordings techniques used in virtual reality, this communication will present our first ethnomusicological data collected with a 360° audio-visual recording device. This will allow us to estimate the role of sound recording in the "restitution" in VR. From a presentation of our postdoctoral research, the Music Legacy Project (www.musiclegacyproject.com, developed in partnership with the audio-visual post-production company La Hacienda Creative, based in Montreal and Toronto, Canada) – this paper will also address some of the methodological, ethical and epistemological issues raised by the use of such a experimental device.

Jordan Lacey - Artist Talk and Book Launch: SONIC RUPTURE
(with special guest Stephan Moore)

Dr Jordan Lacey is a vice-chancellor’s postdoctoral fellow in the School of Architecture & Design, RMIT University. He is a practising sound-artist and musician, whose research is focussed on urban sound design. His practice might be considered post-acoustic ecology, insofar as he seeks to apply acoustic ecology practices to noisy urban environments. His recently released book (Bloomsbury) and coming paper (Organised Sound) both emphasize what is for Lacey the most important aspect of his own practice: the possibility of creating in everyday life encounters that encourage imaginative, poetic and even mythic responses from the public. 

Lacey has created multiple sound installations in Melbourne. In each of these installations he applies a methodology he calls noise transformation. Noise, considered a homogenous material, is ruptured, not by introducing new sounds, but by recreating our impressions of what already exists. As such we are invited to engage with the world not as it is, but as what it could be. Lacey is presently working with Transurban to investigate the possibilities of noise transformation approaches in motorway parklands; thus applying his practice to corporately managed lands. 

His recently released book, published with Bloomsbury, titled ‘Sonic Rupture: a practice-led approach to urban soundscape design’ is an invitation to rethink the original tenets of acoustic ecology by considering a new relationship with the noises of global cities. Rather than remonstrating against the proliferation of noise, Lacey considers noises as cultural and political expressions that can be redesigned to afford new everyday experiences. 

Lacey completed an international field trip at the end of 2015 investigating eleven permanent American and European sound art installations that have become features of the urban landscape. His paper ‘Sonic Placemaking: ten attributes and three approaches for the creation of enduring sound art installations’, which describes the trip, will be published in the coming edition of the international journal Organised Sound. The paper uses artist interviews, sound recordings and on-site observations to suggest a number of attributes that can be discerned in the visited installations. 

His work also extends into collaborations with Australian Indigenous people including the Yolngu, Barkindji and Wurundjeri, with who he has produced a number of cross-cultural sound works. In these works Lacey seeks to be affected by mythic expression, by combining sounds with the stories he encounters. It is here that his practice overlaps with Acoustic Ecologists’ search for the mythic ‘ur-sound’; but rather than emphasizing its loss, he instead calls for a sonic activism that will rediscover such imaginative possibilities within the urban. 

avatar for Leah Barclay

Leah Barclay

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Griffith University
Co-Chair, Sonic Environments (www.sonicenvironments.org)

avatar for Sabine Feisst

Sabine Feisst

Professor of Music, Arizona State University
Dr Sabine Feisst is Professor of Musicology and Senior Sustainability Scholar at Arizona State University’s School of Music and Global Institute of Sustainability. Focusing on twentieth and twenty-first century music studies, she published the monographs Der Begriff ‘Improvisation’ in der neuen Musik (Studio Verlag, 1997) and Schoenberg’s New World: The American Years (Oxford University Press, 2011) which won the Society for American... Read More →
avatar for Garth Paine

Garth Paine

Associate Professor in Digital Sound and Interactive Media, Arizona State University|Tempe|Arizona|USA
Garth is particularly fascinated with sound as an experiential medium, both in musical performance and as an exhibitable object. This passion has led to several interactive responsive environments where the inhabitant generates the sonic landscape through their presence and behaviour. Garth has composed several music scores for dance generated through video tracking of the choreography, and more recently using Bio-Sensing on the dancers body. His... Read More →

avatar for Stephan Moore

Stephan Moore

Lecturer, Northwestern University

Sunday July 10, 2016 16:00 - 18:00
Ian Hanger Recital Hall 2.10 Queensland Conservatorium

Attendees (17)