Composing for Large Scale Multi-Channel Loudspeaker Environments

Hans Tutschku

Friday, June 10, 2011
June 5 – 10, 2011

This six-day workshop will take place in the EMPAC studios, and will utilize multi-channel loudspeaker configurations set up specifically for the workshop. A powerful 24-channel system with three rings of eight speakers each, creating a “sound dome,” will be installed in the large studio (3,500 sq. ft. / 320 m2 and 30 ft. / 9 m height). Eight-channel and 16-channel systems also will be set up.

Composing multi-channel electroacoustic pieces requires more than technical infrastructure; it also requires new approaches of compositional thinking and the use of sound material. Hans Tutschku has composed for such environments extensively and has taught the compositional and technical aspects of this work internationally.

This workshop will provide participants access to the multi-channel setups for use in their own practical work. In lectures/demonstrations, working methods will be discussed and existing compositions will be played and analyzed.

There will be two 90-minutes lectures and two 90-minutes presentations by participants each day. Throughout the workshop, all participants will have the chance to present their music and compositional ideas to the group. Late afternoons and evenings will be reserved for individual practical work. The final piece, or work in progress, will be presented during a concert at the end of the workshop.

While limited to 10 participants the workshop is also open to auditors, who may sit in on all lectures and presentations.

Applications are reviewed on a continuous basis until the available slots for the workshop are filled.

Compositions for a Sound Dome

On June 10 at 8:00 PM, with 24 loudspeakers suspended in the air as a sound dome, the eight composers who participated in this workshop will present their explorations of sound, music and space to the public.

FREE + Open to the public




To apply for active participation, composers are invited to send three examples of electroacoustic compositions (they do not need to be multi-channel pieces), as well as a CV and a short statement about their interest in multi-channel composition. They should also describe what project they would like to work on during the workshop and their technical needs. (Every participant is required to bring a laptop for their practical work; interfacing the laptop to the multi-channel systems may be supported by EMPAC.)


Participants are required to bring their own laptop.


$500 for active participants; 50% payable after acceptance; no fee for auditors.


Participants in the workshop will be able to choose single dormitory style housing near the Rensselaer campus for $60/night, or may organize their own housing in Troy.


Check-in will be on June 4 and check-out is on the morning of June 11.

Hans Tutschku is the Fanny P. Mason professor of music in the Harvard Department of Music and director of the Harvard University Studio for Electroacoustic Composition (HUSEAC).

Tutschku studied electroacoustic composition in Dresden, and between 1989 and 1991 accompanied Karlheinz Stockhausen on several concert tours to study sound diffusion. In 1991, he attended the international one-year course in sonology at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, where he worked primarily in the field of digital sound processing. He spent one year studying at IRCAM in Paris (1994), and in 1995 participated in composition workshops with Klaus Huber and Brian Ferneyhough. Tutschku taught electroacoustic composition at IRCAM from 1997 to 2001 and at the conservatory in Montbéliard from 2001 to 2004. He received a DEA from the Sorbonne in Paris and completed his PhD in composition with Dr. Jonty Harrison at the University of Birmingham in the UK in 2003. During that same year, he was the Edgard Varèse guest professor at the Technische Universität Berlin. Tutschku joined Harvard in 2004.

Composing for Large Scale Multi-Channel Loudspeaker Environments
Studio 1—Goodman
June 5June 10, 2011
Compositions for a Sound Dome
Studio 1—Goodman
June 10, 2011, 8:30PM