Spatial Audio: Perception and Experience

Spatial Audio Summer Seminar 2019

EMPAC’s Spatial Audio Summer Seminar offers unique insights into how sound can be shaped with technology to create spatial auditory experiences. Open to musicians, audio engineers, composers, programmers, and audiophiles of all kinds, the seminar consists of lectures, demonstrations, listening sessions, and performances providing the opportunity to be immersed in the excellent venues and outstanding audio systems at EMPAC.

This year’s seminar will feature extensive listening opportunities for participants to focus on the perceptual experience that these systems create. EMPAC’s studios and venues will be equipped with several large, high-end systems to directly compare different methods of spatializing audio, including high-order Ambisonic systems, high-density Wave Field Synthesis (WFS) configurations featuring hundreds of loudspeakers, as well as binaural audio streaming.

Focusing on the aesthetic function spatialized audio serves in a specific work, the seminar leaders will guide participants through the application of such systems to experimental, electroacoustic, and “contemporary classical” music, as well as virtual reality installations and soundscapes. This year’s seminar leaders include the composer and performer Natasha Barrett, who will perform a concert on the event’s opening night; Markus Noisternig, an expert in immersive 3D audio and researcher at the Paris-based Institute for Research and Coordination in Acoustics/Music (IRCAM); Chris Chafe, director of the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) at Stanford University; Brendan Baker, radio and podcast producer and sound designer; Bobby McElver, a sound designer and former EMPAC artist-in-residence; and members of the EMPAC audio team.


  • Thursday, July 18, 2019
  • 5:30–6:30PM — Arrival at EMPAC, buffet dinner
  • 6:30PMWelcome and venue walkthrough — Johannes Goebel
  • 7:30PMConcert: Natasha Barrett Pockets of Space Video and Oculus VR version
  • 9:30PMWolverine Marvel podcast with drinks and cheese — Brendan Baker
  • Friday, July 19, 2019
  • 9AM — Comparison of different spatial audio methods
    Concepts, Implementation, Perception — Markus Noisternig
  • 11:30AM Close your eyes and imagine what you want to hear.
    Research, Craft, and Reality in Creating Spatial Audio Environments — Chris Chafe
  • 2PMArtistic Goals, Aesthetics and Realization
    Detailed discussion of a work integrating spatialization — Markus Noisternig
  • 3:45PMSpatial Audio in Podcasts — Brendan Baker
  • 5PMThe EMPAC high-resolution modular loudspeaker array for Wave Field Synthesis
  • 6PMPresentation with Wave Field Synthesis Arrays above the audience — Bobby McElver
  • 8:30PM — Public Concert: Natasha Barrett Electro Dream Space
  • Saturday, July 20, 2019
  • 9AM — Spatialization at IRCAM
    How technical development, artistic application and commercialization have influenced each other — Markus Noisternig
  • 10:30AMPanel and discussion
    Practical Issues of Spatialization in Performance, Production, and Installation
  • 12:30PMLUNCH


  • $120 Includes: all events, dinner on Thursday and Friday, lunch on Saturday.
  • $85 for students
  • Registration is FREE for RPI Faculty and Students with a valid RIN


Participants should bring headphones and a digital device that can connect to a local wireless network for streaming music.


Participants are responsible for finding their own lodging. Please contact John Cook at the EMPAC box office for special rates at local hotels.


Please enjoy the video documentation of last year's event.

a person sitting with a canvas in their lap using brushes on it

Brushing Improvisation – N°2

Jaehoon Choi

Brushing Improvisation – N°2 is the latest work in an ongoing brushing project that has utilized brushes in electronic music improvisation performances. While the previous performances of Brushing Improvisation focused on the nuanced materiality of the brush and translated brushing gestures into musical/sonic expression through specific mediated technology, a process formulated through continuous interaction between myself as both an instrument maker and performer, this particular piece also delves into the cultural universality inherent in the brush. This exploration fosters theatricality, gestural performance, and an organic integration between composition and improvisation.

Main Image: Courtesy La Biennale di Venezia. Photo: Andrea Avezzù.

AKOMA album art


Jlin & Florence To

Jlin and Florence To will be in residence in Studio 1—Goodman to workshop and develop the visual language for Jlin’s upcoming tour for the new album Akoma.

Main Image: Album artwork from AKOMA. Courtesy the artists.

a small silver trash can hangs from a ceiling in a dark studio

Reembodied Sound Symposium & Festival

John Driscoll & Phil Edelstein

Pioneering electronic musicians John Driscoll and Phil Edelstein will be in residence with Rensselaer Arts Department undergraduates from Professor Matthew Goodheart’s electronic music course to mount a new version of David Tudor’s Rainforest IV—a seminal work of transducer-based art which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2023. Over the period of a few weeks, Driscoll and Edelstein, who developed Rainforest IV with Tudor in the 1970s, will coach RPI students on how to prepare and mount Tudor’s work in EMPAC’s Studio 2 as part of the Reembodied Sound 2024 symposium and festival.

Main Image: Film still: David Tudor’s Rainforest IV. Directed by Horatiu Gheorge. 2014. Courtesy Internet Archive.

drawings on a table

µ (mu)

Marina Rosenfeld

µ (mu)—whose title refers to the physics equation for friction—considers the physical genesis of sound. A visual and sonic inquiry into a turntable dubplates’ (material) grooves. Rosenfeld will record a microscopic region of the dubplate through sound and video. 

In January in the EMPAC Theater, Rosenfeld will undertake research and early-stage production for µ (mu).

In April, Rosenfeld will return to work on the post-production for the new video of µ (mu)

Main Image: Marina Rosenfeld, The Agonists, 2023. Mixed media and sound, installation detail, Museum Art Plus, for Donaueschinger Musiktage, 2023.

conrad tao

Poetry & Fairy Tale

Conrad Tao

Pianist Conrad Tao will be in residence in the EMPAC Concert Hall to record works for solo piano and perform a brand new program of piano repertoire in a public recital.

Main Image: Conrad Tao. Courtesy the artist. Photo: Brantley Gutierrez. 

a high hat and fan hanging from a ceiling suspended

Rainforest IV

Remounted by RPI Arts Department Students with John Driscoll and Phil Edelstein

Pioneering electronic musicians John Driscoll and Phil Edelstein will be in residence with Rensselaer Arts Department undergraduates from Professor Matthew Goodheart’s electronic music course to mount a new version of David Tudor’s Rainforest IV—a seminal work of transducer-based art which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2023— as part of the Reembodied Sound 2024 symposium and festival.

Main Image: Film still: David Tudor’s Rainforest IV. Directed by Horatiu Gheorge. 2014. Courtesy Internet Archive.

a black studio box with black acoustic tiles and a grid

Transducer Concert

Reembodied Sound 2024

Reembodied Sound 2024 concludes with a concert of transducer-based works which span performance practices and genres, showcasing the breadth of musical possibilities for the technology.


  • Assemblage No. 1
  • Matthew Goodheart
  • Assemblage No. 1 is an interactive work for transducer-actuated metal percussion and solo improviser. Assembled from bits of code, mapping techniques, generative algorithms, and performer-generated samples taken from reembodied sound compositions of the last decade, the work reshapes, recontextualizes, and reframes this history within a new and unpredictable improvisational environment.
  • Coefficient: frictional percussion and electronics, David Tudor
  • Reconstructed by Stuart Jackson, percussion
  • Coefficient is an electronic work, the product of electroacoustic transducers and special microphones. A variable feedback system between the two elements is influenced and changed by the performance of frictional sounds by a percussionist. A distinction is made between those sounds produced by friction, and those produced by impact.
  • the interior of objects
  • Seth Cluett
  • the interior of objects explores the drum as a site-specific acoustic space. In this work, a tactile transducer is placed on the underside of the drum head opposite a piezo microphone. Tones derived from the physical acoustics of the membrane set the head in motion, these tones are joined by feedback frequencies whose amplitude is restrained by a limiter. The nodes and antinodes of the drum head become a performable topography the performer can explore through the compositional form.
  • Doubt is a way of knowing
  • James O’Callaghan
    Sara Constant, Flute
  • Doubt is a way of knowing, co-commissioned by Jeffrey Stonehouse and Mark McGregor, is part of a series of pieces for soloists where electronics are diffused through a double of the soloist’s instrument. The piece is an examination of counterfactuals and simultaneous emotional reactions where one experiences a split self.
  • Shitatari
  • Keita Matsumiya
  • This composition is a mixed music piece created by orchestrating the sound of water droplets recorded in the field. It involves using transducers to resonate the piano soundboard and live modulation of the piano and electronic acoustics through a pickup microphone, resulting in a live electronics/chamber music composition, aiming to integrate the strengths of both descriptive, recording, and improvisational elements.
  • reciprocal response
  • Moon Ha
  • reciprocal response is a musical system based on the (re)cycling idea, which has been my inspiration for creative works for over a decade. This is designed to be executed by my students at new_LOrk, New York University’s Laptop Orchestra, to utilize the tactile transformation of energy into signals and sounds. The members of new_LOrk include Ahmir Phillips, Chloe Yang, Jerry Huang, Devin Park, and Jailen Mitchell.
  • Music Stands
  • Cathy van Eck
  • What normally stays silent during a musical performance—a music stand—is creating the sound in this performance. Two music stands are unfolded at the start of the performance. Both are amplified using a contact microphone glued onto the stand and a small loudspeaker, placed on the floor. During the performance, the loudspeakers are placed on the stands. The vibrations of the loudspeakers are transmitted through the metal of the stands back to the contact microphones and in this way an acoustic feedback loop occurs. By changing the altitude of the stands, the distance between microphone and loudspeaker changes, and therefore, the acoustic feedback sound changes as well. The music stands are “played” by the performer similar to how commonly musical instruments are played. The performer is searching for the sound behind the score.
  • Bionico
  • Gadi Sassoon
  • Bionico was originally created as an installation at Sónar in Barcelona, and later developed into a quadraphonic piece at Elektron Musik Studion in Stockholm, where Gadi used a prepared metal plate with a large transducer to create feedback loops for physical models and strings. The live performance of Bionico uses four resonating sculptures attached to transducers that augment Gadi’s live electric violin. The cuts on the plates change the resonating modes of each sculpture.
  • The Netted Resonance of Tide Pools
  • Alyssa Wixson
    June Cummings, Percussion
  • The sounding objects used in this piece are connected in a web of resonance and feedback analogous to the intricate ecosystems present in tide pools. It took shape over many hours of sonic exploration with percussionist June Cummings; creating the piece with her has been a joy.

Main Image: Studio 1—Goodman at EMPAC. Photo: Kris Qua.

EMPAC's mezzanine

Sound Art Installations

Reembodied Sound 2024

A selection of stand-alone transducer-based installations will populate EMPAC’s interstitial areas. Visitors will have the opportunity to experience these evocative pieces as they run throughout the symposium’s duration.


  • Level 6 Mezzanine
  • What is Your Emergency? (2024)
  • KS Brewer
  • Plastic, rubber, and silicone; bone conduction transducer, amplifier and audio player; metal conduit; paper on clipboard
  • You see the face of the original CPR manikin, Resusci-Anne, mounted like a death mask—in plastic purgatory, she spends eternity helping you help you. She calls you to put your forehead against hers, and plug your ears. Just like that—now, you will be saved.
  • Level 7 Main Lobby
  • watershed (2023)
  • John Eagle
  • Transducers, contact microphones, PVC pipe, vinyl tube, plexiglass, aluminum foil, super absorbent polymers, water, wood, steel, glass bottles, plastic, salvaged metal, slate, water pump
  • At the center of this water cycle, the path splits via a bell siphon mechanism and diverts some water across the surface of a sheet of aluminum foil, which is shaped by the changing water flow. This flow is further affected by super absorbent polymers (SAPs), which absorb water and gel together, thus adding weight and slowing the flow. An array of paired surface transducers and contact microphones suspended below the foil start feeding back when the foil becomes depressed above the contact mics, effectively closing the circuit. As the feedback increases, the sonic energy transferred through the transducers tends to increase the local flow of water as it pushes the water down the slope.
  • Level 6 spine—EMPAC Concert Hall bridge
  • Fenestra
  • Jenn Grossman
  • Five acrylic panels (18 x 32 in, 1/8th in thick), surface transducers, amplifiers
  • Fenestra is a 5-channel spatial sound installation made with transparent acrylic panels and surface transducers. It references a connective tissue membrane of the inner ear, a transparent spot, and the Latin term for window. Tonal and found sounds move from panel to panel, like a sonic skin. The piece evokes the embodiment of looking and listening through physical surfaces; muting and resonating sound while drawing attention to the environment around it.
  • Level 6 Mezzanine
  • Women's Labor: Embedded Iron (2021)
  • Jocelyn Ho, Margaret Schedel
  • Embedded iron, ironing board, coat rack, miscellaneous textiles
  • Embedded Iron is part of Women’s Labor, a feminist-activist project that repurposes domestic tools to become new musical instruments. Based on an early-20th century wooden ironing board and antique iron, Embedded Iron uses spectroscopy, ultrasonic, LIDAR sensors, and machine learning to see the color, feel the texture, and sense the position of any fabric, to play different timbres and pitches. Audio quotes from a 19th-century marriage manual are mapped to the ironing of a special white apron. Women's Labor is the winner of the 2021 International Alliance of Women in Music Ruth Anderson Prize.
  • Level 6 Mezzanine
  • We were away a year ago (2023)
  • Kazuhiro Jo, Paul DeMarinis
  • Turntable with customized coils
  • We were away a year ago is a work in which sound is produced through the flow of electronic current in a coil, generated by the magnetization of magnetic ink on a thin film caused by a magnet. There is no physical contact between objects in this work.
  • Level 5 spine—EMPAC Concert Hall bridge
  • apterygota (2022)
  • Pascal Lund-Jensen
  • Sound installation with exciters
  • The installation represents a community of beings whose individual and group dynamics are fluid and constantly evolving. These dynamics of group behavior are continuously changing. A scenario is presented in which some entities behave similarly, while others exhibit different patterns. Communication, conflict, and chaotic interactions unfold among the ground-dwelling insects, creating a continuous evolution of shape-shifting, evolving abilities and intuitive transformations.
  • Level 5—EMPAC Theater Lobby
  • Summerland (2019–20)
  • Matthew Ostrowski
  • 24 telegraph sounders
  • Summerland explores the interconnections between the electromechanical technology of the telegraph and the spiritual technology of mediumship, closely linked throughout the infancy of the electrical era. It seizes from the ether the voices of two individuals at the tangled nexus of 19th-century information technology: Samuel Morse, the inventor of the telegraph, and medium Kate Fox, a founder of the Spiritualist movement. A generative computer system attempts to reproduce their words through taps and clicks, using 21st-century synthesis techniques applied to 19th-century technology. All sounds in the piece are derived from Morse’s writings and Fox’s mediumistic encounters with the dead inhabitants of the Summer Land, materializing their voices in an electromagnetic séance of digitized speech.
  • Level 6
  • Untitled 12 (2021)
  • Marianthi Papalexandri
  • Twine, mic stands, rosin, foam board, motor
  • Papalexandri’s practice stretches basic principles of how sound is produced and how we explore resonances and sounds by suggesting a new paradigm, which can be thought of as programming with material. By awakening micro-sounds within materials through physical interactions like friction, the work creates minimal but rather complex organic sounds and textures. The sound installation proposes a refined and focused exploration of everyday materials and sounds, carefully shaped and placed at different distances, without any post-processing.

Main Image: EMPAC's mezzanine. Photo: Paúl Rivera. 

Cathy van Eck

Schedule and Keynote

Reembodied Sound 2024 Symposium

In a series of demonstrations and paper presentations, the symposium will address topics around the histories and futures of transducer-based art, as well as their attendant aesthetic, engineering, and technical concerns as well as their performance, pedagogical, and social practices. Question and answer portions will allow participants the opportunity to engage with the presenters’ themes, concepts, and works. Noted scholar and composer Cathy van Eck gives the symposium’s keynote address on February 3.


Full Schedule

  • FRIDAY, February 2
  • NOON–12:30PM
  • Opening remarks & Orientation
  • 12:35–12:55PM
  • Digital Somatosensory Sound for Music and Art: Overview, Theory, Aesthetics, Techniques / Alexis Crawshaw
  • ABSTRACT: This presentation provides a comprehensive artistic and musical overview of the use of sound to engage the somatosensory system, expanding upon our 2022 dissertation on this topic. With a special focus on methods using transducers, we explore computational, physical, biological, perceptual constraints and features for guiding the aesthetic and technical expression of somatosensory music and sound art. From an information aesthetics perspective, we propose best practices for transposing auditory to somatic sound, developing original content, and orchestrating for somatic sound within time-based multimedia contexts. In particular, we discuss an original theoretical and technical framework for spatial expression, grounded in original proofs-of-concept and historical works. We outline two distinct spatial reference approaches: 1) one that treats the surface or volume of the body as a spatial field for somatic events and 2) one that treats an external environment as a spatial field for such events. We also address four spatial rendering approaches: 1) the physical arrangement of transducers, 2) leveraging the acoustics of spaces and the body (biomechanics), 2) designing virtual spatial models (e.g. for multichannel arrays and navigable environments), or 4) evoking non-intuitive spatial illusions (tactile, kinaesthetic, and vection). Together, these parameters provide a conceptual framework of eight creative categories, each holding many possibilities for future exploration. Moreover, these techniques allow for a range of complex spatialized effects and behaviors, sometimes using only one or two transducers.
  • 1–1:20PM
  • An attempt at the fusion of ambient sounds and instrumental music, through the piece Shitatari for hybrid piano / Keita Matsumiya
  • ABSTRACT: Shitatari is a mixed music piece created by orchestrating the sound of water droplets recorded in the field. It involves using transducers to resonate the piano soundboard and live modulation of the piano and electronic acoustics through a pickup microphone, resulting in a live electronics/chamber music composition, aiming to integrate the strengths of both descriptive, recording, and improvisational elements.
  • 1:25–1:45PM
  • A Subject-Oriented Approach to Sound and Music / William Fastenow
  • 1:50–2:10PM
  • Vibrant Matter / Julian Day
  • ABSTRACT: A tour of a series of sculptural works in which subsonic vibration enlivens elemental materials such as paper, wood, silk and Mylar. Over the course of a decade, the pieces have developed from simple geometric displays to complex arrays that destabilize the viewer and lend apparent agency to museum spaces.
  • 2:15–2:35PM
  • Transducing Sounds from the Past of Media: Mary Had a Little Lamb (2019) and We Were Away a Year Ago (2023) / Jo Kazuhiro
  • ABSTRACT: In this talk, we aim to explore the utilization of printing with electromagnetic induction as transducers for sound production, with a specific focus on two artworks: Mary Had a Little Lamb (2019) and We Were Away a Year Ago (2023). Rather than engaging in scholarly or archaeological investigations of off-told tales of media technology, our practice focuses on creating objects that functionally transduce sounds along with their distinctive noises or voices. We aim to deviate from the linear history of technology by producing sounds from the past of media that have been excavated.
  • 2:35–3PM
  • Lunch break
  • 3–4PM
  • Practice and Technique / Justin Boyd, seah, Moon Ha
  • ABSTRACT: Justin Boyd Resonant Objects
    Why do Blue Jays sound like guy-wire lazer guns?
    Could they sound more futuristic?
    What if the AI in William Gibson’s Count Zero
    or Wall-e made sound sculptures?
    Can sound embody an object?
    What will happen with all of this stuff?
    Can we experience the everyday in a new way?
  • ABSTRACT: seah conduits of the hydrosphere
    The 5 a/v compositions, conduits of the hydrosphere, are made through the interface where the human body, environmental bodies, and technology synthesize. The intra-actions of this artistic entanglement further interface with the philosophical movements of Critical Feminist Posthumanism and New Materialisms as they process through my body. For me, sound art begins in the human body, through somatic movement practices (Butoh, Body Weather Laboratory, and Noguchi Taiso) and spirals out from there. These practices open the practitioner to experiencing their human body as a resonant chamber. The skin acts as another interface between inner and outer worlds. These somatic movement practices develop a sensitivity to subtle systems that flow through our sense organs. It is through these movement practices that I investigate the outer terrain, using field recording technologies that I then bring back into the studio. I am less interested in pure field recordings. Rather, the final audio-visual compositions reach toward evoking the felt experience of place, porosity, and being a multiplicity of bodies.
  • ABSTRACT: Moon Ha Sonic Explorations: Transducers, DIY Interfaces, and the Evolution of Laptop Orchestras
    In this presentation, I will focus on utilizing transducers as a solution to challenges encountered in limited situations, such as a classroom project and the laptop orchestra. These challenges include the need for cost-effective setup solutions, leading to the adoption of the Dante system and the creation of Music Interaction interfaces using Piezoelectric sensors to avoid feedback issues and enhance sound capture in water. The presentation aims to share insights gained from these experiments and outline future plans for the development of new_LOrk, the New York University laptop orchestra.
  • 4:30–4:50PM
  • Reembodied Sound and Its Implications / Matthew Goodheart
  • 4:55–5:25PM
  • Why transducers? Reasons and methods used in 5 electro-acoustic works / Kristin Norderval
  • ABSTRACT: I have used transducers in various works over the last 15 years, beginning in 2009 with Our Lady of Detritus, a meditation on our use-and-discard culture created with choreographer Jill Sigman. Our Lady of Detritus traveled to four of the five boroughs in New York City with a solar- and hand-powered music system built in a cargo trike, and it used transducers mounted on plastic jugs as one of two speaker systems.

    My opera The Trials of Patricia Isasa (2016) also incorporated the use of transducers, as did several study works in advance of the opera. Further explorations with transducers accompanied my development of a performer-controlled interactive vocal processing system on a research fellowship at the National Academy of Opera in Oslo, Norway. The resonant characteristics of augmented instruments; the relationship between acoustic (un-amplified) vocal signals and the electro-acoustic signals from augmented-instruments; and spatialization and mobility are all topics that will be discussed in the presentation.
  • 5:30–5:50PM
  • Rethinking the Politics of Media in Rainforest IV / Colin Tucker
  • ABSTRACT: This paper reads David Tudor’s Rainforest series through Black study scholar Denise Ferreira da Silva’s critical analysis of racializing mechanisms inherent in modern subjectivity. This move reveals in the piece an underlying Primitivist logic, complicating and deepening prior discussions of issues of media, materiality, and instrumentality in the piece.
  • 5:55–6:15PM
  • Reconstructing Coefficient, David Tudor's composition for frictional percussion and electronics / Stuart Jackson
  • ABSTRACT: This presentation will describe in detail my methods for reconstructing David Tudor's Coefficient: Frictional Percussion and Electronics (1991), which was composed for the percussionist Michael Pugliese. This piece was performed only twice and remains undocumented except for a digitized cassette tape recording held by the Merce Cunningham Dance Company Foundation at the New York Public Library (NYPL), and sketches from the Getty Research Institute (GRI).
  • 6:15–8PM
  • Reception, Sound Art Gallery Opening
  • SATURDAY, February 3
  • 10–10:20AM
  • Resonant Object Interface / Sasha Leitman
  • ABSTRACT: The Resonant Object Interface is a sensing methodology built from resonant objects, vibration exciters, and contact microphone. Objects are excited with vibration transducers; as the user touches the object, they alter the magnitude of higher harmonic frequencies; those magnitudes are measured and turned into control data that can be used in music software. It is an acoustic input system into a digital musical environment and it engages with many of the issues that make transducers so compelling—materiality, embodiment, liveness, nuance, tangibility. This presentation will give an overview of the system and talk about the challenges of developing the Resonant Input Device and engaging new users.
  • 10:25–10:45AM
  • Sounding Water Inhabitants: An Exploration of Toronto's Seasons / Lauren Knight
  • ABSTRACT: Sounding Water Inhabitants is a paper (and audio project in early development) that traces a lineage of research and artistic practice of listening through/in/with water. The work questions how one might engage with water as inhabitant, communication media, medium, recording device, storage, sounding object, and listener.
  • 10:50AM–11:10PM
  • 38hz 7.5 Minutes / Ted Krueger
  • ABSTRACT: 38Hz. - 7.5 Minutes is concerned with a series of odd behaviors observed in a steel plate perturbed by a transducer running at a constant amplitude. Rather than a monotonous output, the plate produced a surprising variety of sounds, volumes, and rhythmic structures not present in the input. The physical conditions surrounding the plate and its apparatus were found to have a strong effect on the kind of behaviors that the plate exhibited. I documented spontaneous shifts in behaviors after many hours in a stable vibrational state.
  • 11:15–11:35PM
  • In and Out of Phase: The Unified Sound of a System of Human, Computer, Instrument and Transducing Agents / Teerath Kumar Majumder
  • ABSTRACT: In this project, the artists extend the relationship between a double bass and a bassist by introducing a computer, two transducers, and a computer-transducer player. This fosters new relationships among heterogeneous agents that may inspire perspectives venturing beyond the human-nonhuman binary and emphasize the significance of the process that emerges from a complex system.
  • 11:45–12:45PM
  • Rainforest and Its Legacy / Phil Edelstein, John Driscoll, Cathy van Eck
  • 12:45–1:30PM
  • Lunch break
  • 1:30–1:50PM
  • Two-Voiced Gesture-Controlled Electrolarynx (TVGCEL) / Alexander Cohen
  • ABSTRACT: The Two-Voiced Gesture-Controlled Electrolarynx explores the reembodiment of sound through the human body by opening up the possibility of utilizing the vocal tract as a timbral controller for duophonic instrument. Related work, conceptual motivations, and compositional challenges concurrent with the development of the instrument will be discussed.
  • 1:55–2:15PM
  • Aurum: multimodal engagement with sound through haptics and cymatics / Patricia Alessandrini
  • 2:20–2:40PM
  • Tigris: Incorporating and Integrating Multi-Channel Transducers and Speakers in Installation Settings / Christophe Preissing & Amanda Love
  • ABSTRACT: The book is the original icon to disperse fact and fiction by those in power. Historically, stones, walls, tablets, and codexes were destroyed during power transfers, colonialism, and divided communities. Books and the buildings that hold books (e.g., libraries, museums, religious centers, governmental spaces, homes) continue to be the target of suppression or destruction. As a result, countless people and cultures have been deprived of their identity and heritage. The remnants of those words and ideas are becoming memories.

    In 2003, reporter Robert Fisk was quoted, “The Tigris River ran black with the ink of books,” after libraries were bombed in Baghdad. This devastating loss was 20 years ago but it is sadly not unique in our collective world history. The destruction of books continues today in Ukraine and in subversive acts to remove books from schools and libraries in the US. The magnitude of the historical loss and the current attack on the freedom to read what one chooses to read informs this work.

    In creating the sound for Tigris, the goal was to create a varied and layered immersive sound environment using multiple sound sources that surround museum visitors. Water, Wind, Fire, and Words—the aftermath of the library bombing in Baghdad. After the bombing I imagined a relative quiet or calm, water lapping the shores and small boats in the river, wind in the tall grasses and resounding off buildings, the crackling of fire and sizzling of burning objects as they float down to the river. Tigris’s audience is both under water—the river—and looks down at the destroyed books which are displayed on small alters for examination. The artists will discuss the inception, development, and construction of Tigris within the context of their current and recent work and the use of language—texts, paragraphs, words, and phonemes—within Tigris and their overall work. Compositional/creative strategies including acoustics, construction, and integration of multiple simultaneous layers of sound projected through three different speaker/transducer systems distributed horizontally and vertically throughout the space will be presented.
  • 2:45PM–3:05PM
  • VibraFusionLab and Haptic Voices / David Bobier
  • ABSTRACT: Haptic Voices brings VibraFusionLab’s vibrotactile technology to an interactive hybrid-online venue transmitting sound information through the sense of touch that is expanded into a ten-channel haptic wall. Online participants can vocalize into their computer microphones as their sound is played through the vibrotactile transducers in the wall in real time thus transporting global voices into an immersive tactile body experience.
  • 3:15–3:55PM
  • Creating Rainforest / Rensselaer Music & Technology II students
  • 4–5PM
  • Why Maria Schlatter Didn't Invent the Loudspeaker—An Investigation into the Borders of Sonic Transmission / Cathy van Eck
  • 5–7PM
  • Dinner break
  • 7–9:30PM
  • Transducer concert

Main Image: Cathy van Eck. Courtesy the artist. Photo: Marije Baalman. Background extended by AI.