AffiliationUniversity of Derby
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AbstractWhilst various spatial formats for music reproduction exist their reason for existence is not always clear; “spatiality” as a set of musical parameters remains on the periphery of musical thought.Pioneering composers continue to explore the possibilities of spatial music, they sometimes face unnecessary (if not insurmountable) impediments in the form of unsuitable technological implementations. This work is part of on-going research to develop intuitive compositional spatial sound tools that can incorporate elements of naturally available spatiality into musical syntax. In highlighting unnecessary technical constraints that are underwritten by conceptual constraints, we hope to help to break the deadlock. We look forward to spatial composition becoming more ambitious, subtle, engaging, immersive and innovative.
PublisherUniversity of Derby
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Perceptual cartoonification in multi-spatial sound systemsLennox, Peter; Myatt, Tony; University of Derby; University of York (24/06/2011)This paper describes large scale implementations of spatial audio systems which focus on the presentation of simplified spatial cues that appeal to auditory spatial perception. It reports a series of successful implementations of nested and multiple spatial audio fields to provide listeners with opportunities to explore complex sound fields, to receives cues pertaining to source behaviors within complex audio environments. This included systems designed as public sculptures capable of presenting engaging sound fields for ambulant listeners. The paper also considers questions of sound field perception and reception in relation to audio object scaling according to the dimensions of a sound reproduction system and proposes that a series of multiple, coordinated sound fields may provide better solutions to large auditorial surround sound than traditional reproduction fields which surround the audience. Particular attention is paid to the experiences since 2008 with the multi-spatial The Morning Line sound system, which has been exhibited as a public sculpture in a number of European cities.
The emotional contents of the ‘space’ in spatial musicLennox, Peter; University of Derby (International Conference on Music and Emotion, Durham, UK, 2009-09)Human spatial perception is how we understand places. Beyond understanding what is where (William James’ formulation of the psychological approach to perception); there are holistic qualities to places. We perceive places as busy, crowded, exciting, threatening or peaceful, calm, comfortable and so on. Designers of places spend a great deal of time and effort on these qualities; scientists rarely do. In the scientific world-view physical qualities and our emotive responses to them are neatly divided in the objective-subjective dichotomy. In this context, music has traditionally constituted an item in a place. Over the last two decades, development of “spatial music” has been within the prevailing engineering paradigm, informed by psychophysical data; here, space is an abstract, Euclidean 3-dimensional ‘container’ for events. The emotional consequence of spatial arrangements is not the main focus in this approach. This paper argues that a paradigm shift is appropriate, from ‘music-in-a-place’ to ‘music-as-a-place’ requiring a fundamental philosophical realignment of ‘meaning’ away from subjective response to include consequences-in-the-environment. Hence the hegemony of the subjective-objective dichotomy is questioned. There are precedents for this, for example in the ecological approach to perception (Gibson). An ecological approach to music-as-environment intrinsically treats the emotional consequences of spatio-musical arrangement holistically. A simplified taxonomy of the attributes of artificial spatial sound in this context will be discussed.
Causal contexts, cognitive cartoons and spatial soundLennox, Peter; Myatt, Tony; University of Derby (Qu e e n M a r y , U n i v e r s i t y o f L o n d o n, 20/12/2006)Based on previous work the proposal here is that spatial perception problems in artificial environments (e.g. spatial music displays) can be cast as a subset of the problems of cognitive mapping of the causal context that surrounds and supports the perceiver. The intuitively available distinctions in these contexts of foreground and background, previously couched in terms of perceptual significance exist as externally valid causal distinctions; the task of perception is to cognitively represent these distinctions sufficiently for appropriate interaction. Effectively, this means that some items will “naturally” occupy attention, whilst others should equally naturally appeal to background, inattentive processes. Hence, aspects of the causal context will be accorded differing cognitive resources according to their significance, and some may be very sparsely represented in cartoon form. That is, perception engages in sophisticated information reduction in cognitive representation in order to capitalise on available resources. This poster outlines how causal contexts (including spatial matters) can be physically cartoonified in reciprocal manner to the dedicated perceptual mechanisms’ operations, to economically and intuitively appeal to perception.