Masterclass at HAW Hamburg

04.06. – 07.06.2018 – Composing with Sculptural Sound Phenomena in Virtual Auditory Environments



In electronic music and computer music space as a compositional dimension was mainly examined by the use of multi-channel loudspeaker systems arranged around the audience producing an acoustic hull.

The master class introduces an aesthetic practice that composes space by understanding “it” as a prerequisite for the perception of sonic-plastic material – therefore exploring different, complex performance situations and environments from an artistic point of view.

In the cause of the master class electro-acoustic sound phenomena – so-called plastic sound objects – that appear within certain sound (re-)production systems shall be examined in respect to their acoustical principles as well as their artistic potential for contemporary “spatial practices”. As an acoustical tool and musical instrument the icosahedral loudspeaker (IKO by IEM and sonible) will be utilized. In comparison to other space-sound-reproduction systems like Quadrophony, Wave-Field-Synthesis and Higher Order Ambisonics and the discussion of selected media-specific compositions the question will be raised whether a “Shared Perceptual Space” can be described, wherein the perceptions of composers, scientists, engineers and audiences might overlap.

Therefore, participants will be able to compare state-of-the-art sound projection systems by means of exemplary works and their own experiments – conceptionally and aesthetically.

The master class is conveying an overview to existing terminologies and their use in sound art, musicology and acoustics. Participants will have the opportunity to realize own sound experiments with the HOA and the IKO. For the latter the binaural virtualization IKO (vIKO),  i.e. an auralization of different spatial performance situations using binaural synthesis will be introduced.

Dates / Times:

Monday, June 4th       12-15 / 16-20 (7h)

Tuesday, June 5th       12-15 / 16-20 (7h)

Wednesday, June 6th 12-15 / 16-20 (7h)

Thursday, June 7th     10-14 (4h)


Gerriet K. Sharma, Frank Schultz

Institute of Electronic Music and Acoustics (IEM), University of Music and Performing Arts Graz (KUG)


Covered Topics:

  • Artistic and technical concepts of spatialized computer music history
  • Introduction to spatial audio technologies (WFS, VBAP, HOA, IKO)
  • Introduction to the compositional process with the electroacoustic instrument IKO
  • Spatial composition, and aspects of sculpturality and instrumentality in 3D audio



  • Theoretical and practical skills for composing sculptural sound phenomena in different loudspeaker environments
  • Elaborating skills of independent working with the binaurally virtualized IKO (vIKO)
  • Documented and commented literature catalogue

More information: